Google+ launched “Pages” for business and brands after originally announcing its Google+ social network in June that only allowed personal profiles.
Google+ even has also removed some of the brands that set up accounts using the personal profile. Some businesses were allowed to stay for testing purposes including the Ford Motor company.
Here are some of the major features of new Google+ “Pages”:
1. Allow Local Businesses to Create a Page – This enables customers to easily connect with the business’s physical location and include a map, address and phone numbers.
2. Google+ Pages includes Circles – The default circles include: Following, Customers, VIP’s and Team Members.
3. Conduct Hangouts – This duplicates the feature as seen in the personal profiles.
4. Share Photos, Videos and Links – This is the same as personal profiles and Facebook.
5. Google+ Allows Multiple “Pages” – Similar to Facebook even though you access your “page” through a personal account you can choose what profile business or personal you want to act as.
6. Total +1 Counts – As distinct from personal profiles an overall Google +1 count will show on a Google profile “page”. This will provide “social proof” of the popularity of a brands website which is a not a function for the personal profile G+ badge.
Google+ “Pages” – An Overlook
The Google+ pages are a very simple start that at first glance looks almost immature (we have become accustomed to what is now a very complex Facebook platform.)
What must be kept in mind is that any social network is a “work in progress” that will continue to develop and grow.
So some of the “missing” essential features that people have become accustomed to on Facebook may appear in time as Google+ pages “grow up:
1. Multiple Admin – This is not currently available but is coming apparently.
2. Custom Vanity URL’s – Just like Facebook when it launched its pages you were given a very big “number” not your name or brand. There is no information on when that might change.
3. Google+ Fans will not be able to Post Directly to a Wall – Currently you cannot post directly to a page but only offer comments on a post.
4. Google+ Pages do not Allow “Games” – I don’t know about you but I am not going to be shedding tears about this feature not being included.
5. You Don’t have to Verify you are a Company or Business – At this stage, you don’t have to validate your company credentials (I am sure this is an initial expediency measure to ensure fast take-up). Google+ will be providing verification badges in the future that will assist in ensuring brand “pages” credibility.
6. Pages Cannot Follow People – You can only follow people after they have first been followed as distinct from Twitter’s rules.
How to get Started with Google+ Pages:
Just like Facebook you do need a personal account to get started.
Step 1: Start at Your Personal Profile – Open up your Google+ personal profile dashboard and start the process. To setup a Google + Company Fan Page you will start by going to https://plus.google.com/pages/create
Step 2: Choosing Your Business Category – Start creating your page by selecting whether you are a local business, product or brand, company, institution or organization and the other options.
Step 3: Adding your Brand Name – This include adding your website URL (website link) as well as your business sub category and who you would like to be able to see your fan page. You can now limit what age group can see your fan page and limit if the content is not appropriate for certain age groups or users.
Step 4: Customizing the “Pages” Profile – This is where you write what your business is about, choose a Tagline for your business and upload the company and brand logo.
Step 5: Optimizing, Sharing and Connecting – You can embed a snippet of code in your website or blog that allows people to link and connect to your Google+ “page”. It also provides you with the URL for your business “page”.
After setting up your Google + Fan Page, you can share the new fan page with all your circles. Make sure after you setup your fan page that you post a couple things on there to not make your brand or local business look like they haven’t done anything. If you are on the cutting edge of technology, you should always be posting about the things that you’re doing on your site. Give yourself like, push it out to all your circles.
No,w you can manage your Google+ business page from Hootsuite. Here’s our eMarketinGuide Google+ FanPage. Don’t forget to follow us if you like it…