Google’s social network is ready for business. And while Google+ is still getting off the ground, word on the street is that Google+ Pages will soon trump those of the other, more popular social networks. Simply put, Google+ has the most to offer your business. So why not jump the boat and get your presence established on Google’s social network now?
For the time being, Google+ only lets one account hold administration rights to a page. Rumor has it that this will change at some point in the near future, but until then, make sure you’re either logged into Google as your business account or as the account of whoever is going to be in charge of managing the page. Once logged in, go to http://plus.google.com/pages/create to get started.
Note: to access the page once it’s created, find it in the dropdown menu under your name on your personal Google+ homepage.
Decide What Category You Fit Into and Fill in the Basics
Google+ gives you five broad categories to choose from, each that when hovered over provides a few examples of what kind of organization fits into either category. For instance, Google suggests that hotels, restaurants, places, stores or services would fit into the “Local Business or Place” category.
Once you’ve chosen your category, you can fill in some basic info about your company. The first step is to fill in your page name and website. Next, choose a sub-category for your page. The sub-categories are dependent on the main category you’ve chosen, and choices will be slightly different for each. Lastly, decide who your page content will be visible to. The default is any user, but you have to option to restrict your page to 18+ or 21+, depending if your organization is on the saucy side, or if it’s alcohol related.
From here you’ll be prompted to add a tagline (10 words or less) and a profile picture. Make your page easier to find by adding a recognizable profile picture (so you can be spotted amongst the masses), and info that is specific and descriptive, so those searching by keywords can find you more easily.
Once done hit create and make it official.
Spread the Word
Google gives you the option to spread the word about your new page amongst your personal circles. Remember that this post will be coming from you, and not your page. If you don’t want to spread the word just yet, you can hold off and spread later by finding the “Spread the Word” button along the right-hand side of your page’s home page.
To spread the word about your new page via other places on the web, find your G+ page’s URL by clicking the “Get Started” button under your name/avatar on your brand’s home page, and distribute where you deem necessary.
Better your Google+ Page
While your G+ page is now official, there are still some ways to better your page.
Tell the world about your company
On your page, click the “About tab” and then click “edit page.” Here you can add a paragraph about your company, contact info, hours of operation and website. You also have the option to recommend links along the right-hand side. These links can be to your company’s other social media sites, pages that interest you, affiliates, etc. What’s good about this is that you have complete freedom, and can add descriptions in your own words.
Add People to Your Circles
Google+ doesn’t let you add a person to your brand page’s circles unless they’ve added you first. To see who’s added you and to put them in a relevant circle, go to the “Circles” tab on your brand’s page.
If your page is still in the process of building its presence on Google+ you have the option to hide your follower count until it bulks up a bit. Do this by finding the “Change Who is Visible Here” option along the left hand site of your brand page.
Link your G+ page to your website and add a +1 button
In the “Get Started” section of your G+ brand page, you can find an easy-to-use code and buttons that you can link to your company’s website. Eventually, this will give you the option to send searchers straight to your company’s G+ page by searching “+brandname.” However, this system is still in the works, so don’t be alarmed if this doesn’t work for you just yet.
You can also easily add a +1 button to your site so those viewing your page can +1 it and share it on Google+. Click here to get started.
Jazz up your page with Scrapbook Photos
Google+ gives you the option to get creative by adding Scrapbook Photos (a set of five photos displayed at the top of your brand’s page). Some pages have done this very well (see Burberry's), while others don’t use this feature to its full extent.
Scrapbook photos are a great way to brand your page. Have fun with this! The first 5 photos in your “Scrapbook” album will be the ones that show up.
That’s it! You’re now ready to show off your business to the Google+ world.