Industry News & Trends

Facebook Questions and Google +1 – A Boon to Your Dealership or Just Noise

image of Google Plus OneIn the past week titans Google and Facebook have come up with additional ways for users to add their personal opinions into the mix of search. Facebook has introduced a new Questions tool that enables individuals and brands to ask questions of their network. Google is introducing a +1 feature to their adwords platform that will enable Google profile owners to add a +1 to the business ads and pages they endorse. Think of it as a Facebook “like” button, but for Google. How can these changes impact your business?

Google Plus 1

  • On the PR and marketing side, we’ll see more businesses soliciting plus ones, much in the way we currently see a solicitation of “likes” on Facebook. An example would be a business tweeting or posting something along the lines of “plus one us and get a discount on services…”
  • Google believes the plus one feature will be a benefit to companies using Adwords because they suspect +1 has the potential to boost adwords campaigns.
  • A +1 to a company search listing will also show up on that company’s ad campaign, providing double duty for those brands looking for +1’s across marketing channels.
  • Downfall of +1 – Individuals must have a Google profile to add their +1 ranking and at this time Google’s profile user base is far behind those of networks the likes of Facebook. It will be interesting to see if Google changes this tactic as more businesses warm to the +1 game.

Facebook Questions:

  • Facebook Questions provides users a streamlined way to ask questions of their friends and get a direct feed of answers.
  • Think of the word-of-mouth potential if a user asks where to find the best deal on a car and your business is the most suggested? It’s a marketing goldmine.
  • Here’s the beauty for business – Facebook Questions also enables businesses to ask questions of their followers. In this way Facebook Questions can help a company do everything from test a new campaign or get instant feedback on a product to instant polling for internal use.
  • Facebook Questions downfall – While the question feed can spread word of mouth goodness about your brand, it can also help perpetuate a negative image if a person who answers has had a bad experience.

For a better explanation of both new tools, check out Susan Etlingers post about Facebook Questions and Jolie O’Dell of Mashable for Google +1.

Do you think search tools like Google +1 or Facebook Questions will help or hurt your dealership?

Update: Found this quick presentation on slideshare. Thought it would be a nice addition.

I am surprised I am the first comment. Thanks for your views on this. Here are my views too
Hi Whoisbid. I read your post and largely agree with you. I'm sure Facebook Questions will be largely driven by consumers. Won't it be interesting though to see what companies benefit from consumer-generated content? For instance, what if a user's entire network answered a question about where to buy a car by saying, "Go to XYZ dealership - they're the best." That dealership would see a HUGE upswing I would imagine. As far as Google +1, def. a business opp and one we'll see businesses using to full advantage - as they should.
Hi Laurie,

Still have some questions about this. While I'm a huge fan of the integration of search and social, teere are some issues with the usability factors and even the spam/gaming factor.

One argument I've seen already is the potential confusion over the +1 graphic and it's placement. Another issue is how SEO's/SEM's are going to try to gain any advantage possible by creating new "networks" which merely click the +1 graphics.

And another interesting point is how we have different types of connections between networks. Specifically, compare the connections you have on Facebook & in your email. I may be connected with my good friends from college on Facebook, yet there are many who I never exchange emails with...factor in your Google Buzz contacts as well. I have some, but I don't interact with them.

Google +1 is going to show results from your Google connections - and those results may not be as relevant as, say your connections from Facebook. Who knows, maybe this can help build greater relationships with those connections within your network.

I like the concept - will be watching it develop through the stages & how it contributes.

Dive deeper in this great article:
Hey Eric - I think what business should think about is the "perception" of the +1 concept vs. reality. Same as with Facebook, we don't know necessarily all the people who "like" a brand (although I guess you could argue you can see them on the pic sidebar) but if one brand has 100 likes and another has 10, you're more than likely going to look to the brand with 100 likes. Doesn't necessarily matter who those "likes" come from (though it should) - it's more the total number. Another way to think about it is Twitter followers. Some tweeters can have over 10k Twitter followers and I would bet more than 1/4 of those are "bogus" accounts, but all the potential followers see is the 10k number. Is it the right way to market? Probably not. But will it have an impact on brand awareness - I would bet so. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Thanks for the comments!
  • J
    Jeff Kershner
  • April 1, 2011
Very much like the star ratings coupled with the number of reviews.

I was having a discussion with the dealer owner the other day over our dealers 4.6 rating on dealerrater with close to 400 reviews. There are dealers above us on the results page that have a higher score but no where near the number of reviews. I agree with him; on this site many could look at the "rating" an consider the other dealers but the feed out to other sites including Google - we get the star ratings along with the number of reviews. Much more impressive this way.

Hummm - this has my wheels turning. Chip, if you're reading this, expect a phone call soon!
Yes, an extra "bump" in brand awareness could happen here...

Another thought on Facebook questions...I'm curious as to the best format for questions. What's more effective? Open ended questions or contained choices?

Choices turn the question into a poll - and I recall reading somewhere that polls are one of the least engaging pieces of content. (poll in the title is a turn off as well)

Q&A sites are popular again now - but those are specific communities based around a specific activity. Thinking that questions on FB will simply come down to how creative & unique your questions are...
  • C
  • April 1, 2011
Better turn that phone on ;).

I definitely liked your 2 others you sent - you're on a roll!
Hey, really interesting post. I can see the positives and negatives of each. It will be interesting to see how this affects adwords. One thing is for sure, some companies are going to have to launch massive PR campaigns.

Hopefully no one will pay an outsourcing company or use black hat tactics to negatively affect search results.

John Marazzi from Marazzi Nissan and Audi Jag Landrover Fort Myers in a testimonial for ITZ Media Group (Went from 50 cars a month to over 400):
Hey Dealer Refresh,

The +1 feature will be a hit the same way the "like" button was for Facebook. Orkut & Buzz are (were) user unfriendly so they may disappear. The search engine results page is gradually changing and the SEO part will shrink to allow more space to the paid area (including the sponsored video ads).
People can start planning to have multiple Google accounts registered under different names with different cell phone numbers, then use multiple proxy services delivering other IP addresses so that every vote is unique i.e. if you have 1000 of these you can get 1000 plus ones. So, big money will enable you to have more plus ones. Of course there will be companies offering cheaper solutions just like the ones who sell backlinks, auto tweet, auto blog and advanced website copying services that modify original content so it cannot be seen as plagiarism.
There will be a sharp rise in cloud computing allowing access to multiple clouds and multiple proxies.. even sharing IP with other social network users i.e. those making bit torrent applications can develop programs where you can hop onto someone else's IP address with a different identity to increase +1's
It is going to be fun for those people who work on the dark side and never get caught. They profit from exploiting the web. I am not one of them but I am not ignorant of their activities
Yes. Laurie! You hit it on the nail. I like you now.. but I am married so don't worry..LOL! I have 10,000 + followers who I got without using an auto follow back. It is worse than people think. 99.9% of my followers are robots. We are now in a robot war and anyone can join me in the resistance if they like.. here are the details