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When it comes to investing time and resources into social networks, some businesses may have a hard time justifying diving into one when they are already satisfied with another. This holds true with the new Google+ pages – businesses want to know what makes them so special compared to Facebook pages.
Google+ pages have several advantages over Facebook pages. The following should convince you to at least give Google+ pages a try.
Direct Connection to Search Results
If you are concerned about your appearance in search, then Google+ pages might give you an advantage. One of the things Google+ is working on is a method to directly connect your website to your Google+ page through the use of a small piece of coding or badge on your website.
Once implemented, searchers will have the ability to follow your business’ Google+ page directly from search results. If you have a Google account, you may have already seen this in action with individual’s Google+ profiles as shown below.
In conjunction with the connection to Google+ pages is the display of the number of people who have +1’d (Google’s version of Facebook likes) your website. Simply by installing the Google +1 button on your site and getting +1’s from your fans will lead to a count below your place in search results showing your site’s popularity through social proof.
More Direct Interaction with Followers
If you are used to Facebook pages, one thing you know is that the only way you can interact with your fans is on your Facebook page itself – through wall posts, comments on photos or video, or in activity on your custom tabs. Google+ pages, on the other hand, offer interaction with your page’s followers beyond the activity on your page.
Whenever someone follows your page, you will see them in the People who’ve added you section of your profile.
Once someone adds your page to their circles (Google+’s way of allowing users to organize people / pages into groups) and is following you, you can interact directly with their profile updates as your page by commenting and +1ing (liking) their updates. They will even get notifications that your page has interacted with them.
This means that you can really connect with your followers and make little reminders of your business’s presence through your interactions without having to wait for them to interact with your page first.
Last, but not least, you can really target your messages to your following through the use of circles. As your page, you can add your followers to your circles and categorize them based on any criteria you choose. For example…
- You can create circles for your employees and send them messages to alert them of new social promotions you would like their help in sharing or other news. It’s a great way to communicate with remote employees, contractors, and freelancers.
- You can create circles for your partners to let them know of special product sales that they might be interesting in sharing with their audience as it involves their products.
- You can create circles for your top customers or even members of your loyalty program and share special discounts and coupon codes for members only.
- You can create circles for customers in specific regions and send them geo-location based status messages dependent on their location.
You can always send public updates that will be seen by anyone both following or not following your page, but with circles, you can make your messages even more targeted and relevant to a particular segment of your audience.
Google+ offers a service called Hangouts which allows you to connect with up to ten people in a chatroom connected via webcam. It’s a great way to let your customers join you for a session about your latest products or services. Google+ is also working on a more advanced system that will let the leader of a hangout share their desktop and present which could lead to an alternative to the current expensive webinar services. While you can share videos on Facebook, you can’t do anything more than host a live text chat with their platform.
This is only just the beginning. Google+ pages are still in development, which means there are even more features coming down the pipeline. What are your thoughts on the advantages to using Google+ pages over Facebook?