Google+ “Pages” is now available for business and brands after initially announcing and launching its Google+ social network in June that initially only allowed personal profiles.
Google+ even removed and terminated brands that set up accounts using the personal profile. Some businesses were allowed to stay for testing purposes including the Ford Motor company.
Google+ is now officially launched and open for business!
- So what are the main features?
- What has Google included and excluded with the functionalities of Google+ for brands and organisations on launch?
- How do you get started with Google+ for your business?
What Google+ Pages Do Have
Google + pages will be a work in progress as most social networks are when they start. Facebook’s ecosystem is a much richer and deeper platform than when it started 7 years ago. Evolution is also a natural occurrence online.
So what are some of the major features that have been launched with the new Google+ “Pages”?
1. Allow Local Businesses to Create a Page
This enables customers to easily connect with with the business’s physical location and include a map, address and phone numbers
2. Google+ Pages includes Circles
The default circles include
- 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.
What Google+ “Pages” Don’t Have
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 One: Start at Your Personal Profile
Open up your Google+ personal profile dashboard and start the process.
Step Two: Choosing Your Business Category
Start creating your page by selecting whether you are a local business, product or brand, company, institution or organisation and the other options.
Step Three: Adding your Brand Name
This includes adding your website URL (website link) as well as your business sub category and ensure that you make it public.
Step Four: Customising the “Pages” Profile
This is where you write what your business is about ands upload the company and brand logo
Step Five: Optimising, 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”
If you are not confident with adding it get your developer to do this for you.
I look forward to seeing the unfolding the evolution of Google+ for business and brands as there will be a lot more to come.
This is just the start of the journey for Google+ pages and its integration into search, localization and mobile and the continuing development will offer a viable alternative that businesses and organisations should not ignore.
Will you create a Google+ “Page” ?
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