In a note this afternoon, Pete Chasmore, founder at Mashable, explained a conversation he and his team at Mashable had with the Google Plus team. Bottom line, Mashable is not going to have a branded presence on Plus until Google releases the business accounts soon. Here is his note below:
There are many groups that have gone ahead and created branded accounts for their organizations. I know I created one for Greenville Hospital System. We have been trained to claim our “domain,” not knowing what the future holds in each social outlet/space. We do not want anyone speaking on behalf or our brand’s behalf.
Look at the latest statement from MSNBC, they had their Google Plus account taken down by Google. So, one of their editors is now posting on their behalf, using a personalized account.
So what do we do? Well, I have a few thoughts…my opinions:
1) If you have created a branded account for your organization/hospital/company/brand…hold on to it as long as you can. Keep on engaging in conversation and testing the waters with your strategy. Keep the conversation alive and ask the Circles what they are wanting from this experience.
2) Be prepared to transfer this account. We do not know how Google plans to release the new branded/business accounts, but be prepared to transfer the current Google Plus account to the new platform. This may involve sharing with your Circles that you will be transferring, but communicate with them your intentions.
3) If you have not created a branded account for your organization/hospital/company/brand…maybe consider holding off for a while. Create a personal account and get acclimated with Google Plus. This is the time to play, research, and figure out what this new outlet is all about.
4) Starting formulating some strategy for the usage of these accounts. If you have to transfer or if you are waiting to create a branded/business account, and you want to create one, starting putting together a plan on how to use and/or transfer your existing account.
5) Communicate with your Circles and let your community guide you. Let your Circles share with you and your brand how they want to engage with you on Google Plus. This will help you determine your strategy and your process when Google releases the branded/business accounts.
With this said…here is what Christian Oestlien of Google Plus has to say (Just released at 7:13pm 7/21/11):
“Here is a quick update on Google+ and businesses:
A few weeks ago we mentioned we would be doing a test of business profiles and asked people interested to apply. Believe it or not we actually had tens of thousands of businesses, charities, and other organizations apply to take part from all over the world. Many of you have reached out to me personally through Google+, e-mail, chat, and even other Googlers. Thank you. Your response has been humbling.
With so many qualified candidates expressing intense interest in business profiles, we’ve been thinking hard about how to handle this process. Your enthusiasm obligates us to do more to get businesses involved in Google+ in the right way, and we have to do it faster. As a result, we have refocused a few priorities and we expect to have an initial version of businesses profiles up and running for EVERYONE in the next few months. There may be a tiny handful business profiles that will remain in the meantime solely for the purpose of testing how businesses interact with consumers.
In the meantime, we ask you not to create a business profile using regular profiles on Google+. The platform at the moment is not built for the business use case, and we want to help you build long-term relationships with your customers. Doing it right is worth the wait. We will continue to disable business profiles using regular profiles. We recommend you find a real person who is willing to represent your organization on Google+ using a real profile as him-or-herself.
All of us on the Google+ effort are delighted by your engagement with this project – thank you all for taking the time to apply and offer such incredibly useful feedback. Keep it coming!”