Why brands shouldn’t rush to Google+

by Dan Goodswen in News

Why Brands Shouldn't rush to get Google+

Google+ may have have launched their long-awaited pages, but brands shouldn’t necessarily rush to sign up.

It seems the search giant have jumped the proverbial gun, with pages currently having no option for multi-admin access, no way to transfer pages between owners, and no option to add a vanity URL.

Addressing concerns from users in the Google+ forums, Google+ Community Manager Toby S. gave an update on the status of branded pages;

First, there is no multi-admin functionality yet, but it is a priority for our team and coming very soon!

Second, our team is working on a way to transfer page ownership so that, if a page owner leaves his or her company, the brand page can be maintained. That’s also coming very soon.

Toby also weighed in on the subject of vanity URLs;

I can not speak to long-term plans for vanity URLs, but it is currently not a priority for our team and I would proceed under the assumption that they will not become available.

This seems to be something of a #fail for the Google+ team, who launched the pages to much fanfare yesterday.

Even brands that have embraced social are still nervous about the prospect of losing a page due to a staff member leaving the company or going rogue.

Having multi-admin access on social channels not only allows the whole team to take part in community and brand management, but also acts as a security blanket – brands know they won’t lose the page if they lose a staff member.

The way Google+ brand pages are currently set-up, there is no way to safeguard against this.

Brands are also increasingly pointing fans directly to branded social channels through traditional media, by including their Twitter handles and vanity Facebook URL on everything from television spots and billboards to magazines and digital banners.

Not having the option of a vanity URL will be a difficult sell for brands, leaving them with the choice of either including the long-form URL, complete with a 21-character number ID, or asking them to Google their name with a ‘+’ in front, i.e. +We Are Social Australia

While it may seem necessary to rush out and set-up a branded page to stay ahead of the curve, we’d advise proceeding with caution until at least multi-admin access is enabled.

With the success of the platform depending on Google’s ability to entice brands to use pages, they might not just be a case of jumping the gun, but of also shooting themselves in the foot.

What are your thoughts; major fail? Or too soon to tell? Leave us a comment below…

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  • Helo

    Can’t understand why vanity URL’s is not a priority… many brand owners/managers would like to book it to prevent a brandspace.

  • webber

    The issue with multiple admins, they say, will be fixed in the near future.
    In the meanwhile you can create the pages using a company Google account rather than a personal account. This should prevent loosing your page if an employee leaves your company for example.
    As for vanity URLs, as much as I personally like them, they don’t really do much, do they? How many visitors are going to manually enter that URL instead of just googling  it or search in in Facebook/Google+

  • Anonymous

    While I have not *yet* setup a brand page, I don’t see this as being such a huge failure. Clearly Google are taking feedback and incorporating it into their development – so we will see incremental improvements. Multiple admins will become available in good time.

    As to vanity URLs, who needs them? Surely you are using any number of URL shorteners with inbuilt analytics so that you can track inbound links. Most of these services offer customisation, so you can have your vanity URL and more – just not with a plus.google.com domain. 

    And like any of these platforms – if it fits with your strategy, go ahead. And the sooner you start experimenting and learning, the sooner you will get value from your efforts.

  • http://twitter.com/TashWord Tash Hughes

    As long as webber is correct and you can use a company google account set up a fan page, I don’t think the transfer of ownership is such a big deal – without that, though, I see it as a problem for people setting up accounts for clients (as I have done via my Facebook account).

    Vanity URLs are not important for online marketing but they are for offline marketing – anyone sees a along URL and they won’t even try remembering it, and if they’re not on Google+ doing a search there may seem too hard.

    But it sounds like fan pages are still in development despite the launch so I won’t be stressing myself to get on there instantly…

  • http://toliveanddieinlondon.tumblr.com Dan Goodswen

    That was the comment from the Google+ team that raised the most eyebrows around here. Surely that’s a given in this day and age!

  • http://toliveanddieinlondon.tumblr.com Dan Goodswen

    A single email address is still a hack for multi-admin access, and doesn’t stop a single user from changing the email address on the account, blocking access. As I said in the article, Vanity URLs are increasingly important in advertising, and also in ensuring that nobody cyber-squats or impersonates you. Without the vanity URL, it’s much harder to tell whether the page you’re on is the Official one or not.

  • http://toliveanddieinlondon.tumblr.com Dan Goodswen

    The problem is that Google are already four months behind on their brand pages. With additional must-have features still not available after waiting for them to launch, many people have already written off the platform. These features aren’t differentiators, they’re necessities, and Google should have waited until they were ready to launch. 

    As Slate.com said in their article today, you can’t launch a social network like software, with bugs and holes and missing features, you have to launch it as a fully functional product. It’s no good saying ‘coming soon’, it’s already too late.You’re absolutely right about the strategy though, another great reason why brands shouldn’t rush to sign up – it may not be the right fit for them. Of course, 10 points to the first person who works out what strategy it’s right for (hint: it isn’t hangouts).Cheers Gavin.

  • http://toliveanddieinlondon.tumblr.com Dan Goodswen

    Hi Tash. Yeah, I agree not rushing is the best approach, but I’m pretty sure it’ll kill the platform dead in the water if brands don’t sign up in big numbers. Google are counting on brands to pull in users in big numbers.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head with the problem of single email access; setting up accounts on behalf of clients, certainly in our line of work. Thanks for the comment :)

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  • http://twitter.com/Nallawalla Keith Nallawalla

    I just searched for +Pepsi and their page was number 7 on the organic results. Am I doing this right? because it seems pretty low down, the Facebook profile comes up before the G+ one does. Or am I doing this wrong? I think the + had a function already for Google Advanced Search so maybe I did it wrong. 

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelbatistich Michael Batistich

    Hi Keith, again sorry about the late comment.

    Just tried to run the search from Google search and it does apear that adding the ‘+’ sign to a Google Plus profile only works in Google Plus search at the moment and not Google search.

    That said, when you add the brand name and ‘Google+’ and the Google+ page ranks first.