Thursday, November 17, 2011

Welcome To Google+ Biz Pages: Now What?

So, I happily created my Google+ Business pages the moment I was able. The process was relatively easy and they were up and running in no time.

Now, if people would just use them I'd feel alright about it.

The fact is, while Google+ might have more than 50 million users I have the feeling the majority of those users are marketers, Google fans and early adopters; not the regular everyday folks I hope to reach with my social media network. This is a problem.
Google+ is great, don't get me wrong. It is no worse than Facebook, definitely, but not much better either. The fact is, I just don't know how many social media networks we need.

And I don't like the color. White on white with a few primary colors thrown in for good measure--ick.

The Google+ features that most of the early adopters love, Circles and Hangouts, just confuse the heck out of everyday folks. When I talk to people via my Facebook page about what they think of Google+ I inevitably get the response, "too confusing" or "nobody's on there" both of which are valid. Circles are great if you have hundreds of contacts that you need to separate and divide into specific categories. But if all you want is a way to communicate with your friends and family, Circles are too much work for such a simple task.

Hangouts? That's what social media is--a place to hangout and chat with friends. Why did they re-invent the wheel?

Again, I don't personally have a problem with Google+ (except for the horrible color scheme) but I can empathize with the people who do. Google+ needs to appeal to everyone if it hopes to grow beyond a specialty service. Otherwise it will primarily become a tool just for Google features users and marketers. Which means it will be avoided by just about everyone else.

For basis of comparison, 94 percent of the Top 100 brands have a presence on Facebook. BrightEdge says that only 12 percent of the brands that created these pages displayed a link to them on their home page. About 53 percent of the Top 100 brands display a link on their home page to their Facebook page. And brands appear to be having mixed success at building social networks around their Google+ presence. In fact, Google had the largest fan contingent of any brand on Google+, having attracted more than 65,000 fans.

But other consumer brand stalwarts like Coke, McDonalds and Verizon had only dozens of fans (but have millions of Facebook fans). In fact, a review of Facebook and Google+ properties for all 100 brands showed a collective total of almost 300 million Facebook fans for these top brands, compared to approximately 148,000 Google+ followers for these same brands.

Of course, in Google search, Google+ brand pages seem to be performing well. The BrightEdge analysis showed Google+ pages on average appeared in the top 12 Google search results for the corresponding brand, while the brand’s Facebook pages on average appeared in the top 13 or 14 listed results.

Click here to read more about Google+ Business pages.

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