Google is now allowing businesses, brands and any non-human entities to participate in its Google+ social network, through new Google+ Pages.
What follows is a detailed insight into creating a Google+ business page.
Creating A Google+ Business Page:
Those using the create a page tool will have the following five categories from which to choose:
- Local Business or Place
- Product or Brand
- Company, Institution or Organization
- Arts, Entertainment or Sports
Once you reach the page creation tool, this is the sort of welcome you will get:
Administering A Page:
The creator of the page is the administrator too. As of now, there are no features to support multiple administrators, but this option should be added soon. There are no business name URLs yet, but only a long string of numbers. Google has not given any information on when this may change. Once you change the name of your page, your account verification will be null and void and you will need to get the account verified again.
Like Facebook, you will access a page through a personal account and can choose whether you want to use Google+ as a person or a page.
You can operate multiple Google pages from your personal account. As Google says, “Pages can be made for a variety of different entities whereas profiles can only be made for people. If you’re a business, you could have a page for the overall business (say Pepsi) as well as for a particular product (say Diet Pepsi) as well as for an event (say the Dew Tour).”
This is a great idea for brands with multiple products. It allows you to have an individual pages for each product.
What You Can Do On A Page:
On a business page, you can share pictures, videos and links apart from chatting as in conduct hangouts.
As of yet there is no way to automatically post on a page using native and third-party tools. Most likely the integration tools will come as part of a future Google+ API release. As a page, you can follow those fans that have followed you. This is totally opposite to Twitter, where Pages can follow people first.
How Fans will Follow Your Page:
On Google+, for a fan to follow a page, they have to “Add this page to their Circles”. If the fans click the +1 button on the page, the page will still be out of their Circles. Similarly, if a fan clicks on the “Add To Circles” it does not mean that the page will be “+1ed” too. The +1 count that you see on the pages shows the number of people who have +1ed the page.
This number is the number of +1s the Google+ page has gotten and not the +1s of the website.
Get A Badge!
In an effort to inspire brands to get followed, Google+ is launching a new icon with badges. Go to this badge maker page to explore further. At present, you can get an icon from here and use that in linking your site to a Google+ page.
Pages For Local Businesses:
Local business pages have the additional option of entering phone numbers, so that people may connect quickly. As Google said, “Local Google+ pages are unique from other categories of pages because they have features that allow customers to easily connect with that business’s physical location. For example, local pages include a map of the business’s location and feature its address, phone number, and hours of operation.”
How to Add Pages To Circles From Google Search:
You can now reach people searching for your brand or business on Google, by adding pages to circles from Google search. This can be done either by including Google+ pages in search results, or via a new tool- called Direct Connect.
If users want to connect to a Google+ page straight away, they have to add a plus (+) sign before their query and they will be taken to that Google+ page. Like +Google, +Pepsi, and +Toyota.
How To Link Pages To Sites?
If you link your site to your page, then the chances of a Direct Connect get enabled. Here is how you can link your site to the Google+.
- Rel=”publisher” (this is to link your site to the Google+ page)
To protect unauthorized users from creating your page (as at present anybody can create a page for a site they are not even associated with), Google recommends the use of the new verification icon and badge. This badge is only awarded if the page is connected to a website. This ensures that only authentic people behind the page can get the badge.