by Danny Brown and Geoff Livingston
Much has been said about marketing on Google+. Both of us have been intentionally conservative about marketing on the new network due to a statement from Google+ specifically asking business and brands to wait until it formalized its business offering. This offering is rumored to include an open API for applications and data usage. Yesterday, a confirmed report from KCET-TV in LA surfaced that Google+ community managers are enforcing the brand “no fly zone.”
To date, ABC News Radio, LAUNCH and Boing Boing have all been removed, or have voluntarily taken down their Google+ profiles. In the face of complaints about brands being unceremoniously dispatched, community managers have indicated that Google+ will focus on optimizing community interaction between people first.
Both Bonsai Interactive and Zoetica represent real brands, corporate and nonprofit. We are posting this advisory to provide clear guidance for our clients and network on how to approach Google+ during this interim phase:
1) Do not invest in formal brand marketing on Google+. As we have seen, Google+ is now policing its network and you risk losing your entire time investment. Further, until the business offering is created by Google, no one really knows how corporations and nonprofits can successfully navigate this new social network. In essence, until Google+ for business is released efforts are likely to be all for naught
2) Do experiment on Google+ and learn how the network works using your personal profile. It’s too soon to formally say that Google+ will be a significant consumer network, but with reports of 18 million followers and growing, momentum indicates the network is succeeding. Further, as demonstrated by its policing of the network, Google is clearly focused on community first. Becoming knowledgable through participation on Google+ is prudent at this point.
3) Be wary of marketing services firms and individuals who are seeking paid fees for Google+ marketing insights. Again, per the first point, no one really knows how to market on Google+. Investing financially in Google+ is not a good use of resources until finite offerings are available. Ethically speaking we would not charge our clients for advice and strategies in the face of such uncertainty.
Google+ is starting field trials with brands in the immediate future. As Google works through the kinks and formalizes its offering, it is a great time to become comfortable with the social network.
Many of our fellow bloggers are openly sharing their insights and learning together in a fashion we have not seen in years. Enjoy this time, friends. This kind of new social network launch is unprecedented.
Update 21 July 2011 11.41am: NBC News is the latest to remove their Google+ profile.