Marketers should plan Google+ strategy earlier rather than later

Marketers want to know how they can use Google+, the technology giant's latest stab at a social network. Of course, many aren't sure, simply because Google has only made the platform available to a small number of people.

But give Ford Motor Co. credit for preparing its Google+ strategy before the network is even available to the general public. The automaker launched two accounts on Google+ last week, running an image caption contest for followers and promising more interactive features, such as group chats.

Of course, there is a chance that Google+ could quickly go belly up, as did Google Wave. However, Google's leaders are determined to make social media a larger part of the company's business. CEO Larry Page reportedly told employees earlier this year that he will tie the size of employee bonuses to the company's social media success.

Knowing that Google will throw its considerable financial resources at social media should be enough for brands to bet that they should at least experiment with Google+ before its general launch.

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SK&A is a leading provider of U.S. healthcare information solutions and databases. As ...