Google+ is exploding. There are 10 million confirmed users, and with visits going up to 20 million, the numbers are huge. It's a big fat customer base and the brands want their cut of the pie. That is why, just days after its launch queries were pouring in about brand pages. How soon could brands set up their pages, and soak in the traffic from the millions dollar user base? The answer is still not clear. It has been moving from two weeks(since its launch) to the end of July. However the latest schedule has be moved to late fall as according to Christian Oestlien, Product Manager in charge of ads for the social media platform, – "Google is now promising to “roll out rudimentary business accounts by late fall”.
Ford, MTV and Dell are some of the brands that are already on Google+ and working in collaboration. Their initial test phase may have some interesting lessons for you. What features of Google+ may work for you beautifully, as Christian Oestlien, the lead product manager for social advertising at Google, said about one of the features-'hangout', “The hangout is one of those things where it's really just the beginning in the potential ways it can be used. For companies to be able to talk literally face-to-face to their customers on a regular basis will be incredibly powerful. ”
The brands are impatient and the application page set up by Google already has thousands of brands in queue for a page. Everyone is wondering, what sort pf pages will they be. Something like Facebook company pages, or something better. Now if you are thinking about the type of page it will be, then perhaps you could also wonder how would you work on the page when it finally comes out.
Here are some suggestions, that could work for you-
1. Study Google+: This is really important. Get to know Google+. Explore it. Learn about it. You have to get to actually working on Google+, only then will you understand how it works, and more importantly, how you can make it work for your brand. Take a deep breath and dive in the Google+ Community, study every feature and understand every nuance. Knowing your platform will go a long way in preparing a market strategy.
2. Research Your Audience on Google+: What will you do on Google+ with your brand there, and your business page all ready, but no audience. Yes, it is important, that you take a note of the users on Google Plus. You don’t want to spend time and money focusing on a platform without your key influencers being there. Make sure that your target audience is there so that the message related to your brand is sent across and received by them. For example, at present, the number of women users on Google Plus is very low, less than half of the male users. So if you are a Ladies perfume brand, then you won't have much fun here.
3. Work On Audience Approach: So, you know Google+. All about the Circles and Sparks and Hangouts. You also know that you have found your target audience. But what next? How will you approach them? What modes of communication can you choose? These questions need to be worked out. You must create a strategy on how to approach the audience. Whether you will use Posts, promotions, paid ads, contests, updates, or some other content. You also have to take into account the differences between Google+ and other social platforms like Facebook and Twitter- are your audiences here the same as they are on Facebook? If the audience is different, how will you interact with them in a different manner. Make sure you find the answers to all these questions.
4. Find Out How To Assess Your Efforts: This is a part of Google+ research only. You have to find out the metrics for measuring success. After the setting of goals, knowing whether you have been successful or not is confirmed by numbers only, that is why, you must figure out how to measure and interpret the number of fans, clicks, comments, shares. Work on these measurement metrics
5. Work On Launch Materials-Content And Design: This is the key part- the last piece of the puzzle. You must work on how will you present your brand. You must be ready with your content 'arsenal'. How will you approach the users on Google+? Remember, these users are themselves understanding and adjusting to a new platform, so you have to be slow and move along on the reactions you get. Announce on the existing social media platforms about your page on Google+. For instance, put up a message like this on your Facebook wall- “We have a brand new page on Google+. Follow us there too!”
Have the above mentioned strategy in place, and you will be ready with your page, this fall, when the space opens up for brand pages. The rate at which it is growing, the initial businesses will get a huge response for sure.