Pie in the Sky G+ Feature Request for Business Pages: "Public Circles"

When I think about how the basic idea of "circles" map onto business / brand pages, there are a few points that really emerge for me:

Circles are an essential feature for business pages
Offering marketers the ability to fluidly target and filter messaging -- without carving up their audience base -- is a critical differentiator for Google+. Right now, in order to create "targeted" message streams on most other platforms, marketers have to create multiple identities -- one for each stream -- and ask fans to "join" one or the other. The ability to have one identity, that aggregates all your fans, but that can still say different things to different people, would be huge.

Circle management doesn't scale easily
Assuming that a major brand could use Circles as a tool to manage their messaging, there's obviously no question that you can't manage a million relationships by dragging and dropping people between big blue dots. There need to be models for Circle management that work as well for a million relationships as they do for 20.

Power to the People: Automation only goes so far
I've already described what I see as the potential of "dynamic circles", for people and for marketers:


I think that some kind of dynamic targeting capability is tremendously important for marketers -- and would be another big differentiator for Google+ -- but it also has an important constraint...it's not controlled by the consumer. There also need to be central mechanisms that allow the audience to define how they're targeted.

A Recommendation: "Public Circles"
I think the simplest (and best) way to address this is pretty straightforward: Allow business pages to create and publish "public" Circles, where any people interested in a specific topic can just add and remove themselves. That would pretty much address all the issues I laid out above:
1) It allows marketers to establish a single identity on Google+, but still offer followers a palette of more finely targeted message streams
2) It scales "organically" -- instead of a single control point managing millions of members, you'd have thousand of control points managing thousands of members, or millions of control points managing millions of members.
3) It allows people to self-identify themselves, quickly and easily.

Of all the various options for translating Circles into the business pages, this really seems a pretty direct, and feasible, approach to take, and would really bring benefits to marketers, to Google and (most importantly) to our audiences. Would love to see something like this become true, soon.

(Disclaimer: I work with GM on their social marketing strategy, including how they use social platforms such as Google+.)
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