Google+ for Brands Launch

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Brand marketers have been trembling with excitement since the Google+ Project debuted on June 28, 2011. After all, what’s more exciting to a marketer than a high quality network that forces consumers to use personally identifying data and tracks preferences across email, web browsing and social network use?

That’s why lonelybrand jumped at the opportunity to get an official confirmation at Social Media Week Chicago.

In the words of Ryan Stonehouse, Google’s Social Sales Lead, “Google+ will become available to brands this fall.”

We’re interested for a few reasons.

Here’s a simple example of how Google+ could be a powerful tool for segmenting consumers in meaningful ways through circles.

A bakery could segment its customers through observed social engagement or opt in data on Google+ like this:

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Then, instead of sharing, say, gluten free product specials with a customer who would never touch something of the sort, the company can elect to share that update with the people most likely to care. Voila! less clutter, more relevance.

And that makes a lot of sense.

After all, you talk to your mother about cookies and soap operas, you talk to your college buddies about tales of too many beers, and you try not to mix the two. Blend this with Facebook’s latest smart groups feature and it looks like social platforms are evolving in a distinctly human direction.

Eventually the folks at Google hope to put this segmentation power into the consumer’s hands. Ideally, when a customer puts a brand into a circle, they can self-select which category they are interested in hearing about from the brand.

This is great for consumers, but it is a marketer’s dream come true. By clicking the “I love Chocolate” button, a consumer is essentially screaming, “Hey! Want to know how to keep my attention? Talk about this.”

Stonehouse also covered the future of the world’s fastest growing social widget.

+1 for ads is coming. Not only will the +1 (the Google+ version of a Facebook “Like”)  start showing up on Google search results, but will soon appear on related ads. Your circles will begin to influence the ads and results you see, and it’s going to be very personalized. Expect to see faces from your circles pop up in strange places across the web.

As Stonehouse said, “If you stick my friend’s face in an ad, it will likely become the most relevant piece of content on the page.” It makes sense on paper.

Do you think Google+ will revolutionize the way brands interact with consumers? Are you planning to dive deep or hold out to see if Google+ adoption takes off?