You may have heard that Google+ asked businesses to wait before creating a business profile on the new social network. This is because they are working on some kind of platform or design specific to business use. For those of us frustrated by various businesses use of persona profiles on Facebook, this is great news. It means that Google+ will integrate businesses from the beginning, instead of creating something as an afterthought. Since it looks like it will be a few weeks before we’ll see a business feature in the new platform, I thought it would be fun to share my “wish list” for features I’d like included in this new design. Google- are you listening?!?
- Analytics: Right now, there are various ways to track and measure your efforts on social media. It’s not that any of these are “difficult”, but often times it involves manual tracking and can be very time consuming. Wouldn’t it be nice if Social Media analytics were easy to track? I’d love to see easy to track analytics in Google+ – and I know that it can be done, given what is already available in Google Analytics. I’d love it if I could EASILY see traffic from the social media site and easily understand the effects of the social media campaign, in ONE place. It’d be great if links to my site were already tagged for me, and they could show me CTR on the front and back end. I’d also like to know how many people were checking out content but chose to not put the brand or person in their circles. There are endless amounts of possibilities with Analytics integration and I’m excited to see what rolls out with the new business accounts.
- Admin improvements: The most common questions I receive from clients are in regards to administration functionality for their Facebook fan page. It can be very confusing to some, and although I have a good understanding of how to manage it, it can be hard for me at times. But beyond easy to manage, I’d love to see it build in some of the functionality that HootSuite and TweetDeck provide: like scheduling posts to go out at a specific time! I’d also love some improvements to the admin functionality within their mobile app- although this could be dangerous for some, it would be helpful for most of us.
- “Custom” pages: It’d be great if Google+ offered some “easy to build” customized pages that brands can use. Although I have some basic HTML skills, I am far from being a programmer. Most social media folks are somewhere in between. I often say that not being able to use the technology should not be a barrier to entry, in the case of Facebook customized Tabs, it can be! Sure, it’s fairly simple to do some basic things and add an image in there, but if you want to start doing things like hold a contest or bring in other content it can get trickier. There will always be companies that can do more, or have more capabilities, but it would be nice to see Google+ give “smaller companies” a level playing field.
- Verification: I’d love to see Google+ force the user to provide some kind of verification to create a business profile or account on the new site. A friend of mine hopes the opposite, but I think that requiring a user to have a business URL to create a profile is a great way to insure that only ONE page is created for your business. I am personally over the multiple of pages for one business or organization on Facebook. I’m not talking about various “brands” of your business (IE Ford Mustang vs. Ford Motor Company) but all these “community” and “place” pages that confuse the user and make it difficult for them to find you. If they want to create a way for people to create “caused” based accounts, such as the ones you see in support of a political action or movement, that’d be fine but these should be different than business pages.
- Easy interaction: I’d like to see Google+ provide the ability for brands to easily interact with those who want to communicate with them. Sure, circles are great, but it easily limits who you post to and who can see your content. What if you WANT a brand to see your post? Often times, I don’t directly tweet a brand, but I do send out a tweet mentioning them hoping they are monitoring and will respond. I do this because I don’t want to take the time to find their Twitter account or sift through the multiples of verified and unverified accounts, not knowing which is real! On Facebook, my privacy settings are such that the brand would not be able to see a post I included them in, unless I opened that up for everyone to see. I could go to their page directly (and again, sift through a multitude of real and fake pages), but I don’t really want to put this much effort in. There is a fine line between protecting users’ privacy and allowing business access to information. I’m not quite sure how you can accomplish this, but I do think that if anyone can find a way, it will be Google+!
There you have it: the items that I’d love to see with Google+ for business. It goes without saying that we are all interested to see what Google+ for Business looks like when they launch it and how it evolves over time. There are most likely features in there I’ve never even though about and probably a few I wish they would have included.
What did I miss? What are you hoping for with this new platform?
Christina Torri works with Social Media and Internet Marketing clients for Mindscape at Hanon McKendry