Posted November 7, 2011 5:14 pm by with 8 comments

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It’s been a long time coming and now it’s finally here. . . sort of. Google+ is now rolling out pages for businesses and brands but you can’t start building just yet.

Their announcement blog post is all full of warm and fuzzy feelings about how Google+ Pages will allow business to connect with the people who love them on a deeply meaningful level.

Here’s my favorite line:

“Not only can they recommend you with a +1, or add you to a circle to listen long-term. They can actually spend time with your team, face-to-face-to-face.”

Only Google would consider an online comment typed on to a virtual page to be “face-to-face’ contact.

Semantics aside, Google+ Pages is good news for every marketer. It’s another chance to reach out to current customers and potential clients in a landscape that hasn’t yet been sullied by an overflow of information.

Right now, there are only a few live Pages from big brands such as Toyota, Pepsi and WWE. You’ll also find The Muppets preparing for their holiday movie launch, and oddly Tyra Banks is there with her fantasy novel Modelland. Sports teams, bands and news magazine fill out the opening list and it’s a nice mix. Something for everyone.

When will it open up to the rest of the world? All they’re saying is “soon”, which could be in the next two days, so keep checking this link: ETA: Looks like the doors are now open. Give it a try

Direct Connect

In order to make finding Google+ Pages easier than ever, Google has added a direct connect element from Google Search. All you do is type a plus sign then the name of the business or brand. For example +Toyota, takes you straight to Toyota’s new Google+ Page.

Right now it works for an even more limited number of pages, but the intention is clear: Google is out to put Facebook in its rear-view mirror. Six months ago, I thought it would take a miracle for anyone to trump Facebook, but now I believe it could happen.

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What Google+ has that Facebook doesn’t, is a sense of camaraderie. I can’t say exactly why I feel that way, but I do. Maybe it’s the smaller number of people currently using the site or the ease of sharing and connecting. All I know is that once Google+ Pages if fully implemented, I’ll be spending a lot more time in their playground and a lot less time visiting my old friend Facebook.

What do you think? Is Google+ something fresh and new or is it just on it’s way to becoming a Facebook clone?

  • Stu B

    Just an observation but by “face to face” I believe they mean hangouts as implied by the video showing the bike shop owner talking with customers in a google+ hangout… so yes technically there is face to face interaction via web conferencing…

    • anon

      Yes, that’s what they meant by that.

      • Cynthia Boris

        Sorry, but I still don’t feel that video face to face is the same as “face to face”

  • While the hangouts will give the video “face to face” the handshake still wins with regard to truly connecting with someone wouldn’t you agree?

  • Adi

    Ugh, yet another social platform to master. Really hope this dies a death. It’s bad enough Google dominate search without them dominating social as well.

    • @Adi – I would say that domination of social by Google is unlikely and is probably not even their goal. Their goal is the integration of their disparate pieces into a more unified ecosystem that people will use to manage tasks across the board. It is really a play for the future of the company because there are considerable threats to search. Not so much from competition but more from end user habits changing.

  • I think it is very fresh. The only catch is that no one I know is really engaging with it yet. The masses are yet to migrate seriously. The only people are the techorati’s like you all here on this blog.

    It is only when I see all my friends on google+ that I think will offer true value for businesses and brands.

    I’ve blogged about the rise of Google+ before and I think I’ve just written another post!

  • Wow this is exciting, i am imagining that in terms of usage by by businesses it is going to have more similarities to LinkedIn than that of Facebook or Twitter, at least originally. I expect as it is Google it will only grow and develop in popularity.