Google+ is going to be the biggest winner of 2011, but can Google sustain? A week after launching Google+, Christian Oestlien announces that it is shutting down all non-user entity accounts such as brands, businesses, and organizations until the search giant officially launches Google+ for businesses later this year. Google+ wants to focus on consumer experience which makes sense before launching a better Google+ platform for businesses. This hints on a massive integration with Google Offers and Google Wallet. Now, Google+ is having a decent amount of buzz on the Web, and every local merchant asks: how can our businesses benefit from Google+?
In a previous post, I talked about how SMEs have the edge over multi-national companies as far as leveraging social media to garner ROI. Thanks to Seth Godin, almost every marketer out there agrees that “small is the new big.” Social media works better for smaller businesses because the level of user engagement is higher compared to big companies like Dell and Coke which are socially vulnerable brands carrying millions of fans on their Facebook pages. Reality check: it’s not everyday that Michael Dell will address every complaint on their Facebook page, which is why Dell has a social media command center!
But wait, community management should be more personal in approach, right? This is why local business owners can be very effective with what Google+ for businesses would offer. As Google prepares to integrate Google+ with other products like Google Offers and Google Wallet, I’d like to focus with one feature that makes Google+ the game-changer – Google Hangouts.
Video conferencing is an essential daily requisite for businesses. Imagine if Google can enable a multi-user video chat function (for more than 10) for a Google+ business page. A business owner can talk directly to his customers. Instant user engagement and the approach is personal. ROI is on its way.