Since Google+ first launched in June, the question on the minds of many people (especially those of us in the social media “biz”) was when they would launch a platform for businesses to compete with Facebook pages. Google sure didn’t wait long. Less than 2 weeks after announcing that Google+ Pages would be launched in November, they rolled it out in rather quick fashion – within just a day. Sure, it was slightly haphazard (this page led many to believe they could create their page, when in fact it hadn’t been rolled out to them yet); but Google really didn’t muck around.
We’ve created a Google+ Page for Tuvel Communications, so I’ll be playing around with it a bit more in the coming days. I talked about Google+ as a big social media trend to watch in 2012 at a recent seminar we gave, and even though it’s still early days, I’m excited to see what the future will bring for business pages. Google still has some work to do, though.
I really like the idea of being able to share content with targeted Circles of people, which really brings content and marketing relevancy to a new level in social media. If you were able to get your customers on Google+ and then add them to Circles based on their purchases, interests, industry, etc., you’d have a strong content delivery platform at your fingertips. Not to mention the ability to create Hangouts (basically live video chats) with your circles.
I’ve noticed that a business cannot add people to a Circle until they’ve added the business first, which I think is a bit of a speedbump. The Google+ crowd is still very much comprised of early adopters, so businesses have to clear two hurdles in order to deliver content to their customers – first, getting them on Google+, and second, getting them to add the business to a Circle. A third potential hurdle is getting people to actually use Google+ once they’re on it. Social media fatigue might cause many to wonder why they need to join yet another social network, and it won’t be just so a business can bombard them with more marketing messages. As Google+ grows, marketers will begin to figure out how to best utilize Google+ Pages and deliver value to their customers in a new way.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Google+ Pages will become the next big social network that brands and businesses must be a part of, or is Facebook too much to compete with?