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Friday Social Round Up: Google+ Brand Pages, Twitter Activity Stream.

Google+ has launched brand pages.

On Monday, Google+ pages launched.  This allows companies, businesses and brands to establish a presence on Google+ just as they would on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  Google+, which launched earlier in the year, originally asked brands and publishers not to create pages for their own sites until brand pages was launched, and were ruthless when it came to culling any that appeared.

Google+ pages have the same features as personal profiles do, such as Circles, and the ability to launch video Hangouts.  The pages will also work through the site’s mobile app.  There are some differences in functionality though, for example a page admin cannot add people to the page’s Circles unless that person has already added the brand to their Circle.  This means brands can’t send you messages unless you have subscribed to them by adding them to your Circles.  Unlike personal Google+ profiles, all content on a page is public by default, and pages can’t share with extended Circles.

Pages not only have a +1 button, but also an ‘Add to Circles’ button, which allows the brand to start sending you updates.  But what does the +1 button actually do at the moment?  Well the answer is, not much, apart from the recommendation showing up in a friend’s search query.  Bradley Horowitz, VP of Product, and one of the heads of the Google+ project said, “We’re not done with the full realization with what happens when users click on it,” but he has expressed that we can expect all to be revealed soon.  Quite obviously, Horowitz pointed out that the +1 button on your website and the page are linked.

The final point is that integration with search.  If you type ‘+’ into the Google bar followed by the brand name, its page will come up in the search drop down (at present this can take up to a week after creation but this will be quicker in the future).

Unlike Facebook Pages, Google+ will not allow brands to run promotions or competitions directly on the social network.  The Google+ Pages Contest and Promotion Policies states that admins, “may not run contests, sweepstakes, offers, coupons or other such promotions (“Promotion”) directly on your Google + Page,” although you are allowed to display a link leading to a separate site where a promotion is being hosted.

Our own Head of Social Media, Paul, has produced a video tutorial showing

As well as the new ‘Activity Stream’ there has been an update in the ‘@mentions’ section, which is now described as, “@mentions and more.”  Here, Twitter can inform you of people who have started following you or RT’d you.  Possibly learning from Facebook’s mistakes, Twitter has also provided an option to only show mentions for those users who don’t like change!

 

Infographic time

Here is a mini history of Social Commerce....still skeptical about using social networks to increase revenue?



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