Posted September 26, 2011 2:56 pm by with 3 comments

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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.

  • Hi Cynthia, will be exciting to see how G+ integrates with Google Places.

    FYI not sure why everyone keeps saying there are only a few G+ business profiles. I’ve found hundreds if not thousands of + business profiles.

    Use this custom search engine:

    Enter Inc. or Company or LLC or DDS or other designations often seen in biz names and you’ll find tons of biz profiles. (Note: after the search click the profiles button to weed out posts that include the search term.

  • Google+ is going to be a very good opportunity for sites to promote themselves on a serious platform. It’s true that we should not miss this opportunity formidale have better visibility on the internet and propel its sales through the services of Google Inc. 😉

  • Aly

    Hi Cynthia – I work for a marketing firm here in Houston, Texas and am always trying to keep up-to-date with the goings-on in the industry. Social media marketing has become increasingly more important to our clients and the industry as a whole. I think it is important to stress that social media should be seen as a part of an overall marketing plan. Social media gives us the opportunity to interact with our customers much more directly but we need to make sure that we are sending out a clear and unified message.

    Anyways – Thanks for sharing! – Aly