Although brand pages have yet to launch on Google+, forward-thinking PR pros are already learning about the upstart social network through the creation of their own personal pages. Romey Louangvilay, social media newsengine manager for Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, takes this preparation a step further. In the following Q&A, he says communicators should start thinking now about how to incorporate the platform into their existing PR strategies. Louangvilay will elaborate on Google+ and its unique applications for PR at PR News’ Digital PR Summit on Oct. 5 in New York City.
PR News: What unique opportunities will there be for brands when they are finally able to launch their own pages on Google+?
Romey Louangvilay: If Google+ for brands has the same interface as it does for personal use, then it offers many opportunities for brands to better engage with their customer base. One noted benefit Google+ has over Facebook is its Circles feature, which helps users easily organize their contacts. Brands can use this innovation to categorize their Circles based on age, location or shopper category (i.e., moms, teens, etc.).
Another opportunity brands could use more often is Google+’s +1 option. When consumers click the +1 option, it can help improve the update’s site ranking. For example, if brand-related information is released on Google+, the more people who click the +1 the more likely the news will be seen by a wider set of eyes as it will appear closer to the top of Google search pages.
PR News: How does this differ from what Facebook currently offers?
Louangvilay: Google+’s customization of Circles will be a distinguishing factor for this platform—again, assuming that the brand pages have the same interface as the personal pages. Another feature of Google+ is its video Hangouts feature, which allows up to 10 users to interact with each other via webcam. With this function, brand pages will be able to create exclusive meet-and-greets with executives or representatives, conduct online focus groups, showcase live behind-the-scenes scenarios (i.e., backstage of a fashion show), etc.
PR News: What can PR professionals do now to prepare for a brand page launch?
Louangvilay: As with any new social media platform, I recommend that a brand’s PR and social media agency create a strategy on how to implement Google+ in their campaigns. I never advise clients to create or leverage a social platform just because competitors are using it. Many people are aware of the basic functionalities of Google+ through personal pages, and brands can use that knowledge to consider the following: What are your goals for using Google+? Which features (i.e., Circles, Hangouts, +1, etc.) will complement your campaign? Why do you want to create a brand page?
PR News: What’s the one key tip you’ll share at PR News’ Digital PR Summit on Oct. 5?
Louangvilay: In addition to explaining how to create a Google+ profile and use it to benefit your brand, attendees can expect me to explain how Google+ will help transform their PR and social strategy into a more integrated plan that will help brands connect with their desired audiences on a more intimate level.
Attend PR News’ Digital PR Summit on Oct. 5 in New York City and hear more from digital leaders like Romey Louangvilay.