Google+ Brand Pages and Tough Choices

Business management draws from more than just graduate schools with many moving up from operations to the office after proving themselves and their abilities. These mavericks have real business world experience, and to pick up the finer points of management, they take classes while working and gain an online MBA to add credentials to their street cred. 

They join teams often comprised of younger members, adding depth to the mix, but they also learn from their peers about some of the newer aspects of business. Today, these teams need all of their strengths to weigh serious business imperatives dealing with technology.

When the Boss Asks

When the CEO calls a meeting of the key managers asking for advice, careers may be on the line and the quality of your answer can’t be ambiguous – or wrong. Though many top executives are current on social media practices, many realize that younger staff, meaning just about anyone under 40, have extensive insights into how Internet networking works in real life. When an executive wants to know how to implement a comprehensive social media marketing plan or whether or not to use a particular platform, your tweets, Likes and +1s will only take you so far in evaluating the question.

Google Joins the Fun
This week, Google+ finally launched its own Brand Pages, which like the platform itself, was immediately compared to the Facebook’s own long-standing and popular brand pages. Though quite a few notable companies leapt to establish a presence on Google+, others are weighing their options and likely paying attention to input from a wide selection of their staff. For the most part, the jury is in on the value of using social media as an integral part of any comprehensive marketing strategy. Which platforms and how best to optimize your presence remains the ongoing focus of attention.

The Up Side of Early Adopting
Any university course in risk management includes a substantial caveat that an executive who never takes any risks is of no real value. With that, there’s a big positive risk factor that appears to be overlooked about Google+ in general. Assumptions that it is supposed to be just like Facebook may well be utterly flawed. While Facebook has the numbers, Google+ has a breadth of services, all well established and with direct business applications, completely unavailable to Facebook. Advising your CEO about Google+ Brand Pages must include a full discussion of how its use should be in the same context of how a hammer and saw are both useful to building a house, but never to be confused as interchangeable. It is at this point where your conversation with the Big Guy should focus.

Laying out questions, not choices
Here is where the manager with the experience under his or her belt and the book savvy of business degree can shine. While a new-guy-on-the-block might make the mistakes of couching their recommendation as an either Facebook or Google+ option, a more rounded individual presents good questions for which the CEO can answer herself.

  • Does the company currently use or plan on utilizing Google Tools, such as Docs, Calendar, Maps, Gmail, Reader or Google Apps for Business?
  • Does the company already have a social networking presence on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or Google+?
  • If there is a social networking presence, does the company have an accurate means of tracking conversion?
  • Is there a compelling reason to move forward with a new social networking platform at this point in time?

The choices about social media, it turns out, are no different than those of any other risk/benefit scenario. It’s this understanding that will separate the rising manager from all other. It is also this understanding that will separate the reactionary critics of social media from those with a more seasoned approach at analysis.

This is a guest post by Lindsey Mac, who regularly writes for Professional Intern and other publications on topics such as education and technology. You can follow her on Twitter @HarperMac11.

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