Since Google Plus opened up to the public back in the summer, businesses and organizations have been crying for the right to participate. Finally yesterday afternoon November 7th, Google opened the floodgate and businesses and organizations were allowed to create pages for Google plus. As soon as the door was open up a crack the tide poured in. Yesterday it was hard to keep up with both those who had crested pages and those who were upset because they couldn’t. After an organization created a page, the first question was often now that we have one, what do we do with it. It is sort of like the dog that keeps chasing the car and when he finally catches it he has no clue what to do with it. However with the way Google is integrating Google Plus into everything brands feel they have to be there.
Pages are easy to create, which made some people question why it took so long to make them available. Just because they were easy to create doesn’t mean opening up Google plus up to organizations hasn’t been without problems. Like a lot of Google releases it was thrown open to the public unfinished and before the end of the day the complaints started to come in. The first is that pages can only be managed by a single individual. Not very practical when most companies today have teams to deal with social media. As has been pointed out even if you create a single Gmail account that all members of a team can use to log in, this limits the ability to post to that team. It has been reported that this is something that Google is working on and this should be fixed soon. Second is the problem of fake accounts, since there is no way to verify an account, fake accounts are being created pretending to be someone they are not. As an individual if you see a brand account that seems questionable, report it, so Google can take care of it. As a person who follows these accounts it is important to me that I am following who I think I am. Third if you have a personal account and administrate a company account also, it is easy to post to the wrong one by mistake. I am not sure what Google can do about this, this requires the individual to be vigilant and to watch what they are doing. Finally there has to be a way to have the URL read plus.google.com/brand name/post instead of plus.google.com/some long number/post.
As an end-user choosing what brands to follow is key. Brands (or pages) can’t add you to their circle until you’ve added or mentioned them first, so make your choices judiciously. Once you choose to follow a brand then you have to decide whether you want to add them to circles you’ve already created and mix brands and individuals or do you make separate circles for brands. My choice is to separate brands from individuals. As time goes on I believe that Google will correct most of the problems that have been brought up. On some of them it does makes you scratch your head wondering why they didn’t see and correct the problem before the release. However if you are a long time Google user you know this is typical of Google. If you maintain a brand, business or organization do you plan to create a Google Plus page, why or why not. If you are an individual on Google plus are you happy that brands are now on Google plus or do you wish they had stayed away.