Google+ launched brand pages yesterday to some fanfare and it seems that once more people are hailing it as the next big thing, the Facebook killer. Even people who were but yesterday decrying the death of the social networking site, scoffing at the 50 million users as inactive and essentially calling Google plus dead in the water, another failed Google project. Funny how fickle the social media expert crowd is when shiny new features are involved.
Brands can now create brand pages for their brands. Great. Whilst marketers are now having crisis meetings with clients who demanding to know whether they should create a Google plus page and how it fits into their social media strategy (surely they’re not just creating accounts for the sake of it?), most people are probably thinking, awesome, more companies in my stream.
So what should your brand be doing on Google plus?
If you are struggling to answer that question then perhaps the answer us nothing. And that’s a perfectly acceptable answer.
If you still want to something, like a child with a shiny new toy, then stop and think. Answer some questions:
- Do you have a Facebook and Twitter page?
- Do they have a large fan base?
- Is my audience on Google+? Will they be?
- Do you have enough budget for another channel?
- If you start maintaining a Google plus page, what resources will you have to take away from Facebook, Twitter etc? Time, money, content? How will that affect the users on those channels?
- What can you do on Google plus that you can’t do elsewhere?
- What are you going to use Google plus for long term?
Gimmicks make for quick growth, but once the novelty wears off, if there isn’t a sustainable approach to content you’ll be left with a dead page, and no one likes that.
That’s not to say no one should be creating brand pages on Google, the different feature set should allow some innovative new marketing opportunities for the early adopting brands. Hangouts for example allow for countless opportunities for brand with celebrity endorsements. Pop up gigs for fans, crowd sourced interview etc. And there is certainly some value in the idea that people can over think the strategy, spending weeks and months making a decision. If you can do something awesome and are confident you can follow it up with continued awesome, then a certain line of thinking says do it. Fortune does favour the bold. But make sure it really is awesome. And recognise that you’re not just doing a one off launch stunt. You’re creating a page. A page you’ll have to maintain for the foreseeable future. A Google plus page isn’t just for launch day.
The last question you need to ask is Do you really want a Google plus page for your brand?
Let me know what you think, show off your Google+ brand pages in the comments. And follow me on Google+ here