Google+ is looking to eventually make its platform open to a host of third party applications. They would also like to make the network more accessible to brand management companies to help businesses navigate the new network and take full advantage of all its features.
Today Google+ announced they had selected six brand management firms, Buddy Media, Context Optional, Hearsay Social, HootSuite, Involver, and Vitrue, to work with directly in order to open up a bit for businesses.
This, coupled with the recent release of Google+ Business Pages, is helping them catch up when it comes to social media marketing and brand management. Despite growing at an explosive rate just a few months ago, some people questioned the strategy of not having business profile options available right out of the gate. While it’s true Google+ said it is not trying to compete directly with Facebook as a social media platform, it should have realized just how important those options were to businesses and business owners. It is much easier for business owners to manage their Facebook Business Page when they have a Facebook Profile, than it is for them to run it from their Google+ page.
Common sense is not so common.
This new move is definitely a step in the right direction regardless of whether or not they are trying to compete with Facebook. Judging by the sheer volume of positive comments being posted about their new Business Pages and today’s announcement that they are connecting with brand management firms is further proof it is the right move for them.
Google+ is still best used by people who are looking to use, or already use, all the existing Google features, like YouTube, Gmail, Google Docs, etc. But as it continues to add features and flexibility, Google+ stands a real chance at being at least equal to Facebook, if not surpassing that success. Eventually.
According to the official announcement, these companies were chosen based on “their extensive experience helping brands and businesses manage and analyze their presence on social networks”, and will be working alongside Google in order to experiment and collect feedback.
“These companies will offer a subset of their clients the ability to manage circles, publish to Google+, and monitor usage. To learn more about their services and pricing, check out this page.”
While I’m surprised to see that TweetDeck (my personal favorite brand management tool) isn’t on the official selection list, all is not lost. Google is encouraging other social media management companies interested in working with Google+ to get in touch immediately.
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