Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Google Now Offers Brand Pages

Perhaps I am a little light on imagination or just have not had enough time to figure it out but what will be different about the newly announced brand pages in Google Plus?  What new capability will this offer to companies or people that the verified individual pages did not have? How will they be used and what will be the unique measure of success associated with these pages? How will this differ from other channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare or the more conventional television, radio and print media.

Okay, I guess we don't have to dwell on how these real time, interactive, social networks differ from conventional media sources. Instead let's concentrate on the differences between Google and the most likely direct competitor Facebook.

The comparisons of Google Brand pages versus Facebook Fan pages are already flying. The usual suspects are endorsing one over the other and pointing out all the reasons each will be more successful than the other. Again, I am not sure that there is much difference and it remains to be seen how Google Brand pages will be used and, importantly, received by the public.Perhaps Google will favor B2B while Facebook will remain on top when targeting consumers.

Google Brand pages may have an edge with such a vast and well integrated set of tools for content creation and extended functionality. The whole Google family of products can be leveraged to include forms collecting data, presentations or videos, links to mail and calendar, photos and so on. As I have said in the past, Google Plus is the business social network and with its more commercial or professional aura, brand pages may be more powerful.

On the other hand Facebook has familiarity and sheer numbers on its side. Barely a single commercial, radio or print ad goes by without the nearly ubiquitous tag line; like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.  It will take some time before +1 us will find its way into the vernacular.

Any company, brand or individual business owner investing time, energy and limited resources to reach the most people possible is more likely to choose the 800 million person audience of Facebook over the comparatively smaller network Google Plus, even if Google has a cooler tool set.

Professionals, particularly in technology, entertainment and the arts, have gravitated to Google Plus and these may be the segments that initially embrace and popularize Brand pages. Auto manufacturers, sports teams and news shows have already jumped on the "brand" wagon.

Perhaps I should create a page for View from the Bridge. What do you think?

Captain Joe

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