When it was first launched, critics brushed off Google+ as nothing more than a niche social network outside the ranks of Facebook and Twitter. Then came the social network’s integration into Google search, profoundly changing it’s dynamic of importance. Today, Google+ has taken a step forward by becoming more business-friendly through some recent changes.
Google+ pages now interact more freely with other users
Previously, business pages on Google+ were unable to interact (e.g. +1, share, etc.) with other profiles unless those users added your page to a Google+ circle. No more. The Next Web is reporting that Google has lifted the restrictions that prevented pages from interacting with other Google+ users outside your network.
Why is this great news? Businesses can now share and interact with anyone else on Google+, leading to greater exposure and potentially higher chances of being recognized and followed by other Google+ users. Of course, business owners should be wary of “dumping” interaction on other Google+ users in a show of attention. That’s a practice that’s frowned upon and should be avoided at all costs.
Google+ Analytics tool coming soon – finally
Google has quietly indicated – via it’s Google+ for Business insights page – that it will launch an analytics tool for Google+ pages. Previously, there was no real analytics or page insights for Google+ pages. Marketers were essentially “winging it” and observing/calculating metrics manually. That’s never good.
The emergence of a Google+ analytics tool is welcome news for every marketer who’s looking to stay ahead of the digital media curve. Everyone knows Google hopes to make Google+ a widely-revered social network that works seamlessly with Google’s search engine.
At some point, there will be an onus for marketers who have resisted dedicating a large part of their marketing efforts to Google+ to join the social network. I believe that when that time comes, Google+ page analytics will become as important a metric for marketers as Facebook page insights, among others.
It’s important to note that right now, Google+ page administrators don’t have any way of seeing which posts they’ve made are the most successful – i.e. driving engagement. Sure, we see the immediate impact of the +1 button, but how does the post get seen beyond your primary network? It’s unclear. Maybe now, finally, that will change.