According to Google+’s policies, Google doesn’t allow brand Page owners to host contests or promotions directly on the social network – which still gives Facebook a competitive edge in terms of marketing.
Yesterday Google made headlines when it launched brand Pages on Google+, allowing brands, products, companies, and groups to create public profiles. Previously businesses were asked to hold off on establishing a presence.
In Google’s Google+ Pages Content and Promotions Policies section, the company makes it clear that Page admins may not “run contests, sweepstakes, offers, coupons or other such promotions” on a Google+ Page. The alternative to this is to display a link on Google+ that directs users to a separate site where the promotion is hosted.
According to the Additional Terms of Service for Google+ Pages, Google retains the right to block or remove Pages that violate these terms. Repeat offenders will be eligible for account suspension. Google also informs users that it may remove any Pages that are inactive for more than nine months – without notice.
What’s interesting about Google’s promotions policy is that it’s giving admins the opportunity to send more traffic to Facebook, where contests are permitted – as long as the contest is administered within Apps on Facebook.com. On the bright side, the policy might help to fight spam and encourage genuine interactions between brands and consumers.
It’s possible that this policy is a temporary restriction as Google continues to build out Google+. Either way, Google+ offers many creative ways to interact with and engage your customers without including the presence of a contest.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.