Brands like Al Jazeera English hope to attract more followers to their Google+ pages while Bank of America has had its brand hijacked by a phony account on the platform. Now, Google wants to help brands employ professional services to manage their Google+ accounts. The company has partnered with six social media management firms, enabling Google+ functionality on their systems.
Buddy Media, Context Optional, Hearsay Social, Hootsuite, Involver, and Vitrue are partnering with Google to connect their products to the Google+ platform for publishing, monitoring, and managing circles. The firms were chosen "based on their extensive experience helping brands and businesses manage and analyze their presence on social networks," said Google in a press statement.
"I'm not surprised they're taking this step. We recommended as much to them during the pilot phase when Ford was allowed to have an account before other brands," noted Scott Monty, Ford Motor Company's global digital communications manager, in an email to ClickZ.
"We'll be rolling this out in the next few days to a few beta clients," said Patrick Stokes, Buddy Media's chief product officer on the company's blog. Hearsay said in its own press statement that its Google+ service is available to all of its customers.
As the use of such social media management platforms grows among more sophisticated businesses and brands, the integration with Google+ should expand the use of the service by companies already using management systems for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social platforms.
"With the addition of another social platform like Google+, it means that brand managers, communications professionals and community managers have more places, content and conversations to keep track of. The integration with leading tools and resources like Buddy Media et al. means that it will be a little easier than without them," continued Monty.
Many well-known brands with strong presences in social media have far fewer followers on Google+ than they do on Facebook. Pepsi - among the leaders in social media marketing - has 18,865 followers on Google+. It has over 6 million on Facebook.
The age of the two platforms is certainly a factor; however, capabilities enabled with the new integration, such as slicing followers into circles for targeting content to niche audience segments, could help such firms boost their Google+ numbers.
News publisher Al Jazeera English is running ads on Twitter that appear on searches for Google+ in the hopes of increasing its own follower numbers. Compared to more than 804,000 Facebook likes, the media firm has just around 14,000 on its new Google+ page.
"Tell us what you'd like to see us posting on our new Google+ Page," the company notes in a promoted tweet.
Banking behemoth Bank of America could see the need for a Google+ management platform. The company, which has nearly 146,000 Facebook likes, was pestered by a phony Google+ page set up by a prankster posting as a heartless financier who relishes foreclosing on people's homes and small businesses. The fake page now appears to have been disabled by Google – but it likely won't be the last.