At the end of June 2011, Google launched its own social network, oddly named Google+ but also referred to as G+ and Google Plus. Within a month, 20 million profiles had been created, many by social media experts (yes there are a lot of those).
How should your organization respond to this new social network?
G+ Individuals Profiles Only
For the moment, Google+ is reserved for individuals. Google announced that organizations should not create profiles and suspended a number of business profiles. Google’s developers are working overtime on business profiles and we should expect them to deliver their version of « Facebook Pages » within a few months. Until then, organizations should ask their social media team members to create individual profiles for themselves in order to become familiar with G+.
G+ and Organizations
Google has not offered many hints as to what the Google+ business profiles would be like. They did acknowledge that businesses have different needs. I expect to find personalization features for profile presentation and analytical tools. I also hope that they will integrate G+ and Google Places, a business requirement where Facebook is seriously lacking. We will probably know by year-end what G+ for entities will look like but bear in mind that not all features will be delivered initially. This G+ project will be a work in project for years to come.
Before seriously considering the management of a Google+ profile, organizations should take a hard look at what they are currently doing with the 2 major social networks : Facebook and Twitter. Until those two are mastered, it is no use getting on the G+ bandwagon.