Marketers, start your Google+ engines! Speaking at Ad Age’s Digital West conference last week, Google’s Christian Oestlien, said it’s “close to unveiling Google+ business profiles.”
Right now, only Ford and General Motors have official profiles, but since Google+ opened the gates to everyone and anyone, a few “unofficial” profiles have popped up for brands such as Snapple and Taco Bell. Most of these branded pages are blank which leads me to believe people are place holding in hopes of a coup. It’s not going to happen, though, because there’s no limit to how many times the same name can be used.
If a company wants to complain about misuse of their logo, Google+ will listen and possibly shut down the offending profile, but it doeesn’t sound like verification will be a priority at all.
The other kind of brand pages that are popping up are franchise homes. Sunnyside Toyota in Cleveland has their own (empty) brand page, as does Alexander Toyota in Yuma. This pattern is starting to look very familiar. Yes, I’ll say it, it’s Facebook all over again.
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I know every social media site has its growing pains, but you’d think Google would have learned a few tricks from the site they’re trying to emulate. Did they expect businesses to shun the service? Is that a portion of the online population they want to turn away? It makes no sense that Google+ didn’t have a plan for business right out of the gate. Now we’re rolling into that same, mixed up mire we were in before Facebook worked the kinks out of their brand pages.
Ad Age asked Michael Zuna, chief marketing officer of Aflac what he thought about Google+ and he said:
“Given Google’s strong track record, both +1 and Google+ are platforms that we are closely watching. We are most interested in +1 because of its potential impact on search.”
I think he speaks for many of us who don’t want to miss the boat but aren’t convinced that Google+ is worth the effort. Then again, if Google+ opens up to brand pages tomorrow, there’s really no reason not to build one for your business.