Yesterday it was announced that Google’s social network platform to rival Facebook, Google+ would open it’s doors to brand pages. This allows brands to attract followers and interact with them in the same way many do on Facebook. We went and set up a +Loquax page just to see what’s going on and the first thing we found was a competition from Cadbury.
To be honest a feeling of dread and despair descended over Duck Towers. It’s bad enough that compers are scattered to the four corners of the world with Facebook and Twitter comping. Having a third social network full of competitions and giveaways would probably mean people having less time for being part of Loquax. And less user involvement would have a huge impact on the site!
However, there’s potential bad news for those of you hoping for a new competitions frontier (and good news for Duck Fans). According to an article by The Sociable, Google is not going to be happy with it’s social network platform being used for competitions and promotions.
According to the Google+ Contest Policy:
“You may not run contests, sweepstakes, offers, coupons or other such promotions (“Promotion”) directly on your Google+ Page.”
Obviously Cadbury didn’t get the memo!
The question is can Google monitor and implement it’s guidelines? We know that Twitter and Facebook, both of whom do have their own guidelines, regularly fail to get brands to adhere to them. You can go on Facebook day in, day out, for example and find well known brands asking users to “like a post” or “comment on a post” to win a prize.
Google also has restrictions in place for the use of it’s Google+ Button. Sites should not game the use of the button with prize incentives, but we’ve already seen a number of competitions where entrants have been encouraged to click a G+ button to enter a prize draw. Whether the site ends up being penalised for this kind of breach is unknown.
We guess Cadbury and possibly any other brand that tries the odd sneaky competition may be OK – at least to start with. But Google has a lot of sway when it comes to other things (like search engine position) and the last thing many sites want is to rock that boat.
In some ways we’re pleased that Google+ may not be a new source of competitions. However, there’s also a tinge of disappointment. Not because they’ll be more competitions (we’re worked to the limit as is) but because it may make brands reconsider their central locale.
If a brand has to be on Facebook AND on Twitter AND on Google+ then that involves a lot of management and interactivity. Potentially that can be avoided by going back to their own websites and developing their own communities with the social networking aspects an addition to their online presence, not the be all and end all.
That said, we are over on Google+ if you do want to follow us. We won’t be running any competitions though lol!