Google Plus and Your Brand: Why It’s a Love/Hate Relationship

By Megan McMahon

So Google Plus is the shiny new toy in the social media toy chest. Any brand that’s a brand is trying to make sense of why it’s the next greatest thing that social media ever invented. Some brands are getting the hang of it, a handful are doing it really well, but most are struggling to figure out why it’s even worth it to be there. All in all, most brands are having a love/hate relationship with Google Plus and it’s not a bad thing because we’re all learning together. I’ve broken down the reasons why brands hate and love Google Plus at the same time and what we can learn based on our feelings towards the newest social network on the block.

Why you HATE Google Plus:

1. “How is this any different from Facebook or Twitter?!” Well, in reality, it’s not that much different in terms of the ways to share content but the way that people are interacting is actually much more unique. The engagement rate is typically high when brands are sharing the right sorts of content with their audience. But of course, this is all based on knowing what your audience is like and what they want to see.

2. “How in the world am I supposed to get people to my brand’s page?!” With no way to customize URLs and no real way to share your brand’s page other than through your other social networking sites it’s making it very difficult for brands to get figure out how to get people to their Google Plus pages. Unlike Facebook and Twitter where it’s easy to share a URL, as a brand the initiative to add the Google Plus logo to websites needs to be taken in order to get your fans to the right place.

3. “This is horrible…I’m the only admin!!!” …but wait! Google Plus has given us the power of multiple admins as of yesterday! Move this complaint in to the “Love” category.

Why you LOVE Google Plus:

1. “There’s a typo in the latest post! No worries, we can edit it!” Unlike on Facebook and Twitter, with Google Plus brands can edit their posts after they’ve been shared with their Circles. The ability to edit already shared posts is a huge win for Google Plus and something that gives them a clear advantage over Facebook for sure. Additionally, brands have the opportunity to disable comments and sharing on certain posts that might be of a sensitive subject matter…another advantage over Facebook.

2. “Multimedia is a huge win when I share it with my Circles!” In the early stages of Google Plus for brands, multimedia has turned out to be king. Photos, videos, and other sorts of media are getting the most interaction. Not only are they creating engaged fans, but from a visual standpoint Google Plus displays multimedia beautifully. This can only make your brand stand out if you have the multimedia content to share.

3. “Wait…I can Hangout and share my screen and docs at the same time?!” That’s right. Hangout with Extras gives you the ability to share your screen and documents with others. From an external standpoint for brands this might not mean much, but internally this is a great tool to use. It’s also a great way for brands to encourage their staff to get onto Google Plus and use it so that they know the ins and outs of it as well.

Does your brand have a love/hate relationship with Google Plus? What have been some best practices on Google Plus for you and your brand thus far?