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Google+ Business Pages & Why the Automotive Industry Should Care

Google+ Logo Hopefully you've heard, if you're a marketer or manager of any brand, that Google+ just launched business pages. Originally, pages were sent out to beta testers who sent invites to friends and business associates to allow the Google branded social network to grow organically.

There were NO businesses allowed, from the inception. A few months and about 20 million personal page signups later, Google opened up Google+ to businesses, and the digital marketing world couldn't be more abuzz with excitement. Everyone loves the network, because of the slick User Interface (UI) of Google+ and the seamless integration with everything Google. The few grumblings I have heard, have come from businesses that don't want another page to manage, and frankly don't get what's happening here. So, this is why you should care.

1.  Linkinging Search and Social
I'm not sure if you've heard, but search and social are the two behemoths of the internet that basically make it run. Google is the number one search company with nearly 70% of search activity happening over its properties. They're already the No. 4 Social Network in less than four months of Google+ being live. It stands to reason that page rank, +1's (Google's version of "Likes") and linked content from social to main properties will have a profound effect on your web properties' SEO and accessability from search.

2. Data Combination Bonanza 
In a recent post, my colleague, Paula Skier, mentioned the new data nomenclature used to standardize our understanding of data geek speak. So, I will attempt to use the Interactive Advertising Bureau's terms to describe the profundity of what may be possible in the very near future. 

As a viewer of online data and purchaser of offline data, a business will have access to all sources of data that are relavant and paramount to understanding audience, trends and shopping behavior. Some of it will be Attributed to first party sources, like Google+ Business Page activity, while others will be Attributed to third party sources such as Polk. Since this data is constituted of Social Media Online Actions, Volunteered (through clever engagment) and Purchased, it's safe to say that Google+ Business pages also allows access to both Declared and Inferred Derivation methods of data understanding and segmentation. Some data, like Viewed and Purchased data, will be very Descriptive in its Modality as well. However, this data will also be Predictive since the combination of such 'big data' will undoubtedly yield trends and correlations that highlight patterns and diversity from the sheer scale.

This will be very unique to Google+ as they have the ability to help you combine search, profile, third party, and social media data as a learning heuristic to understand more detail about links between online behavior and buying behavior.

3.  Constant Innovation
Already there are groups talking about the things that they want to make Google+ Business Pages better. I have to agree with most of them. I'll tell you a few that are my requests, as a company supplying data into the display advertising world.
  • YouTube Integration - The Power of a YouTube channel directly integrated on your business page helps SEO and engagement all at the same time. This would be powerful.
  • Multiple Administrators - Especially for large brands, managing a page could be a daunting task. Let's help these people out with Admin duty sharing.
  • Blog & Website Integration - Either blogs should be integrated or at least there should be a "Blog Platform" tool that allows you to import blogs from the top platforms on to the site for additional customization and links back to your own site.
  • Mobile - My favorite thing about my personal Google+ Page is the mobile application is fantastic. However, I'm not able to combine that with my business page yet. That's a must to increase usage and promote my next innovation request.
  • Google Places/Maps - It would definitely behoove us all to have a maps integration of retail locations, plus Places recommendations for customers that combine the rich location-based conversation data in search and business page results.
  • Open API - If we're going to truly take advantage of the aforementioned data opportunities on a full scale, the APIs must be opened so companies like Polk can combine third party vehicle data with first party online data so we can view it, score it and make predictive recommendations with more ease and confidence. Plus, developers will start to build fun applications for us all to use on our Business Pages with Open Source Code.
Hopefully you now care and halfway through this blog you opened up a new browser and started entering in the information necessary to create a business page. Brands, advertisers and data partners will benefit from this latest social media incarnation.  Are there any things you hope to be able to do with a Google branded social site?

Posted by Therran Oliphant, Product Strategist, Polk (11.14.2011)

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