Are Google Plus Pages a Plus for Business?

Google + Pages

What is a Social Media Manager to do?

I knew this was coming, but I’ve been so busy creating Google Places Pages and Facebook Fan Pages for clients that I’ve been negligent posting nuggets of social media insights to my own blog. Google’s recent announcement has broken my silence.

As a Social Media Manager my first question is, how many places can businesses expect customers and consumers to visit to be engaged with their brand? With Personal Facebook Pages and Facebook Business Pages having such a lead in the social media arena, participating in and following two basically parallel communications channels seems like a lot to ask. That being said, the fact that Google has done this practically demands that companies and their social media managers quickly get their Google+ Page up and optimized pronto!

A Local Business Google Place Page and Google Business Page Too?

I guess the answer is yes! One of the five categories in which one can create a Google+ Page is “Local Business or Place.” (The others are Product or Brand, Company, Institution or Organization, Arts, Entertainment or Sports, and Other.) Although it would seem redundant, there is a difference. Currently a Place page provides information about a business and makes it easy for customers to find a local business on Google Maps and local search. A Google+ Page will “provide business owners with additional ways to engage, build relationships, and interact directly with customers.” However, right now there isn’t any support for automatically posting to a page in the way people can with Twitter and Facebook, using both native and third-party tools. Much like the only reviews that appear on a Google Places page are those that are posted on that page, the only way to post on a Google+ Page is to do it through your Google Business account. And the only way to follow a Google Business Page is to add it to your “Google Circles.” See a pattern here?

I hope to get back to blogging on a regular basis very soon, but now I guess I’ve got to go and start building Google+ Pages!

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