Google+ Launches Brand Pages But Forgets to Bring Enterprise Functionality

Google+ launched this pages this week. The good news is that brands can officially begin curating their own pages, rather than leveraging individual profiles.

The bad news? Pretty much everything else brands have come to expect from social platforms from a management perspective is missing.

Vanity URLS?

Nope. This isn’t a deal-breaker. But, ya know, it’s something brands like to have.

Multi-user management?

Nope. This one is especially odd. Right now I have a brand page connected to my personal Google login…that’s definitely not idea for any company. With Facebook you can make multiple people admins so that if one leaves, there’s always someone else who can help carry the torch.

Third party publishing tools?

Nope. I recently talked about Social Media Management Systems (SMMS), and how they’re helpful in letting companies manage multiple platforms with multiple users.  Google+ is not integrated with any of the vendors currently, so your only option is to manually publish content from the one person who is synced with the account.

Metrics or insights or analytics?

Nope. What do brands love? NUMBERS. Not going to find them here. You can see the publicly available info like members in your circles, and you can use your own url shortening/tracking tool to manage clicks. Otherwise Google hasn’t come forward with a native integration into something like say…Google Analytics.

Now, I’m sure that Google will address these things in time, but given how competitive the social space is for brands we’ve all had to clamor and will likely have to use duct-tape solutions until G+ cleans things up.

And, to ensure that I’m not just presenting the glass half-empty perspective, there are some cool features that brands can play with, including:

Circles

If you’re like NVIDIA, you have very different audiences for your brands. With circles people can self-identify and place themselves into buckets based on interest. Then you can publish just to the relevant circles. This may negate the need for multiple brand pages. Wonder how folks will handle regional/language needs?

Hangouts

Video chatting is cool. Hangouts let you “Connect directly with your community via live video chats that can put you face to face with up to 9 people at once.” (I’m trying to remain glass half-full still, so I won’t make a snarky comment about only being to chat with 9 people at a time…)

Google+ Direct Connect

This is a beta feature that hasn’t been fully fleshed out and isn’t available for all pages, but it’s described as a way to let “you quickly navigate to a Google+ page (and even add that page to your circles) when using Google Search.”

Have you launched a G+ brand page? How are you making the most of the new platform? How will you handle content between your different SM platforms?

Here are a few brands that are already active:

Dell

AT&T

Travel Channel