If your company is serious about getting involved in social networking, there’s no doubt that the announcement of Google+ created a lot of excitement and even more questions. What will the business-facing elements of the service look like? Will it be more akin to the “Pages” of Facebook, or something more in tune with the company Twitter account? And how are users expecting Google+ business profiles to behave?
Pending Business Elements of Google+
As users of Google Apps have likely noticed, you have to be using a Google account – not a business account run through Google – to actually sign up as a user. That’s intentional, states Googler Christian Oestlien, who clarifies that “Right now, we’re very much focused on optimizing for the consumer experience.” However, the company has a team “builing a similarly optimized business experience for Google+.” This new version will include integration with business-oriented Google services, such as AdWords, its own advanced analytics service, and will be released later. Sadly, no more specific time frame has been provided.
If you’re interested in being part of the pilot program for Google+ for Business, fill out this form.
Early Experimentation on Google+
While Google has specifically requested that business users hold tight before playing around in business-consumer relations on Google+, a few companies have jumped the gun. Ford Motors is one company who took great advantage of the built-in features, even going as far as inviting users to step into a Hangout (a group video chat, and one of Google+’s distinguishing features) after a press conference. A captioning contest was also held where the +1 on the comments were the voting method.
Ford stated, though, that they’d “seen comments, both pro and con, about our presence” on Google+. Clearly, the mold for Google+ will be different than either Twitter or Facebook, but no one yet knows exactly what that difference will look like.
[Sources include: Information Week]