Yeah, we started one of the new Google+ “Pages” for our company. But we have no idea what we’re going to do with it, how we’re going to use it, if we’re going to use it, or why, really, we even chose to make one. We aren’t recommending any company or organization bother with a Google+ Page at this point, but it felt like something we had to do just because.
This week Google introduced Pages for its “+” service, allowing brands big and small to join the social networking community and interact with the advertised 40 million people there. Many of those, however, aren’t major users, and are just sitting there, dormant, because they got an invite a few months back when this whole shindig began.
For now, we’ve largely written off Google+ after an initial wave of excitement. To be sure, there are some people there who have kept up with it over the past few months. And they may turn out to be a great social network’s pioneers. But for us, and for most, G+ is just too close to Facebook, which went through its own set of great changes and essentially introduced many of the same features that Google+ considered its own – the stuff that would set it apart.
The features on Google+ today are really no different than the things you can do on Facebook, where 800 million of your friends and enemies are already located.
So, back to Pages. If you know how they work on Facebook, G+’s are largely the same, with a few minor tweaks:
- Businesses and brands can update and share information with their “fans,” which are simply in an organization’s “Circle” on Google+. Pages can’t add people to Google+ Circles, just as Pages can’t add people as friends on Facebook. You can also “Like” a page, but not subscribe to it, by hitting Google’s becoming-more-famous +1 button on the Page.
- You cannot run contests or sweepstakes on a G+ Page. You can link out to them, but you can’t host them on Google.
- When you hit the “+” sign in the Google search bar followed by the name of a business or group, and that business or group has a Page, you’ll be able to add that Page to your Circles.
Where Google+ may shine with its social products – eventually, and only “maybe, if it succeeds” – is on search. Anything you put on a G+ site – be it your personal profile or your company’s Page – will begin to show up in search rankings. And that could be cool, particularly for those small brands that are trying anything to get their name out.
But still, with very few actually using Google+ and still loyal to the old standbys that we all know and use, that day is likely far off. If ever.
And so, we’ll continue to maybe, someday, actually get around to testing out our G+ page.