No one is sure yet. Google has asked that businesses hold off on participating in Google+, and in fact, they have actively been shutting down business profiles that were established before this decree. Ford is among the small number of businesses that made the cut and is part of Google’s “experiment” to see if Google+ works for business, and they appealed to the public for input. “We’re experimenting on Google+ and we’ve seen comments, both pro and con about our presence. What would you like to see from us, in order to get the most value from interacting?” It is a question that many businesses would like to know the answer to.
Google+’s open network model holds potential for businesses and marketers; Bryan Eisenberg, managing partner at Eisenberg Holdings, expects that this “project” will marry search and social to provide a more customized experience for users. One way it does this is with partnerships, like that with Bazaarvoice, which integrates customer reviews into search results. Google+ may be able to expand on that ability and build connections that can benefit marketers, and because results come from specific “Circles,” they are likely to carry more weight.
If your business is not one of the lucky few who is participating in testing for Google+, what can you do to prepare for the launch of the business version? Get a personal profile. See how it works, and experiment with it. On a personal level, see how it works with Google’s other tools and how it acts with the Android OS. Look out for changes in Google’s algorithms, which are likely to come about as social media and real-time results play a bigger role in search. Google expects to roll out a business-oriented solution sometime this year, and if you take a few preliminary steps – and see how companies like Ford handle Google+ - you can get a head start on harnessing this new tool. Or seeing if it is worth harnessing at all.