Can Google+ add value for SMEs?

July 5th, 2011

Can Google+ add value for SMEs?

Just as many small businesses are starting to get their Facebook fan pages off the ground, another social networking challenge presents itself.

Last week saw the limited rollout of Google's take on social networking, which will present a new channel to SMEs who want to engage with customers.

Google+ allows users to interact with different groups of people in unique ways through the use of circles. So for instance your colleagues circle will not be privy to the holiday snaps you share with your family circle, if you so wish.

So far, so social. But now small businesses have been given a hint as to the potential of Google+ for their enterprise.

Jeff Huber, Google's senior vice president of commerce and local, confirmed plans for making business profile pages available to smaller businesses.

Commenting on a blog post by Mike Blumenthal, a web developer from New York, Mr Huber said he does not know when the function will launch, but it is being designed.

He wrote: "We want to make [the pages] great and we're coding as fast as we can."

Google+ remains a closed project for the time being, with the project homepage informing visitors it is in limited field trial stage.

Even individuals with an invitation from someone who already has a Google+ account need to wait until the search engine has the capacity to deal with demand.

But experts in the field of social networking seem to agree that Google+ could eventually have many benefits for the business sector.

Tamara Littleton, chief executive of communications company eModeration, told My Customer: "My instinct is that it would be business first with social perks."

Meltwater Buzz executive director Niklas de Besche said social media today is all about engagement and as a platform, Google+ can help businesses build online communities.

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