Get Ready for Google+ for Brands
Get ready. Google+ for brands is coming, possibly as early as this coming November. While we don’t have all the details yet, the more you learn about Google+ now, the better position you’ll be in to integrate this important new platform into your dealerships social media and SEO programs.
Google+ is a new social network launched by Google on June 28th, 2011. Until now, it’s been available only for Individuals. According to Advertising Age, “Google+ business profiles…will permit companies to create pages and circles like those of an individual user of the social network.”
One key element of Google+ is a focus on targeted sharing within subsets of your social group, which Google calls Circles. Circles are small groups of people with whom you can share, each with names like friends, family, classmates, and co-workers. What’s different is that you can put different groups of contacts in different circles (work group, personal buddies, etc.).
Also within Google+, Google has created a section specifically for viewing, managing, and editing multimedia. The photo tab takes a user to all of the photos he or she has shared, as well as the ones he or she is tagged in. It’s not just photo tagging, though: Google+ includes an image editor, privacy options, and sharing features.
Another feature that's widely discussed is “Hangouts,” Google’s new group chat feature. Instead of directly asking a friend to join a group chat, users instead click “start a hangout” and they’re instantly in a video chat room alone. At the same time, a message goes out to their social circles, letting them know that their friend is “hanging out.” Friends can then join the hangout as long as they have been placed in a circle that was invited by the person who created the Hangout.
Sharing and the +1 button
But the big news is the +1 button. The whole basis of Google's +1 is to allow the user and the viewer to give a +1 to the information and links that they feel stand out among the rest and gave them the information or products they needed. When a user shares a +1 they are essentially telling their friends, co-workers, and family to go check out this link, because it is great. It doesn’t end there though. Not only can a user pick and choose what Google Circle to share their +1 with, but when an individual clicks +1, they are also publiclyrecommending pages across the web.
The +1 ‘recommendation’ will also appear in a variety of places, both on Google and on sites across the web. For example, you might see a +1 button next to a Google search result, Google ad, or article a person is reading on their favorite news site.
According to Google, here are some places the +1 recommendations could appear:
In a Gmail (or Google Talk) chat list.
In a My Contacts group in Google Contacts.
In Google+ Circles.
In Google Reader and Google Buzz.
While we don’t have all the details of exactly how Google+ for brands will work, the implications are obvious. A handful of people giving your dealership a +1 could potentially affect hundreds of customers who will see the +1 recommendations.
You’ll definitely want to be a part of Google+ for brands in order to gain this competitive advantage. I’ll share more details and particulars on Google+ brands as information becomes available both at my website steenmanassociates.com and here in the Dealer Marketing Magazine. Meantime, take a few minutes and get familiar with Google+ as an individual so you can see for yourself how it works for you in your life.
Ed Steenman is owner of Steenman Associates that provides traditional and digital media services to automotive dealerships and dealer groups nationally. Ed is available to speak to 20 groups or other related events and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or his website www.steenmanassociates.com.