With the colossal success of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, IT giants like Google and Microsoft had tried their level best to capture the flourishing social networks.
In spite of great enticing efforts made by major software companies, Facebook was not sold out. Google was forced to bring out its own Facebook like platform – Google Plus.
Even though Google plus resembles Facebook in majority of its features, certain innovative features like hangouts and privacy settings are tightened on Google plus offering an attractive alternative for Facebook.
However, Google plus has to go a long way in promotion of brands. As per the latest news, Google plus has opened doors for brand promotion through Google plus users.
The newly launched Google plus pages resemble Facebook fan pages. One contrasting difference between Google plus and Facebook is that anyone can create a page on Google plus.
How Google plus pages work
There are already some pages created by brands like Angry Birds, Burberry and Barcelona Football Club. Now, pages allow users to recommend brand to other users through +1 button.
However, +1 does not imply that the recommender has become a fan of the brand that he is recommending. Unless the user opts for receiving messages from brands by adding the brand into users’ circles, users will not get promotional messages from brands.
Opting for brand messages
To opt for brand messages there are two ways. One is by clicking on the button on the brand’s page. Second method is through ‘Direct Connect’.
Just type ‘+’ followed by the brand page that you are viewing in Google and a screen will appear in front of you prompting you to add the brand in one of your circles.
Communication with brands
Once a channel is established by adding brand in one of your circles, you are prepared to receive messages and updates from the brand. Two way communications is established not only through text but also through voice hangouts.
More about Google plus brand pages
As of now, Google+ brand pages are not loaded with noteworthy unique features. Some new features are to be rolled out in the coming weeks to make a difference among the highly competitive social networking sites.
The greatest asset for Google is its search engine and popular products like Gmail, Google Adsense, Google Trends, etc.
Lack of API
Google is lagging behind Facebook in release of API which helps developers seamlessly integrate Google plus with third party applications. In fact, Google is apt in releasing API right at the launch of its earlier products like Google Buzz and Google Wave.
Of course, you can notice that Google Buzz and Google Wave failed to create much buzz in online circles.
Facebook’s minuses not eliminated
As of now, Google is still a follower of Facebook. Google plus failed to offer word filter which can automatically reject or block user’s uncivilized words. Google plus might have incorporated this tool in the admin panel.
Another drawback that is not addressed by Google plus is that user comments go live even though they can be removed later if comments are not worth the salt.
No multiple administrative rights
For brand promotion, more than one person should be able to work in the background with admin privileges. As of now, only the user who created the page is able to moderate the brand page.
This is quite impractical and corporate generally hire a team of professionals to carry out the mission of promotion of brand through social media. Administrative rights are to be granted to multiple users to carry on the work in undisputed and seamless fashion.
Google plus advantages
Google plus lets brands some unique advantages in identifying and rewarding loyal customers through circles. In addition to traditional customer support channels like telephone, email and chat support, now, customers can have a direct face to face video chat – a really wonderful personalized experience to reach customer in a most intimate comportment.
Some default circles like customers, team members and VIPs let brands stream circle specific information. While customers get information on how to get discounts, team members may be trained on how to offer discounts.
Google plus pages: Takeaway
There is tremendous potential for growth of Google plus in the coming months. Even though Google plus fails to offer major new features, by integrating with other Google products like Google Places, Docs, Gmail and Analytics, Google plus becomes one stop shop not only for business promotion but also for social connectivity.