Google + launches Facebook-style brand pages

Just when you thought you had social media marketing taped, Google + adds to the SMM burden by launching dedicated pages for brands, just like Facebook. 

On one hand it’s a complete groan. Yet another all-singing, all-dancing social media presence to keep fresh and gather followers for. For goodness sake.

On the other hand it’s another handy way for people to recommend the brands they love.

Google + brand pages functionality

  • Recommend brands by using the +1 button
  • Add companies to your plus one ‘Circles’ and keep up to date with what they’re up to
  • Chat with brand staff members over Google + via their multi-person video tool, called ‘Hangouts’
  • Add your favourite brands to your Circles straight from Google’s search results, AKA ‘Direct Connect’

But what do you do, as a small business, when you only have a limited amount of marketing time to set aside for social stuff?

It’s difficult. On one hand Google is obviously taking social signals into account in the search results. On the other hand social isn’t the only marketing fruit. And it isn’t particularly low-hanging fruit either. Making SMM return a profit is a proper marketing challenge and social media deserve careful handling.

Google+ has gathered over 40 million members so far since launching their trial in summer 2011. It’s here to stay. And because Google Plus – unlike Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – originates from the planet’s most popular search engine, it might be your best long term social media marketing bet. Only time will tell.

On balance I’ve decided to stick with my existing tactics: Pick a couple of social media and stick with them. There’s no marketing value in spreading yourself so thin you can’t make a decent impact.