I have a secret to tell you – Brands are not happy with the new Facebook Timeline.
Facebook Timeline is going to be a requirement for brands today, and I guarantee this is going to be a perfect storm come Monday morning when brands are unable to locate their contests, coupons, and loyal fans. Now if only there was a competitor who could pick up the broken pieces and heal all the Timeline wounds. Who owns the Google+ Brand pages that directly compete with Facebook’s Fan Pages? Oh yeah – YOU DO, GOOGLE!
Unfortunately 2012 has not turned out to be the year of Google+ thus far. The world hasn’t heard so much as a peep out of your camp after you promised us so, so much in 2011. But you have this golden opportunity that you seem to be squandering away. Facebook is on shaky ground right now as both individuals and brands are hesitant to move to Timeline.
Now that Facebook is forcing brands to adopt Timeline, there will be even more unhappy people in the world. Most brands don’t have the resources to update their current Facebook fan pages, or they will have no idea that the pages are about to change. The left panel links will be moved – contests will lose visibility, coupons will be difficult to find, and content may get hidden below the fold. Calls to action will be obscured and can get buried under multiple user clicks. Landing pages will no longer be available. Blame will be flung around and revenue – oh sweet revenue – will get lost.
Google, this is your perfect storm. While Facebook is losing its balance this is your chance to swoop in and woo away the brands. Since I like you most of the time, and you did give me 2 GB of space in my first Gmail account, I’m going to help you out today. Let me whisper some advice in your ear to make us marketers and social media nerds happier and more likely to take advantage of Google+:
1) Add Analytics to the Google+ Brand pages. You ALREADY have a product called….wait for it…..Google Analytics! Let brand page administrators measure the reach and impact of their pages just like Facebook Insights allows.
2) Partner up with a big player like North Social to start pumping out third-party Google+ apps. Give them access to your API and help them develop apps to run contests, giveaways, sweepstakes, cat videos – all those buzzwords that get users excited and drive traffic to your Google+ pages.
3) Give developers access to your API. Let the geeks in! They’re dying to write apps, and if they can’t access your API, they’re just going to code iPhone apps in their spare time. Why not kill two birds with one stone here?
4) Let us have contests!!! The economy is still recovering and us laypeople like to win things. If you’re not going to let us develop third-party apps to run contests, then can you please build in that functionality for us?
5) (More Muppets Hangouts?)
If you can make the brands happy then the consumers and traffic will follow. Google, don’t sleep through this huge opportunity. I don’t know when you’ll get a chance like this again. There are going to be lots of unsatisfied and homeless fans next week. Remember – if you build it, they will come!
Huge thanks to Josh Peters for contributing to this article