Google+ launched over the summer as a rival to Facebook that offered more control over who sees what and increased privacy. But they were lacking several features Facebook has and one of the biggest was business pages and group pages. Google+ has now launched the pages feature and businesses, groups, celebrities and the like can now create their own business page and start posting away, however, they are still a far cry away from where Facebook pages are now.
I have to wonder why Google would release the Pages feature with so little to offer compared to Facebook. If you want to take on Facebook, the least they could do is offer most of what is available on Facebook. So what is different? Lets compare:
Facebook Page Features:
Long Profile Picture Area – The profile picture can be long and include more than just a logo but can clearly communicate what you do, specials, products anything else that helps you sell
Status Updates – Share what’s new with our followers
FMBL and now HTML pages – Facebook pages can have sub pages. In our case we have a page for services and a page for pricing so they don’t have to leave Facebook to know more about us.
Photos – The ability to create albums and post photos. In our case we use this to show our portfolio and use different albums for the different types of websites we create
Lots and Lots of Plug-Ins – There are so many great plug ins to enhance your Facebook page. Having sub-pages is by plug in, having your blog posts automatically add to your Facebook Page as a status update, syncing your status updates with Twitter is a plug-in and there are so many more I couldn’t even count
Advertising – Once you have a page you can now use Facebook ads to reach more people and encourage likes, sell products or simply get the word out there about something
Emailed weekly stats – Each week Facebook tells you how many people have liked your page, unliked your page, commented and other useful statistics.
Information Page – People anywhere can find you through your address and map, phone number, multiple website addresses (what business has just one site these days), hours and you can even let people know where your parking is.
Posts – Like Facebook Status you can broadcast a general message and add in a web page link, a video, a photo or attach a location to the post
Information Page – Room for an introduction, a phone number and a website link
Photos – Create albums and load photos and easily control who sees the albums and photos
Videos – Easily upload and share videos and easily control who sees them
As you can see Google+ Pages fall considerably short compared to Facebook pages. Hopefully over time they will grow their pages to include a lot of the same features Facebook already offers. The fact that they haven’t tied in Google Places with the About page baffles me, to not offer the ability to enter an address and show it on Google Maps seems like a big miss for me. You can’t enter multiple phone numbers or website URL’s either. It’s like the “about” section was an after-thought. I’m also quite surprised they haven’t added Google Adwords down the side as a new target area for Adwords users.
However, the fact that they lack the ability to add some personality and sell-ability to their pages is the biggest miss, One square image and no ability to to customize the landing page visitors first land or ability to add additional pages and information makes it look like they based all this off Twitter and not Facebook!
Either way, it’s still good to go in and create yourself a Google profile and then a Google Page for your business, because in the end it’s still a great link back to your website.