Friday, 30 September 2011

Google to + Brands

Well it was certainly only a matter of time, but Google+ is now set to officially launch ‘brand profiles’. Clearly there was no point in Google taking such a punt trying to rival Facebook if there wasn’t a nice revenue stream attached. Of course, much like Facebook’s company pages, which are working so successfully for many brands, now Google+ has revealed they are set to add a similar service to their arsenal.

The next question is: will these profiles offer anything that Facebook doesn’t? Of course one thing they can’t offer just yet is a widespread and active set of users. Although much has been made of Google’s new social network breaking records for sign up levels (we’re now at around £50m users on G+), what they have been less than vocal about is that a not-so-impressive percentage of these users are not actually going back and using their Google+ profile on a regular basis. Of course this is a major contrast to Facebook, where many users live half of their life on Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild.

We also have to consider that with 50 million users in total, how many of them are actually in the UK? A million perhaps, a reasonable starting point but if you’re a brand targeting a specific audience, once you’ve put in the search criteria for your ideal demographic, how many people will you be left with? Plus (excuse the pun!), who says any of them have even been back to Google+ since they first registered?

The brand profiles are expected to be unveiled in November, but it’s difficult to imagine any company outside the major international players seeing any real benefit of creating one until well in to 2012. We know that the likes of Burger King and Starbucks have tried to be clever and create brand pages under people profiles already but were quickly booted off. However, you can get a feel for how the brand profiles will look by checking out the Ford test profile (if you’re on G+). At first look, I think we could be in a position to answer my first question about if they will offer something different to Facebook company pages….? Answer = No, at least not yet anyway. But perhaps they have something clever up their sleeve that they don’t want to publicise just yet, they are Google after all!


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