Google is getting proactive in its efforts to attract company profiles to its new social networking platform with the launch of Google+ Pages for businesses.
The Internet search giant hopes to gain several victories in one move with the launch, most notable of which are drawing business interest away from Facebook and creating new marketing and advertising opportunities through increased consumer opportunities in the ever-expanding Google-verse.
When Google first launched the Google+ social network in June, 2011, it had to ask companies to refrain from using the platform for business promotion, which telegraphed its intentions to create Google+ Pages. This is a significant departure from the Facebook approach, which essentially leaves businesses to use tools optimized for personal use in the shaping of business profiles.
Google+ Pages for businesses does have a similar feel and look as its personal pages do, but the real difference will likely come in Google’s integration of these pages into its search platform through enhancements like Google Direct. Businesses that sign on with Google Direct will be able to direct company searches that begin with the “+” symbol to its Google+ Pages page.
Businesses will also be able to benefit from “+1 recommendations” that come from Google+ users in the social networking platform, as well as integration with new ventures like Google Deals and Google Wallet, which will create opportunities for marketing cross-pollination across the growing Google network.
The overall impression is that business owners would be naïve to not take advantage of Google+ Pages, but many critics feel the effort still falls short of what Facebook offers businesses. There are inarguable advantages to Facebook’s tools and services, like its Events page and the optional ability for users to post on a business’s “Wall” page, but there are no guarantees these inequalities will last.
Setting the argument aside, it’s hard to gainsay the fact that Google will offer businesses the opportunity for more exposure. The rollout is in its infancy, and while the timing and lack of details have also drawn fire, experts are reluctant to predict in which direction Google will take the new technology. There are already several high-profile businesses making use of the platform, and more are likely to join.
In the end, the debate on which social networking platform is better for businesses will come around to the fact that marketers and business owners don’t have to choose between Google or Facebook, and that there is plenty of room for both … at least for now.
This article was written by James Madeiros, Staff Writer for Sparkplug Digital, a Seattle Digital Marketing company