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Google+ Brand Pages
 

Google+ Brand Pages

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    Google+ Brand Pages Google+ Brand Pages Document Transcript

    • Google+ Brand Pages Point-Of-View Published by: iProspect November 2011
    • BACKGROUND When Google+ launched in the summer of 2011, many brands, companies and groups rushed to establish a foothold in the new search-centric social media platform. Google, intending the current platform to only be used by individuals, deleted all accounts intended for brands or groups rather than individuals, and encouraged these groups to not attempt to set up Google+ pages again until they had established structures specifically for these kinds of profiles. Google used several large brands in beta tests of these pages, but the program has remained closed to further brands, and Google has continued to delete non-individual accounts since their announcement of this policy. Since its launch, Google+ has grown to 43 million registered users, growing faster than Facebook, Twitter, or other prominent social networks. Its further integration of +1 (the Google equivalent of a Facebook like button) into both Google+ and paid and natural listings in its search results brings the promise of integrating social media into its search results in a similar way that Bing has integrated Facebook likes, as well as a potential algorithm element. While its engagement levels and exact weighting of +1’s on search algorithms are unknown, we anticipate that as the SERPs continue to evolve, this will become yet another factor in determining the credibility of an entity. While considerations should be made for other channels, we expect the largest impact will be with Natural Search and the Brand’s approach to Social Media. Google+ for businesses After several months’ wait, Google+ has finally made these pages available for businesses to use. The profiles themselves are a truncated version of individual profiles, lacking a number of mechanisms to add further information about the brand and its presence on other social networks. Without being specific about their timing or nature, Google has stated that there are further changes coming, which can only improve and increase the level of content and integration with other channels. Examples of currently active Google+ Brand Pages include:  All American Rejects  The Muppets*  Anderson Cooper 360  Pepsi  Angry Birds  Phoenix Suns  Barcelona Football Club  Save the Children  Burberry  Special Report with Bret Baier  Dallas Cowboys  Toyota  Good Morning America  Train  H&M  WWE IMPACT :: NATURAL SEARCH Much like Facebook pages and other social media profiles, the natural search value of Google+ Brand Pages is anticipated to be largely for high-level branded terms, rather than a significant opportunity for nonbrand outreach. This is more so with Google+ pages, due to much less customization and information fields being available to Google+ Brand Pages than on Facebook. In addition, users have the ability to +1 the brand’s Google+ page from its profile page but, at this time, a +1 here does not translate to a +1 of the brand’s site. iProspect sees this as a natural next step for Google, especially given their efforts to integrate Google+, +1’s, and search results, and once available will likely add indirect search value to the profile pages, but these remain unconnected at this time. Links out from Google+ pages, as noted in our prior POV, are do-follow, a marked difference from most other social networks,Copyright © 2011 iProspect, Inc. All Rights Reserved. »2
    • which either utilize nofollow tags, re-directs, or registration walls to prevent the potential for link spam by leaving outbound links with their full potential value. However, all internal links are nofollow, meaning that to build up any significant value for these links, for example, to pages on your own website, brands will need to build external links to their business pages. Based on the available initial pages and our prior experience in social implications of SEO, iProspect recommends the following:» Secure a Google+ Brand Page for all relevant brands. At a bare minimum, this will assist in owning search results for your brand name. For brands running product feeds or claiming locations, having a profile may eventually become a requirement, similar to needing to set up Webmaster accounts for product feed campaigns – so having one in place early will remove the need to set one up later, while netting the benefits of having a presence.» Complete all available information fields, especially the opportunities to link to your website(s). Tie the account to your site’s ecommerce domain.» If you post, post regularly, mimicking activity and content approaches used on Facebook rather than Twitter, given the lack of character limits and additional multimedia opportunities. These posts will be indexed by Google, and thus can represent opportunities to build out a presence on long-tail keywords (again, most likely on branded terms).» Link to your Google+ Brand Page from your website and other content sources that you control, in order to build up its link authority and offer the opportunity to connect fans to you in one more place.» Continue to look for opportunities to include +1 buttons on your content, similar to and/or in the same fashion as Facebook Like buttons, in addition to your efforts with the new Google+ structures.» Stay alert for further changes as Google is likely to continue to roll out changes. Major potential upgrades to be prepared for and aware of include: o Methods to verify / tie the Google+ Page to a domain, which could mean a way to significantly lift the profile of both your site and your Google+ page. o Inclusion of other social media profiles for your business, similar to those structures available on individual user profiles. o Opportunities to include content already being passed to Google, such as locations or product feeds. IMPACT :: SOCIAL MEDIA Google+ Brand Pages provide brands with an unprecedented way to connect with consumers as it enables brands to not only segment their connections but also by tailor their messaging to different circles or segments. This enables the message to be more meaningful. Additionally features like Google Hangout enable brands to foster better interaction opportunities with their customers. For example, a luxury retailer could invite a stylist in to give beauty tips for the holidays, thus providing even more value to the consumer segment. Providing true value to your audience is at the core of any successful social brand/consumer social relationship, and Google+ Brand Pages and functionality that Google+ has, offers a unique way for brands to achieve it. The true advantage of Google+ will be a brands ability to segment their target audience and provide unique value. Brands that take the time to truly think through their current segmentation strategy, understand the social value derived from these specific segments and build a content and communication plan around Google + will ultimately be the most successful. If your brand is participating in the social environment, then you must have a social media monitoring and moderation solution in place. This does not change with Google+ Brand Pages – in fact, it becomes more essential than ever given the collective power of the Google service offerings. For example, wall postings and comments will now be associated with branded search results , and with these elements also being indexed separately, they have a chance to have strong visibility in search results for frequently-searched brand terms. ACopyright © 2011 iProspect, Inc. All Rights Reserved. »3
    • negative or positive review on Facebook might be seen largely by people that are already fans of your brand. That same review on Google could find itself at the top of search results (or, at least, as part of a page that’s at the top of Google search results) in front of millions of people who search for your brand every year. While managing brand reputation and risk is at the forefront of social media monitoring, the true value lies with the insights drawn from monitoring the social conversations about your brand across the web. With the introduction of Google+, social media monitoring is more important than ever as brands need to understand how best to build out a content and communication strategy to maximize success across Google+ Brand Pages.» Secure a Google+ Brand Page – brands should secure G+ name and establish their presence with correct info including website URL, twitter handle, FB page and other ways folks can connect with the brand until they have the page up and running.» Know your audience – While this is a basic recommendation, it’s important to know the different audiences you focus on so you can set up your circles, and are thus able to connect the right content to the right audience.» Utilize as a social channel – Like Facebook and Twitter, brands should be sure to utilize this channel to engage with their audience and not just set it up and leave. Consumers are looking to connect with a brand and be exposed to valuable content. Until a brands g+ strategy is set, they should consider monitoring and moderating g+ like they do fb, twitter and other social sites. If a brand is looking to get started quickly with g+ but need help with page monitoring, and engaging, iProspect can help. CONSIDERATIONS WITH OTHER CHANNELS Paid Search and Display Media Today, leveraging Google+ as a paid advertising outlet is not a particularly rich target, however, it does have the potential to be depending on how Google evolves the platform over time as does the +1 concept that these new development are likely to touch on.» Link your Adwords Account to your Google+ brand page – This allows +1’s that are accrued from paid search, the Google Display Network and natural search to be credited to the Google Brand Page’s +1 count as well thus ensuring a holistic measurement of this metric and potentially the page’s ranking capabilities.» Google+ Pages as landing pages – While we expect that Brand Pages will carry a higher quality score than Facebook pages, they do not immediately seem to be potentially lucrative target pages for paid advertising.» Adopt the +1 – Include the “+1” button on all creative concepts in order to enable it to show on ads in the Google Display Network so that users have the opportunity to “+1” through display media, improving a site’s overall number of +1’s In addition, while it is possible that Google will add paid ads to these pages in a contextual manner, given the challenges and potential for branding issues iProspect does not foresee this being an addition any time soon. Attribution and Tracking The Google+ Brand Page is another example of the ever growing complexity of the digital space. Engagement paths are unique to each brand, and so in order to understand its place in a given brand’s ecosystem iProspect recommends monitoring user behavior from visitors referred by Google+ by paying close attention to referring sources in your analytics package. Additionally, the introduction of Google+ into the overall mix likely means further integration of all Google products into the social graph. Further integration means more traffic insights, more advanced targeting options, thus leading to more complex and rich attribution models.Copyright © 2011 iProspect, Inc. All Rights Reserved. »4
    • CONCLUSION The roll out of Google+ pages provides yet another opportunity to connect with your customers online. However, like any marketing program and especially social execution it’s important to understand your target market in order to most effectively connect with them in this new channel. While iProspect sees the impact as most significant within Natural Search and Social Media, this move by Google only further underscores the importance of being strategic and integrating your marketing efforts across channels, to enable your brand to be more visible in Google.Copyright © 2011 iProspect, Inc. All Rights Reserved. »5