On Monday Google unveiled their long awaited business pages for Google+, describing them as ‘a leap forward in building relationships between businesses and people’.
The new Google+ pages are similar to personal Google+ profiles in that they let people engage with a business much as they would with anyone else over Google+, but there are some differences: business pages have an overall Google +1 count that shows on their profile page. However business pages can’t +1 other company pages, don’t support notifications and are automatically linked to personal Google+ accounts.
Here’s our initial tips and thoughts after setting up our own Google+ Page:
Create a Page
To create a Google+ Page is really simple; you first need to have a personal profile on Google+. Once you have this you need to head to http://www.google.com/+/business/
To start you will need to pick a category that your business fits into. You will be prompted to fill out some basic details about your page. You then have 10 words to summarise your business and you can upload an image / logo. Now this is complete your page profile can be edited allowing you to add information to ‘About’ and photos to your page.
When creating albums, upload the images in the order you want them to appear – currently there is no way to change the order, and the first image appears in a larger box. I realised this too late when I saw my large photo in our team photos!
One flaw in the sign-up page for Google+ Pages is the lack of verification required to set up an account. Google have said they will be providing verification badges so users can confirm the authenticity of a page.
Another thing to note when creating a Google+ Business Page is that is it not possible to create multiple admins. Multiple administrator support is promised in the near future, but until it arrives, note that whoever creates the page will also be the page administrator. No one else will be able to administer that page, at least to begin with. Nor can that page be transferred toanother user account.
Unlike Facebook, vanity URLs are not available, so currently you can’t use your business name for your URL rather than a long string of numbers. Google have provided no update on when this might change.
Grow your Circles
People can add pages to one of their personal account circles and there is a built-in circle called “Following”, made up of all the people your page follows. From your business page you cannot add people to circles until your page is added or mentioned by them first. Circles make it possible to add potential customers to various circles and address them in a segmented way.
In order to grow your followers/circles you can place the Google+ badge on your site similar to the Facebook/Twitter badges. Another way to grow your circles is search on Google+ for posts about your industry and share/comment on them (as your page) to grow your presence.
Like personal Google+ accounts, Pages also allow Hangouts. A Hangout is one of the more innovative concepts of Google+. This allows for video based group chat, you can invite users to join the hangout. This could be used to interact with your clients and potential customers.
Google+ Direct Connect
You can now use ‘+’ in Google search to find Google+ pages. For example, if you searched for ‘+pepsi,’ you could be immediately taken to the Pepsi Google+ page and you are given the option to add the page to your circles. At present this only works for a small number of pages.
Have you created a Google+ Page for your business? Tell us about it and let us know if you have any tips.
Using Google+? Add NuBlue to your circles for web, marketing, and hosting chat and news.