When Google+ first opened its doors to users, there were no business pages allowed. It was strictly for personal use, and anyone caught trying to create a brand page soon found that page deleted. But all that has changed now and businesses are finally able to stake a claim on this social networking site.
Google officials promised that the new pages would be worth the wait, and they were right! We will take a look at the new Google+ business pages and what you need to do to get your own page set up for your company right now.
Create a Page
Once you click on the “Create a Page” tool, you will be able to choose a category for your Google+ business page. This can be either:
Product or Brand
Local Business or Place
Arts, Entertainment or Sports
Company, Institution or Organization
After you select your category, you will need to enter some basic information like your URL and brand name.
Create Multiple Pages
The great thing about Google+ business pages is that you can create as many as you need. You can choose to have one main page for your company and then smaller pages that each focus on a certain product or event. This is a great way to help reach out to more targeted audiences.
Local Business pages have a few differences, such as adding a phone number. These pages are completely separate from Google Places. Local pages have features that let customers connect with a company’s physical location, such as the hours of operation, address and map.
Use Your Pages
When you log onto your Google+ account, you will be able to choose to act as the business page or as yourself. You can do many of the same things on your business pages as you do on your personal page, such as:
After someone starts following your page, you can start following that person in return. This is different from Twitter where any business can follow you in hopes that they will be followed in return.
Circling Business Pages
Unlike the “Like” button on Facebook, clicking the “+1″ button does not mean your business is going to be followed on Google+. For someone to follow you, they will have to add your page to their Circles. On each business page, there is a button for users to click in order to add your page to a Circle and a separate one for “+1s.” Clicking one does not automatically click the other.
Verification and Badges
Badges can be used to link your site to a Google+ page in order to encourage more followers for your brand. This feature is similar to the “Facepile” badge on Facebook. There is also a “Verified Name” option for larger more well-known brands.
Verification can help fight the issue of people who are not affiliated with a brand falsely creating Google+ pages. A website has to be connected to a brand page before adding badges and being displayed on Direct Connect.
In order to have your pages listed on Direct Connect, you will need to link your website to those pages. There is also an icon available to help link your site on the Google+ badge maker page.
If Google determines that your business page is relevant to a search, it will be found through the Google Search “Direct Connect.” This is more likely if you have your business page linked or if a person places a “+” in front of their query.
Are you using Google+ to its full potential? If not, what’s holding you back? Share with us!