With the launch of Google+ Brand Pages yesterday, the internet is now full of reviews of the new social media channel, both scathing and praising.
I received some questions from clients asking whether they should be using Google+, what was the point, and what should they be posting, is it better to have +1′s or followers? To be honest at the moment, and with very little direction coming from Google – there is no correct answer!
I advised many to setup a Google+ Page (there are some very clear instructions on how to do this over at HubSpot) in their business name and populate it with some images and company information. At least this way if a user searches for them, they will appear.
For now, it is difficult to see whether brands are going to use Google+ as an extension of Facebook and post the same content, or whether they will be using it for completely different content.
It seemed like some super brands, with huge Facebook communities, were asking the same questions too. In the example below, ASOS.com seemed equally baffled by the purpose of Google+ Brand Pages, and yesterday asked their customers what they would like to see on the Google+ Page.
No one has yet offered a suggestion, and with 47 followers and 7 +1′s it seems the ASOS community don’t really care about Google+ at the moment. The brand continued to post messages similar to their Facebook offering, mentioning current offers.
Cadbury’s seemed more prepared for the launch of Google+, with a themed page using Google’s colours, the brand ran the first Google+ competition to win an exclusive chocolate bar in return for suggestions of how to use the Page.
MTV UK have decided to simply cross post their updates from Facebook into Google+. Is this technique going to work? Currently the same Michael Jackson story has received no engagement in Google+, but has gained 17 likes and 5 comments in Facebook.
It seems like currently no brand is using Google+ the ‘right way’. Every brand is testing out what works for their audience and what doesn’t. The most interesting phase will be the next few weeks to see whether user numbers remain, and whether brands receive positive levels of engagements from users. If not, then I really don’t see the point in another social media service unless it has something completely new to offer.
3 quick rants about Google +
1. The long URL’s look so ugly and are hard to share. Get vanity URL’s asap!
2. Google + is a wild west at the moment with many fake accounts being setup for top brands like Coca-Cola and Starbucks. How is this policed?
3. It’s frustrating to use with those of us with more than 1 Google account (I have quite a few for various clients… too many incognito tabs!)