One benefit of badges is that signing up for one automatically enrolls your company in the Google+ Direct Connect program. That means searching for your brand name with a plus sign at the front if it brings users straight to your Google+ page.
Even if Google Search users don’t use the + operator, and instead search for your brand, at the very least it adds another link to your business on the first page of results. The bottom line: Google+ Pages helps your company be more visible on Google Search.
I believe that over time, Google+ will dominate the world of social sites for brands and businesses. The reason is simple: within a couple years, Google+ will probably be the second biggest social network in the world after Facebook. But Facebook isn’t a place where people want to interact with content.
As I wrote in this space last month, each of the social networks attracts a certain personality type, and one that wants to interact in a specific way.
Facebook attracts people who want to connect with family and friends. Most conversations there are about people -- what I’m doing, what you’re doing. Facebook will bend over backwards to try and figure out how to integrate Nike and Coca Cola and Starbucks into your conversations with grandma about the weather in Wichita, but ultimately branding is a bad fit for Facebook.
Twitter and Google+ are far more attractive to people who want to talk about things and ideas. However, Twitter is hobbled as a brand platform by its 140-character post limit. It’s really most useful as a place to share links.
Google+ alone will emerge as the big network with lots of space for text and multimedia content where people go to talk about things and ideas -- including those communicated by companies.
Google+ excels at viral sharing, far more so than Facebook or Twitter. So when brands post content that’s boring, pointless or blindly self-promotional, it will land with a thud and go nowhere. But when brands learn to post interesting, useful or user-benefiting content, it will go massively viral in minutes, and generate incredible conversations.
Ultimately, companies want people talking about their products, services and branding. And Google+ is the best place for talking.
Also: Google+ doesn’t censor your content like Facebook does. Because of Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, the overwhelming majority of brand posts on Facebook are never seen by people who have clicked “Like” on the brand’s page.
If those aren’t reasons enough, it’s important to remember that success on these platforms is going to require trial and error. So it’s best to start erring now, so that future campaigns can be based on solid knowledge about what works, and delivered to a circle base that’s already got some trust and history with the brand on Google+.
So ignore the naysayers. Not getting your company or organization on Google+ right now... well, that’s just crazy talk.
A ship like this sails only once per decade or so. Don’t miss the boat.