Summary: Google+ doesn't aim to be another social network, it's creating a social data layer that will impact nearly every Google product from search to shopping. With a broad array of services like Search, Gmail, Chrome, Android and YouTube, Google offers tools that are fundamental to the online lives of consumers; and these can be tied to Google+.
Google+ Page Elements: Google+ is new for everyone so I wanted to take just a moment to explain each part of the page and show you how to optimize your new brand page.
- Profile Picture – This is a 200 x 200 pixel image. This will also be shown as the thumbnail so it is important to utilize this space wisely for branding and for a visually appealing page.
- +1 Button – It's merely a light-weight action a user can give saying "I recommend this page/company/service" It has ZERO stream implications unlike Facebook's counterpart (Like button)
- Share Button – G+ users can use this button to endorse and share a link back to the page on thier own profile. It can be shared with a single circle, multiple circles, individual users or publicly. Users can post a comment with the shared content and it will be seen in the stream of users.
- Page Name and Caption – The tagline below is meant to be 10 words however I have done some testing that shows it can display 83 characters before truncating.
- Circles – This is the Google+ version of the Facebook Like button, but it comes with greater ability to categorize the page. Once a page has been added to a circle, the page can then add that user/page into a circle of their own.
- Pages cannot add a user to a circle without that user first adding the page.
- You can have as many circles as you want.
- Maximum of 5,000 users can be added to each circle.
- If a user deletes your page from their circle, they will automatically be removed from the brand's circles.
- Circles are only visible to the owner of the page so a user can't see what circles they've been added to.
- Photo Bar – Post upto 5 images. This section supports Animated GIFs. Take a look at Burberry's Page.
- Who's Following Who – On the left section, you can choose to showcase who "you are following", who's "following you", and "followers in common"
- Posts – This is the home for all content posted to "Public". Users are able to +1 (giving endorsement of your post similar to a Facebook Like), comment and share with friends/circles.
- About – This section gives the opportunity to introduce the brand and give additional information including contact info and links to other social networks.
- Photos & Videos – This section houses any media posted as well as any albums created. Followers can also add photos and videos here.
Google+ Hangouts: This is a highly engaging video chat tool to communicate with users on Google+.
- You can control invitations to these events
- This is limited to 10 users at a time
- G+ is currently testing expansion of this tool to include shared notes & sketch pad, Google Docs integration, and Screen Sharing.
More!: This is going to be ever evolving, especially here at the beginning where many early adopters are providing feedback.
- Direct Connect – Shortcut to joining a circle. For example type "+pepsi" in a Google search. This is still rolling out to all pages.
- Badges – This is very straight forward and simple to add. These allow users to publicly acknowledge the page with a +1 or add that page to a circle.
- Search and Adwords Integration – Google+ could be a huge signal for Google search. As social activities of +1's become more a part of how sites are ranked, Google could lean pretty heavily on this data. For example, Google's advertising algorithm will start to factor in a user's +1 history as well as the history of people in a user's circles.
Conclusion: It is vitally important for brands to engage early on Google+ to gain some of the first mover advantages, especially for the SEO implications. Content relevancy will be very important and strategically shared amongst a page's circles which will create a greater challenge for a winning content strategy.
If you'd like help putting together your winning content strategy, maximizing your online potential with Google+ or just have questions, don't hesitate to contact our team to see how we can help!