WNBA team Google+ page disappeared, then restored: A lesson is social media management

Published on
by Brafton Editorial
The WNBA's Minnesota Lynx saw the team Google+ Page disappear after the Page manager left the organization. The incident should remind brands that its important to select trusted managers for social media marketing.

Marketing Land reported that the Minnesota Lynx, a franchise in the Women’s National Basketball Association, recently saw its popular Google+ Page disappear … and then Google seemingly restored it. The team aggressively touted its presence on Google’s social network, acting as an early adopter on the network. However, the email address of the user was not housed within the organization’s email system, which likely led to the Page’s removal.

Companies using Google+ as part of a social media marketing strategy can learn a lesson from the Lynx’s mistake. Since Google+ is integrated with Gmail, and Google Apps accounts for businesses and other organizations, the managing email addresses is critical. It’s important that social managers for a Page are carefully selected. Moreover, as Marketing Land pointed out, the struggle of a prominent WNBA team points to an issue other (smaller) early Google+ adopters must prepare for if a gmail (not Apps) account is affiliated with their Pages.

After adopting Google+, the Lynx amassed more than 30,000 followers. When the the profile was deleted, the response from Google painted a grim picture for the franchise. Bob Stanke, director of interactive services for the Minnesota Timberwolves – the NBA franchise that owns the Lynx – told Marketing Land that Google’s response was to “start over.”

Since then, it seems Google (or perhaps the former employee?) has fully restored the team’s Google+ Page. Perhaps the issue was resolved by present and former staff, or maybe Google was able to work with the Lynx to bring the Page back. Nonetheless, brands should use caution when creating their own Google+ Pages to ensure the Pages can’t be deleted.

Despite the frustration for Stanke and the Lynx, managing social media marketing accounts is an increasingly important part of a strategy. The Lynx became the first WNBA franchise receive verification from Google+, along with a custom URL for its Page. Brafton reported last month that Google+ had rolled out the vanity domains for prominent users and Pages that achieved strong followers.

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  • Kathleen Weber

    I woke up to a demand that I prove that I was over 13. No instructions on how to upload copies even if I thought that was a wise idea. I subscribed to my page just to hold onto it, but can’t access history, likes, favorites. I need to edit playlists–I have 400 playlists including rare videos. I believe this was a malicious act. I set up a new account but I don’t think having my name on the account will do anything but exacerbate the situation. The new account’s username is ittakesallkinds. I was once married to Kim McCall. Is there anything you can do?

  • Kathleen Weber
  • http://bobstanke.com/ Bob Stanke

    Well, both sides are to blame for what went down with this Google+ Page mishap. We definitely need to improve the way our page owners are managed – no question about that. On the other hand, the email address of the owner was not the issue, it had to do with transfer of the page to a new owner. In our opinion, this is a good chance for Google+ to re-evaluate how this process is handled. At the end of the day, we are just glad that Google was able to restore our page and back-tracked on their “start over” process they originally recommended to us.

    Bob Stanke
    Director, Interactive Services
    Minnesota Timberwolves | Lynx
    http://bobstanke.com