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Is Pfizer on Google+ Or Are There Already Fake Pages?

Posted by | 1:26pm on Tuesday, November 15, 2011
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the value of any communications network increases proportionately with the square of the number of users 

Last week Google+ opened pages up to businesses. When I was setting up the Siren Interactive page I was surprised to find a few things. The first is that there is no verification that you are from the company—for example, by using a company email that gets verified before the page goes live. Google only requires you to check a box that says, “I agree to the Pages Terms and I am authorized to create this page.”

I searched for a few pharma companies and found two pages when I typed in “Pfizer.” I highly doubt that either page is really from Pfizer, so it will be interesting to see how Google handles these imposter pages. This was previously an issue on Facebook, where at one point the fake Sanofi page was more popular than the real one.

A second surprise is that the administrator tools aren’t very advanced. For example, it appears that a brand or company page can only have one administrator. Also, the design of the pages are similar to Facebook.

Is Your Audience on Google+?
Google+ has an estimated 50M users versus Facebook’s 750M, and after an initial wave of enthusiasm, the number of weekly visitors to the site has fluctuated.

James Devon in a MyCustomer.com article introduced me to the concept of Metcalfe’s Law which posits that the value of any communications network increases proportionately with the square of the number of users connected to the system. This is because as more users join the network, the number of possible connections between users increases exponentially, and it’s really the number of connections, not the number of users, that makes the network useful. At this stage, Google+ simply doesn’t have enough users or traffic volume for it to be worthwhile for a biopharma company or brand to invest resources.

It remains to be seen whether Google will commit enough resources to promoting Google+ to bring the network the millions of users that will make it viable or whether it will end up being discontinued like Google Health, Sidewiki, and Google Wave.

What BioPharma Should Do About Google+
While we wait to see if Google+ gets bigger and validates business pages, there’s one thing biopharma should do: add Google+ as one of their “share this” options on websites and blogs. Make it easy for the early adopters who are using Google+ to share your content. You can swap out the discontinued Google Buzz network with Google+.

As with all shiny, new objects, in the end it’s not about the technology but what the brand can achieve with it. I’ll be monitoring Google+ and will keep you posted.

What do you think?

(Image courtesy of  Bruce Clay on Flickr).

About Eileen O'Brien

Eileen has more than 16 years of digital healthcare marketing experience. She is an opinion leader on social media and biopharma, and has been invited to speak at industry conferences and quoted in publications.

View other posts from Eileen

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