Just like Facebook and Twitter, Google+ offers you the opportunity to create a business page to promote your business, organization or a specific product you have in mind. The Google Plus community is growing in numbers and you can take advantage of a Google Plus page to get your business to a wider audience.
I want to take you through the process of creating a Google Plus page for your business or organization. Just like Facebook, you will need a personal profile on Google Plus to get started. If you don’t have one yet, sign up and create a personal Google Plus profile first. You can only create that business page once your profile has been created.
If you have a Google Plus personal profile, follow these steps to create a new Google Plus business page.
How to Create a Google Plus Page
Pick a Category for Your Business
1. Visit Create a business page on Google Plus (or follow “All Your Google Plus Pages” in the pull down under your profile photo) and hit “create a page.” Pick a category for your business. Pick the right category that perfectly describes your business or organization. You can choose from local business or place; product or brand; company, institution or organization; arts, entertainment or sports and other if the specific choices mentioned do not apply to your business.
2. Depending on the main category you select, you will be presented with subcategories that go into greater detail describing what you do. For example, if you selected “local business or place” you would first be asked to provide the country where your business is located and then a primary telephone number. If you selected product or brand, subcategories will include “antiques and collectibles,” “apparel and accessories,” “appliances” etc. Select your subcategory and click next.
Add Basic Information
3. If you have successfully selected the best category for your business, you can then add basic information for your brand, product or business page at the add info page.
Begin by choosing a name for your page and a link to an external website, if you have one.
It’s not a requirement to enter a link to your website but a website with detailed information about what you do can significantly improve the image of your business or product.
Then select the kind of Google Plus user your content is appropriate for. For example, your content may be appropriate for “any Google Plus user,” “users 18 and older,” “users 21 and older” or content that is “alcohol related.”
4. Begin customizing your Google Plus by adding a cover and profile photo. Click on the icon in the default profile picture and add a profile picture. Select a profile picture from your computer or photos you have already uploaded on your personal profile. Google allows you to select from images on Picasa if you already have a Picasa account and your preferred image is hosted on the photo sharing service.
5. Use the same procedure to change the cover picture. Cover pictures are larger than profile pictures. If you have an image of your product, company or brand that can promote and enhance your business, the cover photo works best for that purpose.
6. Under story, add the ten words that best describe your business. Choose carefully. This will be your business’s tagline, at least for Google Plus users. Your tagline must be consistent with other taglines you have used for branding purposes on other sites. Finally fill in your contact information including phone, mobile, email, fax, pager, chat and address. Hit “finish” to complete the customization of your page.
7. When you complete the basic information, you can begin using your administration dashboard to manage your new Google Plus page. You can use the “About” section of the dashboard to fill in any additional information about your page and begin building your network.
Under People, you will be able to determine how Google Plus users see your business page. For example, you can group your page fans (once you have them) under customers, following, team members, VIPs. You can also see who has added your new business page to their circles and then follow them back to their pages and follow them in return.
Edit your Story to add an introduction to your page. You should complete the introduction with a description of your business and what you do. Keep in mind important keywords related to your business. You can still make changes to your contact information if you like. You can also add links to other pages that interest you or that are related to your business. Finally, you can add links to your other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Start Sharing Content
8. Once your Google Plus business page is ready, you can start posting to your page by sharing links, photos and videos just like you do on your personal Google Plus profile or Facebook page. Make your posts interactive and engaging by adding photos, videos or links. And you can share your posts with people in different circles.
To make it easy for your fans to interact and engage on your page, Google has provided navigation tabs just below your Google Plus business page name: About, Posts, Photos, Videos and Reviews. All the tabs are shown to visitors so be sure to upload content to give visitors information and updates when they visit your Google Plus page.
9. If you want to find out who has added your page to their Circles, on the left sidebar click “Circles” under “More.” On the display screen, you can drag your fans into one or more of the four default circles and you can also create your own circle.
To interact and engage with your fans, follow their posts, comment on their status messages, and +1 their updates using your page profile. Share relevant information your fans will find most useful. Do not just promote your products, educate your fans as well.
10. Use your Google Plus page to add data to your Google Local Plus page. If you get these two pages confused, you’re not alone. Google Local Plus expert Mike Blumenthal explained to Small Business Trends recently:
One of the issues is that most businesses do not understand that their listing at Google is a search result. And that Google gives the business the privilege of adding some trusted data to that listing from either the Places Dashboard or from Google Plus.
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve your Google Plus business page? What have been your experiences with Google Plus for business thus far?More in: Google