Here’s clarification of rumors that have been flying around regarding Google+ for Business. Friends of Tier10ab had some questions, so this post speaks to those and other issues we thought helpful for anyone interested.
The new business pages for Google+ will include not only fans, but employees and management. Verification that each business is indeed who they claim they are is also in place. Pages of this kind will also be able to add more than one location — a tremendous piece of functionality for automotive dealership groups, restaurant chains, retail stores, and the like. Full integration of Google Offers, Analytics and AdWords will make Google+ a very powerful platform.
As of right now, Google hasn’t officially launched “+” for business. I know there are many rumors, but the certifiable blogs I follow, including Google’s own Google+ blog, have not given a formal release. It has, however, been released to the general public. This is a positive sign that the business-specific format will come once its population has reached critical mass.
I love that Google+ is top-of-mind, as I believe it is going to be a game-changer for social marketing, offering different services than Facebook for us to better communicate with our respective markets via Social Media. A strategy that includes Facebook and Google+ playing off each other will present the most integrated Social solution available.
However, we need to proceed with caution. Google has pulled the plug on business pages with Google+ for the time being. See the L.A. Times below:
After pulling the plug on Google+ pages set up for businesses on Thursday, Google laid out some details (and a bit of regret) on what it has done so far and hopes to do next to get companies, nonprofits, bands and other entities into the social network as soon as possible.
Almost two weeks ago, Google asked businesses eager to get started on Google+ to stay out of the fledgling social network. The reason? Google said current Google+ pages were designed for people to network, not companies or other groups.
The tech giant promised that it would roll out pages for businesses and other entities later in the year and began taking applications from groups interested in trying out test versions of such pages.
But the response to Google’s call for business-page testing partners was more enthusiastic then even the Mountain View, Calif., company expected, and now Google is working to speed up the process and get its act together faster.
Pointing out the “Google+ pages were designed for people … not companies” item, Google has been actively deleting not only + profiles, but deleting entire Google Accounts of those businesses that have attempted to leverage the new platform. So while there is much value in being first-adopters, let’s hold off until the platform is ready. Per Christian Oestlien, Google ad lead on Google+:
Doing it right is worth the wait. We will continue to disable business profiles using regular profiles. We recommend you find a real person who is willing to represent your organization on Google+ using a real profile as him-or-herself.
I will be anxious to get into strategy discussions as we learn more about what Google+ will provide in the way of search optimization, branding opportunities, AdWords, Analytics, even Places, Offers and YouTube integration. Till then, I’d continue to optimize socially on Facebook, and the like.
Be assured that Tier10lab will be tracking Google+’s progress and will continue to consult on its functionality. I will suggest that any that have not started a personal account do so as soon as possible.