Google+ Brand Pages will be better than Facebook’s
Google has finally unveiled brand pages for Google+, allowing businesses and brands to join Google’s social network.
“So far Google+ has focused on connecting people with other people,” Google SVP of Social Vic Gundotra said in a blog post. “But we want to make sure you can build relationships with all the things you care about—from local businesses to global brands—so today we’re rolling out Google+ Pages worldwide.”
The new Google+ brand pages look similar to Google+ Profiles, except for the little square icon that designates that it’s a Page rather than a Profile. Users can add brands such as Fox News, the Dallas Cowboys and Angry Birds to their circles, check out their information and browse their photos. When users add a brand to their circles, it increases that brand’s follower count.
Converting Facebook’s 750 million active users to Google+ will be a long, difficult battle for the search giant. But converting brands to Google+ will be much easier if Google+ is able to solve advertisers’ biggest problems with Facebook — such as post-click engagement tracking, paid search inefficiencies and limited customization. Here is why I think Google+ will win this battle.
1) Better Search Integration – A major challenge with driving paid search ads to a Facebook page is that the Facebook.com domain generates a lower click-through rate (CTR), most likely due to people finding the domain irrelevant to their query. The low CTR makes for a low quality score in Google’s auction-model, which typically increases cost per click for paid search ads driving to Facebook versus a unique brand domain. Google+ will obviate this problem for all brands saving them paid advertising dollars and giving them better rankings.
2) Better Customization – Facebook ad types are limited to just ads, sometimes with a video or poll, allowing for few branding or creative opportunities. Looking at the design of Google+ personal pages, it looks like there will be opportunities for custom skinning of your brand page and for display or rich media ads. This will be much alike the branded YouTube channels that we see around today.
3) Better Analytics – People who have used Google Analytics know how detailed the data is, including metrics like time spent on page, top content, referring sites and geographic information. Google Analytics is integrated into Google+ brand pages, so that brands can gain valuable insights into who their fans are, what content their fans are consuming, and where they are coming from.
4) 2nd mover advantage – Facebook pioneered one-on-one connections between a brand and its fans through social networking, and will continue to be valuable for inherently social brands like musicians and celebrities. But for less social industries such as insurance, health and say, batteries, Google+ provides a platform that is open to conversation and focuses on providing branded content and valuable information in one place. Facebook’s successes and missteps offer invaluable lessons, giving Google second-mover advantage in creating a brand page based on brands’ need for more customization, a hub to aggregate content across the web, strong search presence and user-engagement data.
What do you think?