Early last month Google launched Google+ pages for businesses. Previous to this launch, Google+ only connected people with other people, but now they are connecting people and businesses, retail stores, sports teams, movies, and whatever else you can think of in between. I thought it would be helpful to overview a few steps to get started. Here we go:
- Sign into your Google account and then go to Google+ Your Business Page to create your Google+ Page
- Tip: The page will be tied to your Google account, so choose wisely! Don’t allow your intern to tie it to their account, but rather set up a fictitious account so you sidestep any embarrassing profile situations.
- Pick a category such as:
- Local Business or Place – good for hotels, restaurants, local retailers, etc.
- Product or Brand – good for, uh, products and brands.
- Companies, Institutions, or Organizations-–pretty straightforward here, plus nonprofits and associations.
- Arts, Entertainment, or Sports – same here…duh
- Other – if you cannot fit in any other category, but it's recommended that you attempt to fit because you will be more findable in a category with other competitors or like companies.
- Add your info just like any social profile, but here are some tips when doing so:
- Icons and profile pictures matter – In a recent Mashable article covering an eye-tracking study performed on social media site profiles, the icon and profile picture attracted the most attention. You can use your logo, but you might want to go a step further and include a message or additional url within that image.
- Don’t be too wordy in your introduction section – remember short and sweet, using keywords to help guide friends and allow for easy scanning and understanding.
- Choose 5 photos that best represent your company, as these will be at the top of the profile page. Don’t forget to freshen these up from time to time.
- Aside from the 5 photos at the top, you want to include other photos and videos within those sections of the profile.
- Upload a few posts to start so that you’ll have content to welcome your friends.
- Be friendly with other pages and list up to 20, including a nice backlink to your corporate site from Google! Does this help with SEO? They haven’t confirmed, but it can’t hurt!
- Apply for direct connect, which will allow your page to be indexed and appear in the search results. Good for SEO!
- Make friends and be social – who you know and who likes your profile matters, so start by making friends with people close to your business. That way when you go really public with your profile, you’ll have friends to make people feel welcomed and that this is a page (or place) to be!
- Circles are just groups or categories of people, so you’ll need to determine how you should categorize your fans and what to share with each. You might want to create groups of partners, customers, employees, etc. There is no right or wrong here!
- Hangouts is what differentiates Google+ from other social networks, since it’s the ability to host a planned or impromptu meeting within your account. You could host a chat, webinar, demo, etc.
I hope this helps get you started with your new business page. Next month, I’ll cover a few more advanced topics like content strategy, promotion, and measurement