When I heard about Google+ providing business pages, it made me contemplate if I needed another social media network. After much consideration I realized the benefits outweighed the drawbacks.

Being a founder of a public relations firm, I’m expected to know everything about the latest marketing techniques.  Creating a Google+ page keeps your business relevant in the minds of consumers. More and more people are being socially motivated to purchase items.  As a result, if your business doesn’t possess the proper social networking accounts, then you lose out on a crucial consumer.

Several consumers research companies online when they’re looking to purchase a vehicle. If your company’s at the bottom of search results, then you’re losing business. Creating a Google+ account for your automotive business increases your search ranking as well as traffic to your various sites. I have searched for several automotive vendors on Facebook and they don’t show up in the results. However, when I go to Google and search for the automotive vendor their website comes up with a link to their Facebook page. Why not kill two birds with one stone?

Another benefit Google+ offers is segmented messaging. Sometimes you have situations where you don’t want content to be public. When you post information on Facebook, it’s visible for all your followers to see. Google+ allows you to tailor who receives your content with the circles concept. For example, if you are a vendor that has 3 different products targeting 3 different audiences, you don’t want the target audience to be privy to the wrong product. Essentially, you can make certain information available to the circle of your choice. Therefore, grouping your circles with distinct identifiers makes this process easier.

Making your brand social involves creating dialogue between your company and your followers. Facebook gives you the option of making your wall available for others to comment, but Google + takes this idea a step further by giving you the chance to connect with followers through video with the hangout feature.  Vendors can speak to followers to gauge what aspects of your brand and/or services they find favorable or hold a staff meeting. This kind of personal interaction bodes well with consumers and doesn’t cost you a penny unlike Skype.

The only noticeable absences in a Google+ page are a promotion feature and URL personalization. Facebook is a great marketing tool because you can create promotions solely around your Facebook followers. This kind of exclusivity adds value to your brand and makes your followers feel special.

Facebook also allows companies to change their URL making them more distinct and easier to remember. Unfortunately your stuck with the long numeric URL Google+ provides its user.  Since Google+ is relatively new, there is still time for its features to evolve based on the needs of its users.

Here are some examples of how automotive company’s can use their Google+ pages:

Lexus page

Automotive Digital Marketing page

Infinite Prospects, Inc. page

What are your feelings on Google+?

by Sara Callahan