Google launched it’s social network Google Plus (or Google+) in Summer 2011. While Google might be insisting it’s not a Facebook competitor, it allows you to do a lot of the same kind of things. I know I wasn’t alone in online marketing circles in thinking “Do we really want another social media profile to maintain?”. Happily, there was no facility for businesses to join Google+, so we were able to put it to one side and carry on.
That changed last week when Google launched the ability to create business pages on Google+. A number of top brands have set up their pages (Amazon, Burberry) while several more are currently in the process of setting up.
So should you be getting in there straight away?
In terms of marketing your business, then probably not. For now, it’s mostly early adopters (web geeks and marketing folk) on there and unless you’re targetting those customers it’s not going to bring any return in the near future. I’ve seen one comment that likens being on Google+ to “standing on my own in the middle of a football stadium”.
That said, it’s probably worth signing up and creating your business page. I’ve done this for Paprika Marketing (and so have others I’ve spoken to).
Impact on Google search results
What we are all waiting to see is the effect using Google’s social tools will have on search engine rankings. Unsurprisingly, Google are keeping very quiet. SEO experts think it is inevitable that Google will make use of this – but it’s too early to say what impact they will have.
So for now, my advice to small businesses would be:
- set up your page with some basic information
- concentrate your social media efforts on the sites which are currently well established
- keep reading this blog for more updates
Here’s a couple of more in depth articles if you want to read more: