The social media world is all abuzz this week (forgive me, GOOG, for throwing a “buzz” in there) with the introduction of Google+, Google’s long-awaited full-orbed social network. I’ve been playing with it for a few days now, and I’m very impressed. I’ll publish my thoughts on its prospects for success in a subsequent post.
For right now, I know the number one question Virante clients will be asking me is, “Should my brand be on Google+?” Because (and I’ll tip my hand here) I’m optimistic about the chances for success of Google+, I’m answering, “Yes, but not quite yet.” As Search Engine Land has reported, Google+ “Pages” are coming for business.
Facebook Pages History Lesson
So why not go ahead and fudge a page now, by jerry rigging a Google Profile into a brand profile? I think the experience of Facebook Pages should serve as a good history lesson. Before Facebook introduced its Pages feature, a number of brands jumped the gun by creating personal profiles as their brand. When Pages came out, with much better features for brands, those brands went through a lot of agony. They’d already built up a fan base on their fudged personal pages, and its difficult to ask a lot of people to change to a new page.
Surprisingly, some major social media brands, such as Mashable and Search Engine Land (!) have already gone ahead and created fudged Profiles. I think that was a mistake.
Since Google is promising brand-oriented profiles and pages, and since their developers say the reason they are delayed is that they are trying to produce something truly worthwhile, I would say your patience will be rewarded if you wait.
But Do Get Started with Google+!
In the meantime, if you manage social media for a brand, I think it would behoove you to try to get a personal account on Google+ and begin to play with it to get familiar with its beautiful and easy-to-use interface.