Currently Google+ is not “open for business” meaning they are currently really only set up for individual/personal accounts and not business or brand accounts. Since the somewhat soft launch in June 2011 when Google opened the doors via invite to a limited number of users, Google has requested that people wait to set up profiles for their businesses until their brand pages are officially launched. In fact, Google actually removed many of the business pages that had been attempted on Google+ including Mashable, Searchengineland and Ford. Mashable was restored after Pete Cashmore promised to use the page for personal use but Searchengineland and many others are currently sporting a 404 message.
When will Google+ brand pages launch?
The launch of Google+ business pages are anticipated to launch later this year. So until that time, Google recommends that people jump on in (provided you have been invited) and get acquainted with using their powerful new social network. You can first set up your Google circles, the Google+ organizational tool to add and sort your friends, co-workers, associates, mentors and other beings you connect with online. Once you get the hang of circles, you might want to try a “Google hangout” and then start sorting the flood of stories you will discover using “Google Sparks.”
What will Google+ brand pages look like?
Google recently published a screenshot of what their Google+ business pages might look like. As you can see, in addition to fans, Google+ brand pages list employees and management. At first glance the page looks pretty appealing with more features available than Facebook business pages. The pages will easily integrate Google Maps, Google Places and Google Offers. Even better, it is my understand the business pages will integrate Google Analytics and Google Adwords. Apparently the pages are being designed as true “business hangouts” that will allow workers to facilitate, record and archive phone, text and video conferences up to 10 people. Atttendees can be invited via Google Calendar, eMail and Google Chat. Now that’s cool!
Mashable.com wanted to get more insight into how Google+ brand pages could be used in the future so they asked some social media managers their thoughts on the matter. The group of leading social media managers came up with the ultimate wish list of features they would like to see integrated into the Google+ business page which you can find in the Mashable.com article: Google+ Brand Accounts: What Social Media Managers Want to See.
Let me know in the comments below what you think about the initial Google+ brand page mock up and what features you would like to see Google include.