With a lot of fanfare, Google released Google+ just six months ago, and less than one month later, it unofficially became the fastest-growing social network with close to 10 million members. The new kid on the block quickly made its presence felt, with disruptions being felt across Facebook and Twitter. Still, Google+ is still way behind the Big Two social networking sites when it comes to membership. But that didn’t stop members from jumping on the newest bandwagon in town.
Of course, it was just a matter of time before businesses join in, and Google+ regularly rolls out new features to make sure that businesses will find what they’re looking for in a social media site. The recent release of the Brand Page is only the beginning of a long evolution for Google+ that will undoubtedly result in increased business adoption in 2012 and beyond.
Businesses Felt Left Out
The reason why Facebook and Twitter are very popular with businesses is, in addition to the large number of users that they can access, that they can easily establish a presence on these sites. Businesses can create a Twitter account for their business, while they can create a “Fan Page” on Facebook. With these properties, they can easily reach out to customers, prospective and current alike.
Businesses had clamored for the ability to create a fan page of sorts in Google+. Since Google+ only accepts real members with real names, a tall wall was put up in between Google+ and businesses. But with the success of fan pages on Facebook, many felt that it’s just a matter of time before Google+ finally decides to open its doors to businesses. And in early November, this became a reality.
Early Growing Pains
Just like in other new feature launches, the brand pages of Google+ experienced some stumbles along the way. There were a few complaints from page owners, and this included the fact that only one admin can handle the brand page. This is in direct contrast with its Facebook counterpart wherein the page owner can promote multiple internal employees or various social media agency representatives as admins.
Right now, a brand page has one admin account that has full control of the page. This means that the brand’s social media manager needs to do the administering herself or she needs to pick one team member and give him the sole responsibility of updating the brand page.
However, this proved to be inefficient. Having just one admin proved to be counter-productive since it’s basically a choice between tying down a team member the whole day to tasks related to brand pages and leaving the brand page without an available admin for hours at a time.
Another band-aid solution is to share login information. Team members get access to the username and password of the admin account, but this is less than ideal for businesses who value security and privacy. While Twitter does not have a multi-admin feature, those who use social media management dashboards such as Radian6 or HootSuite can utilize the multi-admin features included in these platforms to compensate. Unfortunately, Google+ has still not allowed mass access to its service through 3rd party dashboards, although some are starting to roll out beta services for limited customers.
The Solution? Multi-Admin Feature
It was just a matter of time before Google+ enables this multi-admin feature, and if Google marketing strategist Kristoffer Sorensen is to be believed, this feature will roll out before the year ends. Sorensen, on behalf of the Pages team, said that this feature is “Coming soon, before 2012!” in a Q&A that also tackled several feature requests like Analytics (also coming soon).
It’s easy to see how this will help businesses take full advantage of their brand pages. While it’s already been documented that a business can use Google+ to fight their competition, the incoming multi-admin feature can really increase the effectiveness and efficient management of brand pages.
Think of it this way. Do you have a Facebook fan page for your business? Do you have a whole team handling the fan page? When was the last time that you worried about your fan page? With several admins handling your Brand Page on Google+, you can ensure that your page is working for your business 24/7.
Has your company already created a Brand Page? What other key functionality beyond multi-admin and analytics do you think is still missing?