Getting Started with Google + Business Pages
Google+ is a social network powered by the search engine giant Google. Many see this platform as a challenge to Facebook’s domination of the social media space. As of September 2012, it has a total of 400 million registered users of whom 100 million are active on a monthly basis.
Google+ has definitely emerged as a key player in the online marketing ecosystem. Unlike other conventional social networks which are generally accessed through a single website, Google has described Google+ as a “social layer” consisting of not just a single site, but rather an overarching “layer” which covers many of its online properties.
Google+ allows businesses to create pages and develop relationships with prospects and customers on multiple levels. Individuals can add a brand to a specific Google+ Circle, share a Google+ page with their network, and interact with the content posted by that company. For instance, users can +1 (or in other words, endorse) the updates a company publishes, leave comments, upload photos, and tag the brand in them. An interesting aspect of this platform is that its Hangouts feature enables companies to engage with fans, prospects, and customers through video conference calls.
Pages require a personal profile to act as the owner of a business page. But don’t worry, the owner will remain anonymous to those interacting with your Google+ page. You can also add additional managers to your page later.
1) Either sign in with your Google Account login or click ‘Create an account’. Make sure to create your personal profile using your real name (e.g. use John Smith, not Brooklyn Bagels). If you try to create a profile with your business’ name, your account could be suspended. Follow the next few steps on the screen and there you have it, you now have a personal Google+ account.
2) Create a Page with the Desired Account – Visit https://plus.google.com/pages/create and if you see the option to create a Google+ Page, get started! Follow the wizard (it’s much like Facebook’s Page creation wizard), and choose the most appropriate option to classify your business.
You’ll be able to select from the following options:
- Local Business or Place
- Product or Brand
- Company, Institution or Organization
- Arts, Entertainment or Sports
3) Customize Your Public Profile- The third step involves customizing your public profile. The profile basics include your tagline (think of it as your business’ elevator pitch) and an image (your company logo is a great option). Keep it concise, yet descriptive.
4) At this point you have created the skeleton of your page, and Google+ will now prompt you to promote your page. We recommend customizing your page further and to start sharing a few updates before you begin telling the world about it.
Promoting a blank page isn’t a great way to convince people that your page is valuable enough to add to their circles. So invest some time into optimizing your page and sharing a few links to valuable content before you start promoting to the masses.
5) Optimize further – At the most basis level, this is really all you need to do to get your page launched. But as any smart marketer knows, the ‘basics’ are usually enough. Intelligent marketers understand the importance of optimizing their page to make it not only more engaging, but also more valuable and effective for lead generation. In this step, follow Google’s prompts to create an effective page, and remember – Google+ is a Social Network. Although every social network has its specific nuances and behaviors, many of the same best practices will still apply. Regularly share fresh content, react and respond to your fans, be engaging, and optimize for lead generation.
Then using Sendible’s Social Media Management tool you can measure, adapt your strategy and optimize your presence based on your own individual results and goals.