Opinion

Why the Google+ brand ban is an opportunity not to be missed


Currently, you can’t register your company or brand on the Google+ platform. While this has created outcry with some marketers, I think there’s a genuine, untapped opportunity here.

Sure, it may be frustrating that brands can’t treat Google+ like their other outlets at the moment. After all, once you enter the social media ecosystem, it’s helpful to get everything lined up (for you and your customers).

But let’s look at this another way.

Google+ is, currently, about people and circles. Once upon a time, Twitter and Facebook were about people too. Now they’re just part of the branded ecosystem and have their own unique properties that marketers love to play with.

But people don’t follow brands in the way that marketers would like. Mark Ritson recently outlined some social media failures, including SEAT who, despite having a big Facebook push, only ended up with 5000 fans.

It’s my belief that people like people more than they like brands.

Most of the top Twitter accounts are people’s accounts. Not branded accounts. (Yes, OK, people can be brands too – especially celebrities – but they’re still people first and foremost)

So along comes Google+, courting controversy and some outrage by banning company/branded accounts.

They’re on one side and the exposure hungry marketer, eager to play with the new platform, is on the other.

There’s an answer here that keeps both Google and the marketer happy.

Why not set the CEO, senior customer service rep or workstream manager up with a Google+ account, and use that to make a real human connection the with audience?

The platform would still allow for the corporate, branded messages to get out there, but presented by a real person (as opposed to a branded channel).

Using the huddles, sparks and circles could lead to a radically different form of interaction and engagement with the community. Especially if the person used the Circles to their full potential as segmented communication streams.

Google will be happy – there’s a real person behind the account. The marketers would be happy because they’ve got a new toy to play with.

And the consumer might be happy because they’ve got a real person to like, not some faceless brand.

What do you think? Could this idea work? Are there any companies putting it into practice at the moment? Will it make these interactions genuinely social in the truest definition of the word?

Or is it best to wait for the platform to evolve and allow the brands to develop their own branded space, congruent with the rest of the ecosystem?

And if Google continue their brand and company ban, could Google Plus become the most social platform in the market place?

I’m fascinated to hear your thoughts on the matter…

Thanks to @BethGrangerSays @Ty_Sullivan @JPAColeman from the awesome #UsGuys Twitter network for help on this post

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