With over 343 million users, Google+ is one of the biggest social networks and can be a great place to connect with your target audience.
So how can you make it work with your business? Here’s a step-by-step guide; follow this and make Google+ an effective part of your marketing strategy.
Creating your page
To create a Google+ page, look for the ‘Create a Google+ page’ link in the right hand sidebar when signed into your Google+ personal profile.
Firstly, you will need to select a category for your page. These are the options:
- Local Business or Place: This is for physical establishments such as restaurants, shops, hotels and more. Subcategories range from Storage to Home & Construction.
- Product or Brand: This category is for electronics, financial services, cars and more. Subcategories include Websites and Technology.
- Company, Institution, or Organisation: This is for companies, organisations and more, and subcategories include Travel and Leisure.
- Arts, Entertainment, or Sports: This category is for TV, music, books, sports and more. Subcategories range from Albums to Sports coaching.
If your page doesn’t seem to fit any of the above categories, you can list it under Other.
You will then need to fill in the required details.
Basic page information
The first details Google+ wants for your page are your profile picture and tagline. The tagline will appear beneath your page’s name, so ensure it concisely describes your business.
Your profile picture should be something that people will easily recognise, such as your company logo. Make sure the picture matches the one you have chosen for your other social media profiles, so that your followers will easily recognise your page.
Here, you can enter five photos that you feel best represent your business. These could include anything from your top products, fun around the office pictures, your logo, or anything else that would make a good visual impression of your business.
Make sure you use your introduction section to its fullest potential. Consider including information about your business from your company website, and be sure to include links. Also bear in mind that the first 50 characters of your introduction will appear in Google+ search results and could mean the difference between someone selecting your business page or another one!
Your contact information
Here you can enter the best ways for people to get in touch with you or your business. Don’t include anything that you won’t be able to respond to quickly.
The Google+ pages only have one section of links which they mark as recommended, instead of having three like the Google+ personal profiles.
You will want to list your links in order of priority – website, blog, social media profiles, etc. You may want to break down your website into top product or service pages, if there’s any page in particular you want to highlight.
You need to complete your profile in a way that assumes it may be a first impression when someone finds your Google+ page before your website or other profiles.
Status updates on Google+
Before you announce your new Google+ page on your personal profile, make sure you add some public status updates that will give visitors an idea of the kind of content they can expect from your page.
Getting and organising followers
Like Facebook, you can’t go out and follow fans in order to gain fans like you can with Twitter and Instagram. With Google+, you have to wait until someone follows you before you can add them to your circles and start interacting with them.
To begin getting followers for your Google+ page, announce it on your Google+ personal profile.
Next, you will want to connect your Google+ page to your website, and you can do this with a simple piece of code or an icon. But if your main goal is to gain followers, you will want to use the Standard badge option which allows people to follow your page directly on your website.
Make sure you choose to ‘Verify your page’ while setting it up. The means that Google will send a postcard to you (by post) to prove the address you have entered is correct. The postcard will have a unique code that you enter into your GooglePlus page settings. This means that your business will appear on Google maps and your Google+ page will have the ‘verified’ tick.