When Google launched its social network, Google+, in late June, the only accounts available were personal ones. G+ promised us that pages for business (think about the difference between your personal FB profile and your business page) were in the works.
In a blog post released this week, Google announced that G+ Pages are finally here. In the post, there is a list of pages already created, and pages will be available to the rest of us in the near future. Check out Burberry’s Page, and The Muppets to see what they look like.
You can circle business pages the same as you would circle individuals, and therefore get status updates from that business in your G+ stream.
So, of course, the question that everyone is asking is, “is Google reinventing the wheel?” Facebook, with its 800 Million users (and projected to be 1 Billion by the new year), already has had a Pages interface in place for ages. They are indexed by Google, and offer stats and metrics. G+’s users only currently number 50-60 Million, but there are likely hundreds of millions of users of Google’s services worldwide. Are G+’s Pages going to be better? Or just more of the same? As small business owners, will having a G+ Page just be one more thing to suck up more time in our already time-crunched lives?
I can’t find much in G+’s Pages that make them really stand out above Facebook’s (the potential to do Hangouts, which is my favorite thing that G+ has over Facebook, could make things interesting). Having said that, Google is the world’s #1 search engine, so if you have a business, having a page on G+ would probably be wise for your search engine optimization. Having said all of that, one of my philosophies as a social media marketer is that social media allows us to connect with our clientele in the way that they choose to. So, if Twitter is my thing, I will want to follow businesses on Twitter, or if I’m on Facebook all day, then that will be the way that I will choose to connect with brands I like.
So, should you get a G+ Page if you have a business? Yes. If nothing else than just to secure your name so no once else can use it, and then adopt a “wait and see” attitude.