With over 40 million users (and still growing), google+ most likely has some fans of your brand on it – fans that (up til now) you might only connect with on that other social network (which we trust you’re already doing with a facebook page for your business). That’s about to change though, as google+ pages for business opened for business yesterday and the google+ badge for businesses will start appearing across the web, spreading as did the now ubiquitous “Follow Us” facebook icons and the +1 sharing button.
Wondering if google+ will be the next Buzz or Wave? All indicators are that google is playing for keeps on this one, and if one thing will make google+ stick, it will be widespread adoption by businesses. Google+ should have an edge on facebook pages (at least initially) in some respects, such as the ability to group your page’s followers into smaller Circles, and even chat with them in video Hangouts (up to 9 at a time). The most interesting long-term aspect of google+ pages will be the upcoming integration with google AdWords paid search. You may have already noticed that there’s an option in AdWords Display Ads to overlay a +1 button for people to like your ad, and the option to add a Social Extension to your campaigns. This latter will tally all the +1′s of your ad, your site, your page and your search results (clearly google has embraced “bigger is better” math here), and allow people to view all of the recommendations for your brand in aggregate.
To add another layer to it, google’s Direct Connect goes live today, rolling out on select websites. This feature lets people enter ‘+’ followed by the name of your page in Google search to get directly to your Google+ page: try it for one of the brands that already have google+ pages: NY Times, ABC News, Dell. Certainly easier than finding your favorite brand’s facebook page. We’re looking forward to integrating google+ badges with the full suite of social sharing buttons, and then kicking back and watching the show in analytics.