M80 on google plus.pdf


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M80 on google plus.pdf

  1. 1. M80 on IntroductionGoogle+November 9, 2011 Brand pages launched on Google+ this week to great fanfare from the trade press and social media experts. Like user profiles on the network, there are not many functions offered to brands, but thats not the point. Google is pushing hard to be a player in social by deeply integrating its social tools into its strongest product - search - while making its own version of the social graph. This document serves to detail what the first version of Google+ offers brands, why brands might want to make a presence, and why they might want to hold off. Google+ Page Features Google has applied its new design language to the G+ pages to great effect. They might also look startingly familiar, as the pages layout and features mirror stripped-down Facebook pages. While Facebooks early visual design was always held to be calmingly tasteful compared to the typically loud designs on Myspace, there is a new king of minimalist design in social media. The Muppets Google+ and Facebook pages. Like the design, the features of Google+ pages are fairly minimal. • Facebook-style page elements. Seemingly based in the soon- to-be-updated Facebook brand page layout, the page elements echo the types of social media presences brands are already using. The Wall has become “Posts,” Info is “About,” Photos are “Photos” and Videos are “Videos.” M 80
  2. 2. • Making connections with consumers. While Google+ used Twitter’sM80 on “asymmetric” follow model so people can determine how closelyGoogle+ they want to share with others, the network took a consumer-November 9, 2011 oriented tack with brands creating connections with people. Users must first add a brand to their Circles before the brand can add them back – “follow strategies” alone will not drive audience growth, cutting down on spam and pushing brands to use organic brand building and paid methods to build Circles. • Segment consumers with Circles. One of Google+’s best tools for users – managing the content different groups of friends can view with Circles – has been ported as a tool for brands. Segmentation for the moment is manual, but as the platform matures, the ability to automatically and easily segment audiences should be rolled out. • “+(brand name)” direct traffic. Google tweaked its search engine and Chrome address bar mechanics to redirect traffic with the “+(brand name)” – a subtle feature, but one more way that Google is making things as easy and simple as possible to interact with G+. • Influence Google search results. Many SEO experts were ill at ease as Google announced this summer that +1’s (their version of the Facebook “Like”) will impact search results. This is a natural continuation of Google’s Panda update roll-out in 2011, where content farms’ and spammers’ sites were deprecated in favor of actual human-generated content, but the extent of +1’s impact isn’t fully understood. As brands get active on Google+, however, +1’s will naturally pile up and change the way brands are presented in search. Macys brand page launched on Google+s opening day. M 80
  3. 3. M80 on Why to Dive In to Google+Google+November 9, 2011 This document serves to detail what the first version of Google+ offers brands, why brands might want to make a presence, and why they might want to hold off. Today might be the right day for you to create a Google+ brand page. You may want to consider this if: • Your desired audience is early adopters. Explorers of early-stage social networks are keen to see the promises of these sites brought to life, and are willing to talk about brands in the space. They might not be loyal, but can drive the buzz you seek. • …or has expressed displeasure with the experience in your current presences. Let’s say your motorcycle brand’s choppers bring in big groups of fans on your Facebook page, but a vocal minority of fans of your street bikes are fans of your page, too. They’re both drawn to your brand, but ill-suited to be grouped together and not easily segmented on Facebook without a separate page. If various segments of your social audiences have emerged and proved to work better apart than together, migrating the smaller group to Google+ would provide an excellent opportunity to engage both groups directly and test activity on both networks. • You’ve established presences but are seeking a different tone, purpose or vibe. Brands operating in categories, like internet service providers and mobile device manufacturers, see daily that the social presences they’ve created can become negativity echo chambers – making consumers’ mildly bad feelings worse and blocking out whatever positivity they can generate. Starting from scratch on Google+ and segmenting users using the Circles feature can give the haters the space to vent and lovers the space to discuss what they like without being shouted down. Negative, off-topic responses to a mobile brands Facebook posts. M 80
  4. 4. • Hangouts makes sense for your brand. Want to drive engagementsM80 on with viewers after episodes of your TV show air? Have stars hop onGoogle+ your Google+ page and host hangouts. When your brand has public-November 9, 2011 facing people consumers want to interact with, Google Hangout is the ideal tool to host video chats. • You’re displeased with your current search traffic and want to test a new way to drive clicks. While Google+ and +1’s impact on search results is not fully understood, Google has made it clear that these will play a role in what searchers are served. Brands interested in getting a leg up on competition in the search space would be wise to make a move and integrate Google social tools in its owned and paid media. Why to Hold Off No matter what the trades say, brands dont necessarily need to rush into establishing presences on every social network as they arise. You will be wise to hold off on setting up a Google+ page if: • Your brand has limited resources and unaddressed priorities. In a perfect world, we’d all have unlimited budgets and a fully crossed-off to-do list. Given the limited budgetary and human resources available for brands’ social media efforts, holding until the next budget cycle or promotional period will give appropriate backing for a Google+ launch. • Your target audience is already engaged in social networks that your brand isn’t on. If you know that your audience is all over Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest and you’ve done nothing to address those communities, running into Google+ headfirst might not be your best bet without being sure the people you need to build a relationship with will materialize there. • This network is not a “sure thing.” Pundits from all corners are dubious about G+’s prospects to succeed as a social network. Whether the argument is “we don’t need to re-chart the social graph,” “Google squandered whatever interest it had this summer, we’re all bored now,” “It offers nothing special” or any other reason, the analysis shows valid doubts and builds buzz that will prevent consumers from rushing into participating on the network. M 80
  5. 5. M80 onGoogle+November 26, 2011 What This Means For Brands The boomlet of noise surrounding Google+ will yield buzz for and consumer engagement with the brands capitalizing on this feature launch, but there are serious, valid doubts about the long-term viability of the network. Should the Google+ audience build to become an active, vibrant community, Google’s tools for brands will no doubt provide an intelligent, modern set of features. M80 will continue to monitor and report on Google+ as its feature set and audience evolve. M 80