In the first two weeks since Google+ launched, over ten million users clamored for invitations and began posting to the newest and most exciting social network on the Internet. Some major companies, such as automotive giant Ford Motors, have created a prominent presence on the site. Clearly, early adapters who jump into the deep end are going to lead the pack and take the advantage in this new game.
Wait—Haven’t We Heard This Before?
If establishing your brand on Google+ is a priority for your business, ask yourself why. Are you ready to be social? Is Google+ ready for you? Keeping in mind that the site does not really support business pages, does not intend to open its platform to businesses until later in the year, and has already suspended a number of business accounts, the smart decision might be to wait until you’re really ready for social networking before you get your feet wet.
Identity, Individuals, & Companies
Social networks are about individuals, not companies; identity, not brands. To be social requires putting a human face on your business. If you need to clear this through legal, you’re not ready to participate. If you want to use social networks to send out marketing messages and talk about products, you’re not ready to participate.
There is simply no way to fake this, and, given the limitations on business pages at the moment, there’s no need to rush it either. Take your time to strategize. How can you create a network that revolves around talking to and about customers? If you want to be social, it’s time to be human. You can only be social when talking about social things. Businesses are not social. Customers using your products are, potentially, social.
Some Basic Facts
Fact # 1: Google+ in specific, and social networking in general, is not for businesses. It’s for people.
Fact # 2: Google+ is not Astroturf. It’s not an installation that can be strapped on. It’s not a problem that can be “solved” in a couple hours.
Fact # 3: For the most part, individuals don’t want to hear you talk about products. Friends and family don’t constantly pitch products to each other.
Fact # 4: Until you’re ready to talk about your customers, you’re not ready for Google+.