Why you should care about Google + brand Pages

December 20, 2011

When Google+ launched it was about connecting people on a personal level, but the search engine giant always maintained that they would be launching a solution for brands to promote themselves on the platform.

In November 2011 Google finally unveiled brand pages for Google+, allowing businesses and brands to join Google’s social network.

So why should your brand care about Google+ pages? Initially it would seem there is little difference from Facebook. Google+ brand pages are similar to Facebook in both appearance and layout. However, it’s been claimed that Google+ is not a Facebook ‘killer’ but is rather an evolution.

So, while Facebook may be at the centre of the social world, Google is positioned firmly at the centre of the business world – and a closer look at Google+ reveals added benefits that will help businesses make closer connections with their audience.

For these reasons, and because of its unique features, businesses must seriously consider establishing their presence on the channel. While at this early stage Google+ pages are where businesses interact with early adopters and Facebook is where you interact with everyone else (Facebook boasts 800 million users, while Google claims around 50 million) there is a lot to suggest this could well change in the future.

Here are our top 3 reasons why brands should consider using Google+ brand pages:

Demonstrates commitment to innovation and offers unique features to engage

 Launching a Google+ brand page now will help set your brand apart, marking you out as an early adopter – and puts you in a stronger position than your competitors. It also demonstrates your willingness to be innovative within your field and shows you are ready to engage with your audience on the latest platforms.

While Google+ pages at first appear very similar to Facebook there are a range of key differences – not just in terms of appearance (though Red Bull’s use of Gifs in their page is worth taking a look at) but in terms of the unique functionality which allows you to engage with fans in new and powerful ways.

One of the main features of Google+ is Circles which allows users to group followers in specific categories. While it may appear initially a challenge (you can’t add a person to a brand page’s circles unless he has first added your brand page to his circles), once you have won the right to be in a person’s Circle you can create lasting bonds with the pages (and people) that matter most by sending targeted, relevant messages to niche audiences sets.

Google+ Hangouts offer brands another unique feature, allowing them to hang out with followers or customers through video chat. This is a great feature for customer service for example and could potentially also be used to host live events.

Brands can also use competitions to build engagement. While currently, Google+’s content and promotion policies page states you cannot run promotions DIRECTLY on your Google+ page, you may link to a separate site (such as your website or blog) that promotes your competition.

Google is also adding a feature that will allow users to “check-in” via the Google+ mobile application in order to receive time-sensitive deals or discounts. This feature is mentioned in Google Places’s Help documentation, but has not yet been made available to business owners using the Google Places service.

As Google continues to build on its initial model and offers brands greater and more compelling ways to engage with their audience we will see a rise in its effectiveness as a way to drive traffic, raise brand awareness, increase audience reach and engage with your audience in more powerful ways.

The Google App-roach

The vast reach of Google and its range of apps will allow you to reach and engage with its huge existing audience base – this offers almost limitless potential.

Apps such as Gmail, Google Maps, Chrome and YouTube – to name just a few – are tools that many online users make use of everyday — and can be tied back to Google+. By aligning Google+ with these platforms extends the reach of the platform and by extension your brand page.

We are already beginning to see opportunities arise – Google is using social to integrate their apps, providing a personalised approach and helping to drive users through to Google+ and enabling users to easily share content with friends.

YouTube is a great example. The deep Google+ integration has seen Google add a YouTube search tab along the top right edge of each Google+ screen. Plus, when logged into Google all the subscriptions and channels you follow are organised into a left sidebar, which makes it easier to see videos that are shared from people within your social circles on Google+. When users search for a video, they now see a pop-up video player and playlist of related videos, and each one can be +1’ed and shared with the user’s Circles.

Google has also created integrations with Google Reader and Chrome. As they add to this they are increasing the opportunities for brands to drive people to their Google+ pages – and this is a great benefit for brands. It means as Google+ grows it will be able to further promote its social network — and the branded pages within it — in ways that are inaccessible to Facebook or Twitter


Being the largest search engine in the world certainly gives Google a massive advantage – one which they are taking advantage of. This is where Google has a competitive advantage over Facebook. That’s because creating an engaging brand experience on your Google+ page will help improve your search rankings.

Now that users can +1 your brand (the equivalent of a “Like” on Facebook), your + 1 will begin to affect the rating and placement of your brand in the search results, especially Google’s.  Google’s Product Management Director Dennis Troper said Google will add up all +1 button clicks — from brands’ pages for Google+, websites, and search results — and the single total will be used to determine relevancy in Google’s search ranking results.

Google.com attracts over 1 billion unique visitors per month so this is obviously a massive benefit for brands and by implementing a strategy that is focused on keywords and optimising all relevant terms, brands can use Google+ to really benefit their search engine rankings.

Google is also debuting a feature called “Direct Connect” so that users who type “+” in front of a company’s name in Google’s search field will be connected directly to the company’s Google+ Page, if there is one.

Google + Brands = audience growth

While Google+ is still in its relative infancy it is clear that it has grown at an impressive pace and offers brands new and compelling ways to reach their audience.  With such a huge range of apps and platforms at their disposal and a willingness to integrate these in social ways, Google is showing that it can challenge Facebook and provide brands with the tools and data they need to target their audience – which means you need to be there to talk to them.


Comments are closed.