What Google+ Business Profiles Really Need

Google says it will launch a select group of business profiles for its new social network sometime next week. Until 9pm ET Friday, you can still apply for the closed, coveted . (The original ," as Google+ project developer Christian Oestlien explained.)

A handful of brand pages have already been created on , but the search giant has been diligently deleting them after it announced that companies should hold off on creating profiles until Google+ was ready to release designated business profiles.

One exception is the Ford Motor Company, which has been allowed to maintain its even while other companies have their profiles deleted. As of Friday morning, Ford had 4104 followers. And while Ford is using a traditional profile to communicate to these followers, it's not yet clear what to expect when Google+ unveils its real business profiles next week.

So with the business profile set to release, I wanted to highlight one key feature that I hope Google+ will embrace. Its implications would be tremendous for the way we interact with the businesses in our lives. That feature is real-time, dynamic chat.

Think about it. Social media evangelists have been reminding companies for years that their Facebook and Twitter (and now Google+). Yet, even with the almost-real-time capability of Twitter, companies still cannot answer questions in true real time. If it's a simple question, like, "Do you carry a size 8 in red?" then the disconnect isn't a problem. But if it's a more complicated question, like "I can't figure out how to upload my files to your servers," then a time delay is a pain. In the latter case, most customers would still prefer to call and talk to a real person, rather than getting a delayed answers staggered through tweets or written responses.

Existing business profiles on Facebook (and probably coming to Google+) can provide a great platform for information transmission--through reviews, sales, photos, and videos--but they aren't built to address more complicated questions, especially when the user is looking for a real person to interact with--not just a posting.