In the end Google got bullied into releasing Pages for organisations quite a lot earlier than expected. On their release yesterday they immediately offered companies a simple, easy to use alternative to the clutter of Facebook Pages. But why shift to Google+ when you’ve invested so much into your Facebook presence? Here are 5 reasons to make the move:
Your Google+ page will rank better
Despite assurances that Google won’t bias search results in favour of it’s own pages (which may just be lip service to the anti-trust case regulations they are subject to), I’m convinced that Google+ Pages will rank better than Facebook Pages in natural search results. Perhaps personalised search may be the back door through which they do this – i.e. if you’re connected on Google+, your page will automatically appear high up in the search results of your Google+ connections when they search for terms related to your company.
“Direct Connect” will make finding and connecting to your company much easier
Google are implementing a change to their search engine algorithm that means when you search for “+companyname” you will bypass the search results page and simply land straight on their Google+ Page. Using the primary search too of 60% of web users as a front door to your company page is likely to increase the number of people following your company. Facebook have no such feature.
While Facebook have tried to offer better insights and analytics, everyone knows that Google Analytics is a much better tool. When they extend this into Google+ it will become an irresistible package for most small and medium sized businesses who are already familiar with the interface and features.
It’s content driven
Let’s face it, most companies aren’t inherently “social”. We can’t all have wonderful social brands that people want to engage with and wear our logo on their sleeves. That said, most of us can and do produce interesting content for the people that are interested in us. Once we had to write blogs or send email newsletters. Then we asked people to follow us on Facebook (and they got fed up with too much chatter). Now we can simply direct people to follow us on Google+ for high-value content only.
It’s got a local dimension
One of the things Facebook has never managed to do is offer a genuinely local dimension. Local Google+ Pages enable organisations to create a Google+ Page through which people can connect with an organisation’s physical location. At the moment this just means having a map, opening hours and contact details, but once they integrate this with local deals, advertising and perhaps local networks, it could become a powerful marketing tool for businesses that rely on trade within a 30 mile radius.
Have I missed anything? Or do you wildly disagree? I know Google+ is still tiny compared to Facebook – so that’s a big reason to phase your shift (perhaps), but I do genuinely see Google+ as a major player in the “social business” space that deserves your attention.