The Nordstrom San Francisco Google Places page, above, has business information, while the Nordstrom San Francisco Google+ Page, below, offers interesting social posts.
The benefit of a fused Google+Place page to the social-media manager is obvious: maintaining one page beats maintaining two. Continually updated, the page would benefit the local user as an authoritative source of information about the place, like its address and phone number. The fused page would be engaging, with photos uploaded by users and the manager alike, along with user reviews and comments. In addition, we would find conversations occurring between business owner and customers in a consolidated place.
Google began integrating Google+ into Google Maps last September, to allow users to share information embedded with the maps. With the launch of brand pages, it only makes sense to similarly tie Google+ to the business listings on Google Places. And Google+Places, though it may not be branded that way, is in the pipeline. In late November, the official Google+ Your Business page hosted a real-time Q&A in which a user asked, "I'd like my Google+ business page to be linked seamlessly with my Places page, people who check in on my Place page should be able to find my Business page." Google's response? "I think you'll be thrilled with what we're planning for Google+ and Places."
One doesn't have to think very long to take this idea further. Google Offers, the company's Groupon knockoff, would integrate perfectly with Google+Places. Imagine a user, planning to buy drinks for a party, searches for directions to the nearest BevMol. Along the route, Google Offers surfaces a $199 value deal on a crash course for making mix drinks, obviously something the user would find interest in. The possibilities are endless.
Google knows it has this ace up this sleeve, and the social-media savvy among us know that it will go live with it sooner rather than later. With Twitter flexing its influence over social businesses with new brand pages, Google+ could use something of this proportion to turn attention back to its site. Google+ Places could change everything. It could kickstart the social-local revolution.