First Impressions of Google Plus Pages for Business

Everyone is talking about Google+ these days… Scratch that…  All of the talking heads are mentioning Google+ and how none of the real users (the non digital marketing crowd) are using it.  Thus, many experts are saying that Google+ is doomed.  However, Google has managed to boost some recent hype for themselves by opening up the social network to all users.  The initial spike in users was exciting at first, but then as time went on, Google+ looked more like a ghost town than a social gathering.  Again, experts said that Google+ was failing.

The platform itself, is really ingenious.  If you ask me, it’s like switching from Windows to Apple.  Everything becomes more simple, dumbed down, and easier to organize and customize to your liking.  The tools in Google+ are streamlined and easy to use.  The stream (news feed) is easy to digest whether it be a status update, shared link, or photo upload.  In short, this is an awesome product that is having an extremely hard time getting users to jump ship to join the conversation on their social turf.

Here comes Google’s next plan of attack

Google+ has recently opened up the network to businesses by providing them with “Google Pages.”  Yes, it sounds and is very similar to Facebook Pages.  The idea of Facebook and Google Pages is that it provides a place for regular users (people) to interact with the brands they love.  It is a way for peers to help each other by promoting a local service, an amazing product, or maybe warn off a few people with a bad experience.  There’s no doubt about it; peer reviews are becoming more important to the user experience on the internet.  This might be where Google can edge out the competition.  However, will businesses bring people to Google+, or should people bring businesses to Google+?

I took 10 minutes out of the end of my day to take a look and see what the fuss was all about by building a page for myself.

Here’s what you have to do in order to sign your business up for a Google+ Page:

1. You might notice the new icon on the bottom right of your personal Google+ account.  This is where the fun begins.
2. You select the type of business you are creating the page to represent.  The descriptions are easy to understand, and the setup is extremely smooth. Google+ Pages Type of Business
3. You fill out basic information about your business.  There is an easy to use, and versatile, photo uploader that allows you to add a little creativity to your profile image.  Again, this setup process is extremely smooth and easy. Google+ Pages Profile Setup
4. Make a few posts as usual, and now you have a live Google+ Page for your business.  Of course, the one I just created is fairly void of information (and fans) so it looks pretty bare. Google+ Pages Profile Final

Google’s answer to Facebook Pages is impressive. There is no doubt in my mind that this will play out into Google Reviews on Google Places and how we interact with search. Google has been focusing a lot of time and energy on algorithm updates for their local searches and social media’s impact on search. However, I still believe that it is too early for most businesses to jump over to Google+. The same problem still remains… Your fans are still using Facebook and Twitter; not Google+ (for now.)


**Edit November 8, 2011** It might be too soon to spend time and energy on your Google Plus Page at this point, but there is still a lot of value in reserving the page and URL.  If you are going to do anything about Google Plus Pages, go ahead and reserve your business’s spot.