It is time! Brands are waiting with bated breath at the starting line, and the minute Google+ will wave the flag, they will run full speed ahead to establish themselves on the social platform. Google+ will soon unveil its business platform, but marketers are already experimenting with the same!
What Has Google Said?
At a recently help Ad Age's Digital West conference, the group product manager for social advertising at Google, Christian Oestlien, made an important announcement. He said that Google+ will very shortly unveil its business profiles. This will then clear the road ahead for companies to create pages and circles- and generally spread their wings on the social platform.
Prior to this, Google+ opened its doors to all the users, and now they are going to bring out the business profiles very soon. Earlier, the company had categorically instructed companies to stay away from Google+, they had even deleted some profiles like that of Sesame Street. Google+ allowed only Ford and General Motors to be a part of the beta testing and setting up "test account" and "sneak preview" banners.
What Is Happening Now?
With Google+ coming out of the testing stage, marketers with the purpose of claiming brand names at the earliest, have already set up several unofficial business profiles. Most of the profiles of big brands are just squatters registering the brand name.
Some of these famous names are- Starbucks, Home Depot, Coca Cola (the soft drink giant had multiple profiles).
Even big media names have their profiles on Google+. But they are blank. They have nothing on them, are they genuine, well we can't say. But they seem fishy for sure. See for instance, the Wall Street Journal's page.
This Has Happened Before!
Yes, this rush of fake brand pages has been seen before on Twitter, when the original brands could not take the names as they had been claimed by fans of the brands. But Google+ is different. The platform allows for one name to be registered multiple times. As Google spokesman Jim Prosser says, "It's not a land-grab situation. Right now it's very clear, because there's only two business we're testing with, so in a very binary way, it's clear that anyone who's acting as a business on there [is not authentic]."
Brands are worried, that while Google+ knows that those putting up profiles in their names are fake, the same cannot be said for the users. How will a regular user know which profile is genuine?
What Has Got The Companies Concerned?
Companies and brands have been waiting patiently to get on Google+. But with brand names' profiles already filling up the network, it can be extremely frustrating for them. Many companies may feel that they are losing out the time to make an initial impact on the users.
However, most brands have already worked out, what will be better for their brands. As Michael Zuna, chief marketing officer of Aflac 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." There it is the power of +1. marketers are aware of it and so are the brands.
How Will Google+ Identify The Originals?
Google+ is all set to sort out the weeds. They seem to have a plan to identify the original brands, just like they have done with celebrities. In August 2011, Google+ announced plans to give verification badges to celebrities and important figures. Google's Mr. Prosser said, "We're not announcing anything yet, but you can see a good example by looking on the consumer side with what we've done for celebrities."
Google+ is open for complaints by companies against any fake profiles. Google+ will inform the concerned user to change to their original names, or appeal the finding before it takes further action.
Google+ Is For The Authentic Users
To settle down ruffled feathers, Mr. Prosser said Google is using a "consumer-operations team that does work – both algorithmically and through people to prevent folks that are trying to take on fake identities."
As a brand only you will be exist on Google+, that seems assured. Maybe it is time for you to work on your brand strategy for Google+.