Well, they said they were working on it, and now it's finally here. Google Plus for businesses and brands is now a reality with the introduction of Google Plus Pages. Pages is basically the Google Plus version of Facebook Fan Pages, and gives businesses a chance to claim a profile on the social network so they can interact with and engage their customers and fans.
Google Plus For Businesses & Brands
Google Plus Pages allows every business big or small--from the mom and pop shops to the global brands--the chance to maintain a profile on Google Plus and use the service to communicate and interact with consumers.
Here's a video they made showing it off:
Google Plus Pages Will Continue The Service's Growth
This is going to cause another gigantic swell in new member sign-ups for Google Plus... I mean, gigantic. The most recent numbers I've seen put the service at over 40 million users. Something like the introduction of Pages could see that number go up dramatically, maybe by as much as 50% or more. In fact, if there's one dominant thought I keep hearing about Google Plus over the last two months, it's "when are they going to open it up for businesses?"
Answer: today. Want to sign up? Go here.
Oh, and you can see Google Plus for businesses in action with The Muppets page:
And on that Muppets page, you can also join Kermit & Ms. Piggy for a live Hangout today at 4:30PM PT.
What Does It All Mean?
Intriguing possibilities abound, and I have several questions I'll be looking for answers to:
- How will small businesses and huge brands make use of things like Hangouts?
- How about a business that creates custom Circles for premium customer groups, allowing them to see special updates or offers?
- Which businesses will stand out as innovative users of Google Plus, offering updates and content that might make individuals "follow" them on Plus like they would on Twitter?
- What new features and tools might we see in Google Plus soon as a direct result of businesses getting involved?
Google Plus Direct Connect
Google is also releasing a new way to search for business profiles from Google Plus on the main Google search page, and it's called Direct Connect. Just put a "+" and then the business name you want to find a Plus page for, and if it exists... Google will take you right to it.
Here's a video they made about the new Direct Connect function: