Google has launched Google+ Business Pages, which are Google’s answer to Facebook Pages.
If you want a chance to get ahead of your competition you’ll want to know how to create a Google+ Business Page for your business. You can do this in just a few minutes.
What Is A Google+ Page?
Until 7th November 2011 you could only have a personal profile on Google+, and you were supposed to only use your real name or Google would suspend your account. But now you can create a Google+ Page, which is intended for businesses and organisations rather than individuals.
You can see my Google+ business page on the right. It is similar to a Google+ personal profile, with space for a description, and tabs for Posts/About/Photos/Videos and can show circles of people you follow and who follow your page.
To create a post you need to go to the page “stream” by visiting your Google+ Page and clicking on the page name or the Google+ logo, both at the top left of the page.
Before you leave, I have a request…
Before you go and create your own page, don’t forget you can stay connected with me by adding my page to your circles here:
How To Create A Google+ Business Page
You can create a Google+ business page in just a couple of minutes. When you are ready, go to this link: Google+ Business Page Setup
Before you start posting to your page, you should check out the Google+ Page terms of service, some of which are a bit of a surprise (see “Google Bans Promotions…” below).
Tips For Your Google+ Business Page
Visual Impact – Profile Picture & Photos
The first things to do are to create a suitable profile picture. Note that this needs to be square, and will be displayed quite large on the page, but shrunk to a much smaller square whenever you post “as your page”.
The next thing to improve the visual impact of your page will be to add some photos or images, which will appear across the top of your page. This is very similar to the way images are used on Facebook pages, so if you already have this sorted for Facebook, you could do something very similar on your Google+ Business Page.
Readability – FormatYour Posts
You can make your more easily readable by formatting them with bold, italic and even strikethrough text styles. Well formatted posts will also stand out, and attract more readers.P
Formatting posts in Google+ is covered in another post here:
Engagement & Interaction
You want people to follow you so:
- ask people to visit your page and add it to their Google+ circles
- add a G00gle+ follow “badge”to your website, as you have for Facebook & Twitter: get your Google+ badge
You want people to see your posts, so:
- visit your page, see who is following you, and add them to your Google+ Page’s circles (e.g. under “Following”, “Customer”, “VIPs”, “Team members” and of course circles you create yourself).
You want to people to engage with your page, so:
- when someone comments, respond with a comment (or by +1 their commet)
Tips for Visitors – When You Visit A Business Page
When you visit a page you like, you have two ways to say say so and express your support:
- You can give it a boost by clicking +1 for the page, and
- You can add the page to your circles.
- Both the above.
If you just +1 the page, you won’t receive updates from it. If you add it to your circles, the page can then add you to its circles, and so see updates that you share with the circle you added the page too.
Google+ Page And Facebook Pages Compared
Adding a Google+ page to your circles does quite a bit more than clicking ‘Like’ on a Facebook page.
On Facebook, when you click ‘Like’, this does two things: your Like shows up as support for the page in the “123 like this” count, and you will now receive updates from the page.
On A Google+, clicking +1 just does the former, expresses your support. On the other hand, adding the page to your circles gives the Page access to updates you share with those circles, as well as allowing the page to send updates to you (if the Page adds you to its circles).
Note, if the Google+ Page doesn’t add you to its circles, you won’t get its updates. I bet a lot of Google+ Pages fall foul of this and don’t realise they aren’t sending updates to people who follow until they do this!
Got any more tips? If so, leave a comment and I’ll add them here with a credit, and a link to your Google+ Page to help get you going!
Google Bans Promotions from Google+ Business Pages
It may come as a surprise, but Google does not permit “contests, sweepstakes, offers, coupons or other such promotions” directly on your Google+ Page. You can still run these, but only by linking to external content (e.g. a page on your website) that contains the promotion.
So be careful, or Google will delete your promotions and may even suspend the page if you transgress!
Details here: Google+ Pages Content & Promotion Policies