How to…? Google Plus Business Pages – Part 1

Before we start digging into Google Plus and the hows, the whys and the whos, I deem it important to note the differences between a profile and a page (as both will be often used in the following post). The majority of you might already know this, but unfortunately I still find businesses represented by profiles. Many social marketing professionals and even social media channels underline the importance to distinguish profiles from pages: profiles are for individuals, pages are for businesses. It’s important to note this because pages have features that profile have not, from which the most important in my opinion is the insights.

At a first glimpse, Google Plus combines the advantages of Facebook pages with most of Twitter’s functionality.

How to create a Google Plus business page?

Categories

Choose the appropriate category, because you cannot change this latter (not yet anyway). There are several categories you can choose from:

Categories in Social Marketing Network Google Plus

Categories in Social Marketing Network Google Plus

1. Local Business or Place is the special category, as these type of pages are designed to help people locate the business using its physical address. So choose this if your business is a restaurant, pub, shop etc. in one particular city. The first step in this case is entering your location and primary phone number, in order to identify the location of your business.

2. Product or Brand – use this category if you want to separate your brands and products from each other. For example if you have a brand of women’s clothing and one for bowling equipment (being a little bit of absurd here, but you get the point) you might want separate pages.

3. Company, Institution, Organization – if the Google Plus page relates to a company or organization as a whole this would be the best choice.

4. Art, Entertainment, Sports – I would recommend this type of page for bands, artists, football clubs (obviously).

5. Other – If you feel that neither of the above is suitable for your page, you can choose this category, as it will not affect any feature regarding your page, every category having the same characteristics, except the local business one.

Big companies with multiple locations, or multiple brands or products, have the option of creating multiple pages for every location/ brand they own, apart from the company page for example.

After choosing your category you can enter you business page’s information, together with the subcategory within the category (in the example above: Consulting and Business Services) and the age for which the content is appropriate (and your address if you choose Local Business or Place).

Tagline and page photo

Tagline appearance when sharing on Google Plus

The Tagline is like the elevator pitch on Google+. It will appear as the description when somebody shares your page. If you don’t have inspiration right in the moment you’re creating your page, do not worry, you can edit it later.

You might wonder, where and how will the tagline appear to your potential or actual followers when someone shares your page. Well, in this case even if it is longer than 10 words the whole text will be shown (and if it is very short it will look a little bit bare if you ask me).

Where the profile photo is concerned you can change it later as well, but do not forget to add one. It can be the logo of your company, your brand, or if you want something less mainstream put your creative hat on :)

How to edit your Google Plus page?

To edit the information of your business page just go to the Profile Tab and click Edit profile. You can change the name of your page, the tagline and the introductory information about your page, your contact info (email, phone and fax number, address, chat, pager). Additionally, you can change your profile photo and your cover photo. Make sure your profile photo has a high resolution and take into consideration that your cover photo has to be 940 x 180 pixels, but the last 1/3 of it is covered by your profile picture. Take advantage of the cover photo feature by illustrating your brand in an original way. If you already designed a cover photo for Facebook, you can try modifying that one and use it on Google+, as your brand is the same no matter what social channel you use.

How to edit your Google Plus profile

To save the changes you have made press the “Done editing” button at the top.

I would like to mention a new little feature Google+ has, which enables you to see your page through the eyes of the “Public” or any other individual profile or business page. You can check it out by clicking on the “View as” button next to the “Edit profile” button.

How to manage your Google Plus page?

To act as your business page just select the page’s name from the list of your pages from the Manage your pages section, which you can find under the “Pages” tab or find the name of you page in the profile drop-down menu, in the upper-right corner.

How to manage Google Plus business pages OR        How to manage Google Plus business page

To edit settings, as the email address you want to receive notifications on, the managers of the business page and other aspects select Page settings or Managers from the drop-down menu from the upper right corner or in the “Home” tab find the Settings option under the wheel icon.

How to change Google Plus page settings OR        How to change Google Plus business page settings

This is it for now. In Part 2 on how to actively manage your Google+ business pages we will talk about getting more followers on Google+, managing circles and hangouts and other features available on this relatively new social network. Until then post your questions or comments in the comment section below or let’s chat on Facebook, Twitter and of course Google Plus :)

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