Finally! After months of waiting, online behemoth Google has launched Google+ Pages for Business. It’s an exciting — and overwhelming — time for business owners and marketers around the world as they build their pages on Google+ and analyze how they can use it to further enhance their online presence and visibility.
If you remember, Google received backlash in July 2011 for deleting Google+ accounts that are used as business pages. Everyone’s favorite TV show, Sesame Street, was one of those affected. But Google replied to criticisms saying that it will soon launch an official page for business and promised that it will be grander and better than anything in the market, i.e. Facebook pages.
So did Google make good on its promise?
You bet! That’s one of the good things about Google. They always deliver. Here are some features that’s making everyone go “WOW” from a business owner’s point of view:
- Once click sharing – Once you have created a page, you can tell everyone in your personal account to add your business page to their circles with just a click of the mouse. Just hit the “Spread the Word” button and your invite will appear in the streams of people who have added you in their circles.
- Hang out with your followers – On the right hand side of the home page for your business is a “Start a hangout” button that will open video chatting and/or streaming. You can hangout with your customers, your colleagues, fans, or anyone in your circles. You can use this feature to conduct webinars, product demonstrations and launches, meetings, and announcements using the regular Hang Out or the one with the extras (so cool!). Or, as we’ve tested, you can just turn hang out on and pretend Big Brother is watching you.
- Single stream for notifications – For pages, you can see the people who followed you in the notification stream. You can find this on the left sidebar. You can choose whether you will add those people in your circles or not. Completely up to you.
- Hide unwanted tags – One of the complaints that people have with Facebook is that people can tag your business page and it would appear on your wall unless you tweaked your settings and hid it. With Google+ Pages for Business, these tags by people not in your circle are automatically hidden. No tweaking required.
- No limits for the introduction – You can write a short intro to your business/brand or add your whole history. It’s all up to you. You can even choose not to write an intro and just list your contact details.
- Direct Connect – Unlike Facebook, there’s no vanity URL for Google+. Instead, you get a series of boring numbers that are hard to remember. So, to make your Google+ Page for Business easy to find, Google has introduced Direct Connect. This feature allows your customers and potential customers to type in “+ your business name” on the Google search box to find your Google+ page.
So what are you waiting for? If you haven’t created a page for your business on Google+, go right away to https://plus.google.com/u/1/pages/create and create your page. Don’t forget to add Smart Foxes in your circles: Google+ Page for Smart Foxes