Some major companies have already joined the fray, including Fox News. While some businesses will no doubt be helped by a social media marketing agency, others will delve into the idea of having a proper business page by themselves. The good news is that Google+ business pages are not just open to major businesses – they are open to businesses of all sizes. The idea is that the pages will enable all businesses to interact with their audience and help build and strengthen their brand online with the help of Google+.
It is too early to tell whether the pages will be as successful as Google would no doubt like them to be. After an initial rush of traffic to the grand unveiling of Google+, many people seem to have lost interest and gone back to Facebook or to Twitter. But with privacy interests causing concern at Facebook, perhaps Google+ can get in on the action now it has launched the business pages.
Certainly there were many businesses that were eager to get in on the act at Google+ – so eager that they set up a personal profile because they didn’t want to wait. Now those profiles have been got rid of and many of them have set up a professional business profile instead.
But what do these profiles offer businesses? In all honesty the differences are slight. After a long wait for the profiles to become available, many people seem to be disappointed. It is early days for these pages and still for Google+, as a fledgling social network, but the initial response is not a particularly promising one. Some people seem to think that the main difference between the personal pages and the ones designed for businesses is that a business can use its business name. This contrasts with having to use a proper name of a person with a personal account.
But it is important to remember that Google+ is still finding its way in the arena of social networking. It has a long way to go to catch up with Facebook, which offers far more in the way of features and benefits for marketers and businesses of all sizes. But this doesn’t mean we should ignore Google+, far from it – it is still experiencing changes and updates and advances, so we should keep an eye out to see how it improves.
There is every chance that the business pages will be embraced by more users in the weeks and months to come. And if Google responds to the feedback from these users, we may end up with an even stronger page for businesses in the near future. We can but hope.