Our relationship with Twitter and Facebook originated in personal relationships, but with Google, it was search. But, as Facebook and Twitter products evolve, it’s become pretty clear that they now want a piece of the ‘search’ pie. It’s healthy for the industry, and it’s fascinating to watch.
Does the fact that our relationship with Facebook started in personal relationships hinder its opportunity to focus on commerce opportunities ? I don’t completely agree with this notion, as there are many success stories with Facebook credits, but I do think this is where Google have an advantage. We have historically used Google (search) when we want to find our more about a product, or purchase a product. Is it this engrained consumer relationship with Google that will help Google + leap Facebook in commerce opportunities ?
Google has products like Google Checkout that already close the purchase cycle , and more importantly developed a commerce product that instill customers with that ‘trust-factor’. This is a really important factor in thinking about the potential for Google + , in comparison to Facebook & Twitter. In the last year Facebook mistrust stories have hit national news around the world, and this could be massively detrimental as it matures. If Facebook were a person, this is how they would be:
That is not to say that I completely trust Google, no way. But, I think a large majority of the public would rather use Google product when parting with their hard-earned cash compared to Facebook and Twitter. If Google were a person I would put him in khakis, a white shirt, and an ill-fitting blazer – far more trusting, obviously.
Google + Brand Pages must not be viewed as an isolated experience, but rather a platform that has the potential to underpin a brands relationship with their customers over multiple Google touch points (Chrome, Android OS, YouTube). With this opportunity, comes data, and with data comes a requirement to make sense of that data. Facebook analytics sits on Facebook, Twitter analytics on Twitter, but with Google Analytics you have a product that is baked-in to a reported 50% of global websites. The mind boggles at the potential here for Google, and I would be very surprised if the Google + brand page uptake doesn’t surpass its competitors very quickly.