By now you’ve probably heard that Google+ has added business pages to its network. Naturally, this announcement kept everyone busy—setting up their business or brand pages, adding business associates to that exciting new “Business Contacts” circle; it’s all very exciting. As a believer in the power of social media, I have to admit that I feel this addition could someday be a game-changer for many businesses and social networks. I believe this for one major reason: The Google Search engine is so incredibly popular (to put it modestly). According to comScore, in June 2011 there were approximately 1 billion unique visitors to Google per month. In other words, Google has more unique visitors than Facebook and Twitter (and arguably more than both combined). Although Google+ can only claim about 40 million users, the number is expected to skyrocket because the search engine is so well known.
However, many business professionals aren’t quite as excited as some may expect. Many are saying that the network still has a long way to go, and until then Facebook and Twitter will remain on top of the social media marketing phenomenon. This led me to wonder: Is Google+ worth the energy, or does it still need some time to perfect its new features? Will there be a day when this search engine becomes more powerful than Facebook and/or Google?
First, consider some of the reasons Google+ is something to keep on your radar:
Why Google+ Has the Potential to Change the Social Media Game
Google certainly has the potential to run the social media world. They have the monster search engine known as Google on their side, so promoting the new platform will be as easy as pie. If this site continues to grow, it could outdo Facebook and Twitter. Below lists some of the networks unique features:
- Most social networks, such as Facebook, are not indexed by Google for search results. Google+ is indexed by Google (obviously).
- You can find a Google+ business page by simply typing in “+company name” in the Google search bar. For example, if you wanted to find Business.com’s Google+ business page, you simply type in “+Business.com.” This is something Facebook and Twitter cannot offer quite as easily.
- Google+ integrates directly with YouTube and Picasa (a photo sharing tool), which is something Twitter and Facebook cannot compete with.
- The network allows people to separate what they share. For example, if you wanted to share something to your friends, your co-workers do not have to see. Most agree that Facebook is used for friends, and Twitter is used for business contacts. Google+ is slowly becoming the combination users have been waiting to see.
Why Google+ Has a Ways to Go
Despite the many great features Google+ can offer, there are still some things that don’t work in favor of small businesses. For example, Google+ does not allow you to hold any type of contest or sweepstakes promotions on your page. This is something Facebook has been allowing since the start. Furthermore, Google+ is not yet sinked up with dashboards such as HootSuite or Tweetdeck, which is something Facebook and Twitter have been involved in for some time. The network isn’t even registered on Klout. In other words, the network still has a long way to go.
Nonetheless, the addition of business pages is certainly moving in the right direction. Having a presence on Google+ is absolutely worth it for your small business, but the moral of the story: Don’t expect any huge leads just yet. For now, stick to Facebook and Twitter for your serious publicity efforts.
Photo Credit: buzzom.com