November 17, 2011
How Should Brands Engage In Google+?
Brand pages have now launched on Google+ and the majority of businesses have jumped in with both feet already, beginning to amass followers and engage with them.
Whilst most brands are more than likely still in the process of creating or finalizing their strategy for Google+, for many there will still be a question of engagement – how should a brand engage with users on Google+?
Some brands are starting by talking to G+ users in the same way as they speak to their audience on Facebook. Whilst Google+ and Facebook are of course similar in many ways, the conversations in most cases perhaps need to be framed differently in order to get the most out of the audience, with a focus on different content.
Having spent some time on the network, Google+ users seem to be far more technically orientated – they are (at the moment at least) thinkers and will want to engage around content that is perhaps more developed and refined than the content you’d traditionally find on brand Facebook pages. This could be detailed talk around the specifications and design of a tech product such as a tablet or laptop, versus a discussion on the colour of the product in Facebook. It is all engagement and of roughly equal value in increasing the consumers’ propensity to purchase or recommend, it will simply appear in a different form on Google+.
Different CTAs (calls to action) will also be important – it is likely that the average Google+ user will require more incentive to engage than the average Facebook user. By way of example, competitions to drive engagement and also acquisition will need to be much more thought out and worthwhile to the end user on Google+.
Of course, customer service in the form of one-to-one support will also be a good idea. Whilst the tools aren’t currently in place to allow coordinated discussions for brands to help them address consumer concerns, this is certainly something that should be addressed moving forward, given the savvy nature of the Google+ audience. Many brands currently use Facebook or Twitter for customer services purposes (Facebook’s discussions application was a great solution until it was closed down), so it makes sense that the same should be done in Google+. It’s probable that this will come to fruition should Google launch the capability for apps to be created for brand pages in Google+ – essentially a similar approach to that of Facebook.
Obviously, the approach to Google+ will be different from brand to brand – the above are simply a few points for brands or their commissioned digital PR or social media agencies to take into consideration. There are almost certainly opportunities about within Google+, not in the least because it’s likely to provide another social media outlet for brands to engage a totally different model of audience that – in most cases – they won’t have had access to previously. There is of course a lot of trial and error to be endured, but instinct suggests that the brands that treat G+ as an entity in its own right are the ones that will win out in the end.
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