Google links employee bonuses to success of social strategy

CEO Larry Page seeks to ensure that all workers have stake in social media efforts

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New Google chief executive Larry Page is seriously committed to making Google's social media strategy succeed.

And he's made it clear that he expects every single one of the search giant's more than 24,000 employees to be equally committed -- and equally responsible.

So much so that, according to Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson, Page last Friday distributed a memo to all employees informing them that 25 percent of their annual bonus in 2011 will depend on the success of Google's social media efforts.

The memo came out the same week the company unveiled +1, a button similar to Facebook's "Like" button that will allow users to rate their search results. The feature is in beta right now, but is expected to be rolled out over the next several weeks. As with Facebook's "Like" button, a user's endorsement is made public.

Business Insider reports that in the confidential memo, Page writes, "This is a joint effort so it's important that we all get behind it."

Page tells employees (who) are not directly involved in Google's social efforts that they, too, will be held accountable. He writes that employees must test the products and give feedback.

Page wants these employees to push Google's social products on their "family and friends."

Basing the bonus of a Google employee who has absolutely nothing to do with the +1 effort strikes me as a bit unfair, and similar to tying the bonus of an accountant for the Detroit Lions, say, to that team's record. Which would be unusually cruel.

Nonetheless, Google's co-founder is determined to put an end to Google's embarrassing run of social media failures (Orkut, Dodgeball, Jaiku, Wave, Buzz, etc.) and enable the search giant to better compete in an online world where people increasingly rely less on search and more on social media for news, information and opinions.

If Google really wants its latest social media effort to succeed, why stop at +1? Why not also have +2, +3, +4 and more? Seriously, what is this, amateur hour?

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