Friday, July 15, 2011

Google Plus for Business

Google Plus for Business

There’s a new social network on the block, and publishers and brands are scrambling to figure out how to use Google+ for business. When a social platform starts growing exponentially [personally, I already have 49 Google+ followers and it’s only been a week!], good marketers take notice and move in fast. However, social media marketers have hit a major roadblock with Google+ – there are no business tools. What’s a company to do?

We got word yesterday from Google+ Ads Lead Christian Oestlien – fittingly in a YouTube video posted on his Google+ profile page – about Google’s plans for business-oriented tools. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Don’t create a business page yet: Oestlien asked brands and business to hold off using consumer profiles to create a business identity on Google+. Using a personal profile for a company or brand violates the Google+ terms of service (much like Facebook’s policy). Google says it will be “actively working with profile owners to shut down non-user profiles,” although companies like Ford already have profiles which Oestlien himself has shared in his feed. In summary, create pages at your own risk until the proper tools become available.

2. Google+ business tools will be coming… sometime this year: Google engineers are currently working on separate business pages, which will include integration with other services like AdWords. According to Oestlien, the “business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses.” However, no time frame has been set for the deployment of these tools.

3. Apply to be part of the Google+ for business pilot: Google will be testing business features with a small number of users. You can apply to here:

The fact that Google+ has an Ads Lead is a hint of things to come; clearly Google intends to put some form of AdWords on the site, like it has with every other major Google property.

In the meantime, the Google+ rollout is having a massive effect on Google services across the web, and publishers, brands and businesses should take note. The Google 1+ button is has already been deployed on Google AdWords and search results. Publishers can (and should) add the 1+ button to their content, similar to “Tweet This” or “Share on Facebook” buttons. It is likely that these “votes of confidence” from users will show up on their Google+ profile pages and be integrated into Google’s search rankings secret sauce. In addition, Mashable reported that Google will rebrand Blogger and Picasa to bring them into the Google+ fold.

It took brands years to get on Facebook; a year or so to realize the value of Twitter. Clearly times have changed. What’s next for Google+? Stay tuned…

Orginal Article by Alexia Nielsen

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