We know you don’t want yet another platform to put your brand on with Twitter and Facebook being enough to keep up with, but Google doesn’t seem to think so. So should you spread yourself even thinner than you already are? Take a look at this Google+ brand page breakdown from by Information Architect, Micah France, and Social Media Manager, Andy DeBrunner, of the B2B Insights Blog and determine for yourself whether you should create a page for your B2B company:
“Search & “Direct Connect” (Andy)
Probably the biggest factor in the “definitely create a G+ page no matter what” column would be its effect on search. Google has created a function that they call “direct connect” which enables people to search for brands that are on G+ directly from a traditional Google search. Confused? Check out the video below. But I believe direct connect is only the tip of the iceberg. The real power for Google here is to control organic search results and point them in the direction of brands that have G+ pages.
While I cannot confirm their plans to incorporate G+ brand pages into their traditional search algorithm, I have seen it firsthand with my own name. Almost immediately after creating my G+ profile, it was on the first page of Google search results and it’s now the second result. This seems pretty apparent to me that they are showing a clear preference to my G+ profile as a search result and they could easily do the same for brand pages.
If Google decides to highlight G+ profiles in search results, similar to what it did with place pages for local businesses, it will likely force any reluctant brands to join simply for the search benefits alone. Though this is a little far-fetched, if that happens a 6 month old Google+ page with a lot of relevant content from a small company could theoretically outrank a 20 year old website from a household name in the Google results page.
Engagement (Micah)
Another reason to consider moving into Google+ is engagement. Engagement on Google+ is higher than what is typically seen on Twitter and Facebook. This means that followers on Google+ are more likely to comment and share information than on Twitter and Facebook. Sometimes a Google+ post with a link to an article will have more comments attached to it than the actual article page. This high interaction rate is a great opportunity to engage, but it means that Google+ must be considered a two-way channel of communication rather than just a new platform to broadcast your message. This is true of all social media, but even more so on Google+. Do not create a Google+ page if you don’t have someone who can monitor and respond to user interaction. Google will know what kind of Google+ page you are running, and like some digital Santa Claus they may reward you if you are nice and give you a lump of coal if you are not.
Low Adoption Rate (Andy)
Despite being the fastest growing social network in history, Google+ has not exactly replaced Facebook and Twitter in terms of where people like to spend their time. At least not for most people anyway. But one key difference in the culture on G+ is the tendency for particular groups to form naturally around a handful of leaders in an industry. The result is not too much unlike a message board, where the same groups of people follow and comment on the same topics. The value here is if your particular topic gains a following, you can develop a solid reputation and increase awareness relatively quickly.”
B2B businesses need to take Google+ seriously. If participating on Google+ isn’t a good fit for your business today, you should at least start to plan for Google+ in your future. Google is committed to Google+ and is likely to incorporate it more into search, so a Google+ profile for your business is probably inevitable.