I know what you’re thinking: Great, another social media page I have to manage for my company.
Hey, I’m with you — just when you think you’ve figured out how to make business gains from Twitter and Facebook, along comes Google+, another widespread social tool that’s a big, wide-open question mark.
But you know what? Reserving your spot for your brand now is probably a good idea, even if you haven’t figured out what you’re doing with it.
You can register a Google+ business page here, but keep in mind that you have to have a personal Google+ account first. Only one user per account so far, and vanity URLs are not available yet. But why?
The Unique Benefits of a Google+ Business Page
1. SEO – Google+ business pages stand out from Facebook pages because they will have all kinds of Google SEO benefits. This is Google using their leverage. From Search Engine Land: “[Google+ pages] will be indexed, ‘followable’ and individual updates or posts can be +1′d — much or all of which will be fed back into search results and rankings.” This is huge. Your company blog/homepage can be tied into Google+ results and will come up in searches with steady regularity while Facebook sits behind its walled garden.
2. Google+ Direct Connect – When doing a Google search, anyone can type the ‘+’ sign and your brand and be taken directly to your Google+ business page. How’s that for a ‘direct connect’? The thing is, you have to embed some Google+ page code into your site first. Here’s how to link your Google+ page to your company website.
3. Analysis Tools – Google has a huge array of free products already in use by billions of people (Search, Maps, Calendar, Google Analytics, etc.) You can bet they will be passing the pertinent information along to companies with Google+ business pages. This is from the Google+ business page home page: “In the coming weeks we will be launching tools to give you access to as much data as possible about your Google+ Page and +1 activity: who’s interacting with your page and how; your users’ demographics; and info about their social activities like +1′s, shares and comments.”
4. Google+ Circles – If you want to target messages to specific demographics and locations, the Google+ Circles feature is your friend. Don’t take my advice, though. Aaron Weber has a post about using Circles for better information, better connections, and better engagement. Or, as Google puts it, simply: “Use your circles to get the right message to the right people.”
The bottom line is that Google+ promises to make it easier for people to find and connect with your business. The seamless integration with other Google products makes it an essential tool for any company.
Just as we jumped in with both feet with a business page, we are jumping in with Spiral16 web monitoring as well.
Rather than waiting to “formally integrate” with Google+, Spiral16 is actively scouring the web every day for posts that are relevant to our clients’ topics and brands. Because our system works like search engine, we are already picking up information from Google+. We receive and process information differently from most monitoring solutions, so rather than just utilizing data partners and RSS feeds, Spiral16 picks up unstructured data that is discoverable through normal search means.
Given the rapid growth of Google+, you don’t want to let important data about your brand or competitors on this network go unseen and unmeasured.