A few weeks ago Google+ rolled out their much anticipated brand pages. These brand pages are intended for company and business use (in contrast to the original Google+ profiles, which had to be registered to an individual).
Many big brands have jumped on the bandwagon and set up their Google+ Pages. Many freelancers have also set up pages for their blogs and businesses. You may be wondering if these pages can help you build and strengthen client relationships.
If you haven’t looked closely at the Google+ Page functionality yet, you may be wondering if this feature is for you. While I can’t make up your mind for you, I can provide you with information to help you decide whether a Google+ brand page is right for your freelancing business.
In this post, I identify over 20 resources on Google’s new brand page feature. I’ve sorted this information into categories so that you can easily find the information that is most useful to you. Of course, this information is changing all the time, so feel free to add your own Google+ information resources in the comments.
Getting Started with Google+ Pages
The resources in this section provide an overview of Google+ Pages and should give you an idea of its basic features. Many also explain how to set up a page for yourself.
- Google+ Announces and Launches Pages for Business and Brands on jeffbullas.com–This post provides a good overview on Google+ Pages as well as a step-by-step guide for setting your page.
- Google + For Businesses: At Long Last, It’s Here on Small Business Trends–Susan Payton directs this overview to small businesses, which is exactly why it’s a great read for freelancers.
- How to Set Up a Google+ Page for Your Business on Social Media Examiner–Kristi Hines provides her usual detailed look at how to set up a Google+ Page. Probably the best part of the post is the examples at the end, which can give you an idea of what a Google+ Page could look like.
- Google Plus Rolls Out Brand Pages on Duct Tape Marketing–John Jantsch points out some of the basic Google+ Page features. Have you got your brand badge yet?
- 3 Ways Google+ Pages Make Business Social on NewRayCom–Ray Hilz explains some of the social aspects of Google+ Pages.
Now that you know that basics, it’s time to weigh the pros and cons.
Benefits of Google+ Pages
If you’re trying to decide whether a Google+ Page is for you, these resources list the advantages.
- The Power Potential Of Google+ Pages For Businesses on Fast Company–Nathaniel Perez explains some of the business benefits of using Google+ pages. If you’re sitting on the fence trying to decide whether to set up a page for your business, this might be for you.
- Interview: Google + – Time to Get In for Businesses? on Social Media Today–Cliff Figallo interviews a social media specialist, who makes some very interesting points.
- Why Your Brand Needs a Google Plus Page on P.S. Jones Communications–P.S. Jones gives a clear explanation of why the new brand pages are important.
- Why you need a Google + Brand Page for your business on The MarketingMomma.com–Kate explains how businesses can benefit from Google+ brand pages. Great perspective for small business owners (including freelancers).
- Google+ Pages Live: Thoughts Now and on the Future on George Passwater–This post from a freelancer is actually balanced between the benefits of Google+ Pages and the drawbacks, which makes it the perfect post to lead into the drawbacks…
Drawbacks to Google+ Pages
Here is the other side of the Google+ Brand Page coin–some cautions about using brand pages.
- I wish I had never heard of Google+’s brand pages on Scobleizer–Veteran internet guru Robert Scoble weighs in with his initial concerns about Google+ brand pages. Although some of these concerns have been addressed, some may still be valid.
- Google+ Brand Pages Lacking, But You’ll Make One Anyway on Search Engine Watch–Miranda Miller lists some of the functionality that was not initially released with the brand pages.
- Were Google+ Business Pages a Mistake for the Company? on webmasterview–The author speculates as to what might be the thinking behind Google+ Pages.
Now, let’s compare Google+ brand pages with other social media.
Comparison with Other Social Media
You may be wondering how Google+ brand pages differ from other social media. (I know that I was.) These posts will help you determine the differences between these pages and several other types of social media.
- Why Google Plus Pages (Will) Beat Facebook. And Twitter on Wired–Caleb Garling provides this very upbeat comparison between Google+ Pages and other social media (including Facebook).
- Google+ Brand Pages vs. Facebook Fan Pages on Mashable–Christine Erickson takes a look at some of the differences (and similarities) between Google+ Pages and Facebook Fan Pages.
- Which Is Better: Google Plus Pages Or Facebook Pages? on PCMech.com–Rich Menga provides a point-by-point comparison between Google+ Pages and Facebook Fan Pages.
- Google+ Business Pages vs. Facebook Fan Pages on The WM Freelance Writers Connection–Alyssa Ayst provides this comparison of the page functionality of Google+ and Facebook.
If you’ve already set up a Google+ brand page, you may be wondering how to improve it.
Brand Page Tips
The posts here will help you make your Google+ brand page more effective.
- 10 Tips and Tricks for Better Google+ Brand Pages on Mashable–Amy-Mae Elliott presents a slideshow to help us get more from Google+ brand pages. She’s got some really interesting tips and ideas that any freelancer can implement after they get their page set up.
- Google+ launches an official guide for sharing, promoting and measuring Pages on The Next Web–Sherilynn Macale does a nice job of summarizing Google’s guide and pointing out exactly what you need to know. Of course, if you have the time you can read the complete Google Guide here (http://www.google.com/+/business/index.html)
- 7 Things to Know About Google+ Pages for Brands on Social Strand Media–This post also contains some helpful tips that freelancers could easily implement.
- 5 Key Things About e Pages for Your Business on Technorati–Kent Wakely makes some interesting points about the brand pages feature.
- What Businesses & Brands Can Use Google Plus Pages For Now on Search Engine Land–Practical business advice from Monica Wright. This advice is geared towards all businesses, but most freelancers should be able to make use of these tips.
- The 10 Step Guide for Great Google+ Page Management on G&B Magazine–Louis Gray provides these ten steps to help you get Google+ Pages right.
Do I Have a Google+ Brand Page?
The short answer is–yes, I do. I created a brand page for my writing blog and another for my writing business.
To be honest, at this point I’m not entirely sure how brand pages will fit into my social media and marketing strategy.
What About You?
Have you created a Google+ brand page for your freelancing business yet?
Feel free to share a link to your Google+ brand page or to add your own Google+ Page tips in the comments.