This is another in our “She Said, He Said” blog series. Come back tomorrow for Jim’s take on this subject and our topic list for tomorrow’s #shehechat on Twitter at 8 p.m. CST.
Oh, that Google. Within just a few days, they changed the user interface of Gmail, announced that Buzz was going away for good and introduced brand and business pages on Google+. They are always up to something.
I’ve been secretly anxious about G+ releasing their brand and business pages. I know some businesses cheated and already had pages out there, but I wanted to see how Google was going to handle it. I was eager to find out if they would do better or worse than Facebook’s Pages. However, please note that I’ve only had about 48 hours of experience with this new feature, so my observations are somewhat limited.
Features that get +1 from me
Setup: It was relatively easy to create a G+ page. There’s a prominent button on the right hand side of the page and, once you click it, I had our “She Said, He Said” page up and running within 10 minutes.
Circles: I like that a brand or business can’t add a person to a circle unless they add the page to one of their circles first. With Facebook, a Page can’t follow a person at all, but I think Google is doing this better because it encourages more interactivity between the business and its customers and clients.
Connecting within circles: While I do like that a brand or business can’t circle back without being circled, I was frustrated on the day I created our page. Unless someone told me outright that they had circled the “She Said, He Said” page, I had no way of knowing. That problem was fixed quickly and I can now see who has circled the page by looking at the profile or searching through the notifications.
Features that aren’t quite No. 1
Creation: Oh sure, when you go to create a page you have to click on that “Terms and Conditions” box that no one ever reads. Hopefully somewhere in there it says that you can’t start up a page unless you are a true representative of that brand or business. (Like most people, I didn’t read it either but I’m not doing anything illegal or underhanded in creating the page.) I did see a post or two on G+ among my friends who were concerned that people outside organizations would start up pages with false representation. That’s probably something that should be addressed more thoroughly.
Administration: I’m really not a fan of the fact that only one person can administer a page through their personal G+ account. In our case, Jim has administration of ColorMetrix while I have taken on “She Said, He Said.” In an ideal world, we would both have access to each of the pages. I saw a G+ post earlier today that asked if we were going to require a CEO (and only that CEO) to administer the organization’s page. I’m sure that this is on Google’s list of things to do so I’m just going to be patient.
The onslaught: I guess I didn’t know so many of the people in my circles would have multiple business pages to add to G+. I know it’s all about getting them out there right now but I don’t know which ones to circle or which to ignore. I can’t possibly circle them all. I’ve also noticed that people started sharing their pages before filling in all the details. I liken this to not filling out your bio on other social media networks. Why should I circle you? Please tell me! I’m sure this will calm down over the next week or two but my stream is filling up and it’s starting to be overwhelming.
What are your thoughts on G+ pages for businesses and brands so far?