Advisory: Google+ Begins Booting Brands

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Image by Sean MacEntee

by Danny Brown and Geoff Livingston

Much has been said about marketing on Google+. Both of us have been intentionally conservative about marketing on the new network due to a statement from Google+ specifically asking businesses and brands to wait until it formalized its business offering. This offering is rumored to include an open API for applications and data usage. Yesterday, a confirmed report from KCET-TV in LA surfaced that Google+ community managers are enforcing the brand “no fly zone.”

To date, ABC News Radio, LAUNCH and Boing Boing have all been removed, or have voluntarily taken down their Google+ profiles. In the face of complaints about brands being unceremoniously dispatched, community managers have indicated that Google+ will focus on optimizing interaction between people first.

Dewitt clinton google plus
Image from KCET-TV

Both Bonsai Interactive and Zoetica represent real brands, corporate and nonprofit. We are posting this advisory to provide clear guidance for our clients and network on how to approach Google+ during this interim phase:

1) Do not invest in formal brand marketing on Google+. As we have seen, Google+ is now policing its network and you risk losing your entire time investment. Further, until the business offering is created by Google, no one really knows how corporations and nonprofits can successfully navigate this new social network. In essence, until Google+ for business is released efforts are likely to be all for naught.

2) Do experiment on Google+ and learn how the network works using your personal profile. It’s too soon to formally say that Google+ will be a significant consumer network, but with reports of 18 million followers and growing, momentum indicates the network is succeeding. Further, as demonstrated by its policing of the network, Google is clearly focused on community first. Becoming knowledgable through participation on Google+ is prudent at this point.

3) Be wary of marketing services firms and individuals who are seeking paid fees for Google+ marketing insights. Again, per the first point, no one really knows how to market on Google+. Investing financially in Google+ is not a good use of resources until finite offerings are available. Ethically speaking we would not charge our clients for advice and strategies in the face of such uncertainty.

Google+ is starting field trials with brands in the immediate future. As Google works through the kinks and formalizes its offering, it is a great time to become comfortable with the social network.

Many of our fellow bloggers are openly sharing their insights and learning together in a fashion we have not seen in years. Enjoy this time, friends. This kind of new social network launch is unprecedented.

Editor’s Note: Just before publishing this post, NBC voluntarily pulled down its Google+ profile.


  1. says

    Danny and Geoff,

    Are there really people who would want to be such early adapters they actually pay to be in a beta test? I guess they are born every minute but until the final format is outlined it’s all just speculation so good words to those who might not understand.

    I think it is great that google is ousting the marketeers in this phase and is listening to the crowd….for now anyway… but the really great thing about google+ currently for vintage players like me is that people are taking the time to engage and help others get to the altitude to be able to soar and fly on our own. “Many of our fellow bloggers are openly sharing their insights and learning together in a fashion we have not seen in years. Enjoy this time, friends. This kind of new social network launch is unprecedented.”

    I hope it lasts.. I hope people can see people as humans that need help to grow into a climate they were not brought up in. The kindness being shown now will help the multitude gravitate this way.. if that goes away…. this will again be a private cyberclub where the inner circle talks to the inner circle and no one else gets in.


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