Any day now, Google Plus is going to launch business profiles for Google Plus, and boy is there excitement about how that will look. Google famously ticked off a lot of brands and companies when they kicked out profiles that didn’t have human-like names in the early days, but it was all with the idea that eventually this brave new world within a brave new world would arise. No pressure.
My trepidation about Google Plus for businesses comes out of two major channels of thinking. One, I think a lot of companies and brands still have work to do in figuring out how to use other social media platforms for business. Two, the broadcast nature of Google Plus that I perceive (as we talked about on Monday) will be a turn-off for potential customers rather than a turn-on.
You’ll need to remember ROI has nothing to do with mothers (or fathers)
We’ve talked about this on occasion here at ye Olde Blog, but I think a lot of companies and brands that have moved online have sort of forgotten that they are here to grow their businesses and make some money (or that is my assumption, anyway, given centuries of capitalistic tendencies). Indeed, brands and companies have gotten so far astray from real-life business on platforms like Twitter and Facebook that many echoed Gary Vaynerchuk’s sentiment that measuring social media ROI is like measuring the ROI of your mother.
Sadly, it is not that light and fluffy.
If you are a brand and business and you are spending time online, whether it’s Twitter, a blog, or Google Plus, you are using your company’s most valuable resources – you and time. Most likely, you are getting paid for that time. If you are not bringing in business because of that time, or, to put it another way, if you are not getting ROI for that social media work, you are putting in a lot more than you are taking out. In most other scenarios, businesses do not stand that kind of thing for long periods of time.
In order to use any social media platform successfully for business purposes, there must be a return to the idea that that is in fact what you are doing. Yes, it can be fun. Yes it can be a lot more humanizing and all of that great mushy stuff. But the mushy stuff si not the ROI. The mushy stuff is the tool that you need to capitalize on to grow your business. If you go into Google Plus thinking that just talking to people through your new business profile will be enough, it will not work for you. Sad, but true.
People get itchy when companies broadcast
In the world of Twitter, if you see an account that is doing nothing but tweeting out posts or promoting the owner of the account, you’re probably going to get pretty irritated after a pretty short period of time, right? My concern about businesses moving over to Google Plus is that the platform, as it exists now, is so geared towards broadcasting that it wouldn’t be hard for company accounts to fall into that hole. Posting news releases, company videos, advertisements, or anything else will not look out of place on Google Plus, but for that reason, too, it could really turn people away from wanting to engage with you on your company’s G+ platform. Social media has taught people that we all like to be talked with, not talked at, especially when the talking account wants us to give them our money. That can get kind of delicate.
What potential do you see for businesses in Google Plus land? What do you hope the business pages will bring to the Google Plus world? I’ve given you my take. Now, let’s talk about it!
Image credit: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/cararr