June 2nd, 2012

Is Google+ Local Trying to be a TripAdvisor For Brands?


This is something which was discussed recently in the Q&A for my Google+ presentation at SMX London – which was where are Google going next with developing Google+ for brands?

There were a couple of questions around this – which in answering, of course I can only speculate on where I think Google are going with this. But the news of Google+ Local being launched has confirmed in some ways where I thought things were heading.

The questions were:

1) Will it be possible for you to -1/dislike brands, as well as +1 votes?

I hadn’t really considered this concept before – but thought it was an interesting idea. Obviously the current way of doing this is if you don’t like something – you just don’t like it (or +1 of course). But that’s not the same as a negative vote.

The main way I could see Google making something like this work would be to make Google+ brand pages more of a one-stop shop – so integrating reviews, in an almost TripAdvisor style into pages. Google definitely aren’t there yet – and it’s unclear if that’s where they want to be, but they’ve rolled out Google+ Local this week – which suggests they’re taking a step closer and are looking to encourage more customer interaction in this way.

It isn’t just for restaurants either – you can search any type of businesses – here’s what the listings look like:

2) How do small businesses market themselves on Google+? 

For small businesses, online and search marketing advice is generally based around local – at least initially. Of course it’s easier to rank for local terms within your industry than it is to rank for generic terms nationally. And I think this advice applies to social media too – target your local audience, find where your customers are and then look to build a community-feel around your Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages.

So in this instance, my advice was to keep an eye on what Google+ are doing with local – because that’s been such a huge push from Google during the last 12-months. And if they do roll something out, similar to the TripAdvisor style review pages mentioned above – then there’s a big opportunity to capitalise on it!

And looking at the recent Google+ local changes, that’s exactly what they’ve done! See this screenshot for my hometown, Abingdon:

So if you’re a small business targeting a local audience – now’s definitely the time to get these pages optimised and promoted!

One Response

  1. Prashant Rohilla says:

    For small business, Google+ plus going local is big boost, now its on business owners to leverage upon this. With this marketing strategies will also have to change, more local terms, local info and local customer knowledge.

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