The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived: Google+ finally launched brand pages. Since these pages are so new, we thought we’d compile a list of five major points you should know about them.
1. Pages have direct connect with Google search
This is the feature that really sets Google+ pages apart from Facebook pages: the search integration. A major difficulty with using Facebook for social media marketing is that people aren’t there to buy things. An advantage of a Google+ page is its integration with Google’s web search function, and the ability to “direct connect”. What does that mean? It means if a consumer wants to find a brand’s Google+ page, all they have to do is type “+brandname” into Google to be taken directly to that page. Some steps you can take to help Google set up direct connect: add your business URL to your Google+ page, add a Google+ badge to your website, or incorporate this piece of code into your site.
2. Pages cannot switch or assign multiple administrators (yet)
If you’re thinking of setting up a Google+ page for your brand, make sure the person who sets it up is the person you have (or want) in charge of your social media efforts. As of this posting, Google has not created a way to shift ownership of the page from one user to another. There also isn’t the capability for multiple page administrators. Google has said that this is just temporary, but you’ll still want to make sure that whoever has the initial responsibility for the page is the person you want to be stuck with the page.
3. Practically anyone can set up a page
Although the terms of service for a Google+ page state that they must be created by people “with authority over the subject matter”, this still leaves plenty of room for duplicate pages, unofficial fan pages, or even fake brand pages. The general assumption is that Google will crack down on fake and duplicate pages, but they could also go the way Twitter did (they have official guidelines for parody and fan accounts).
4. Pages have different options for local businesses/places
Like Facebook fan pages, Google+ allows you to select a category for your page when you’re first creating it. The options are similar no matter what you choose, with the exception of one: local business or place.
If your business is already in Google Places, all you have to do is type in your business phone number to get started. If not, you have to add your business to Google Places to get started (although if you’re tech-savvy enough to want to set up a Google+ page, this shouldn’t take you very long). After you type in the phone number associated with your business, your physical location will show up as part of your new page.
5. Pages can’t play games
Oh no! That’s right, your new Google+ page is pretty cool, but there are some things it cannot do. For example, it has a +1 button on it, but your page cannot +1 other pages or interesting articles on the rest of the internet. Check out Google’s short article for more information on the differences between Google+ pages and profiles.