After long months of hype and controversy, Google+ has finally rolled out business pages. Google+ Pages provides businesses, products, brands, and organizations with a public identity and presence on Google+. Setting up a Google+ page involves simple steps, but here’s how you do it – because it’s easy to get lost in Google+!
Setting up your Google+ Page
It’s simple to set up your own page – just sign in to Google+, and at the bottom of the right hand side of the main page, click on “Create a Google+ Page”.
We’ve just set up our own FRANk page and would like to build up our circles, so please feel free to add us. The thing with Google+ is that Pages cannot add users (Profiles) to circles, only Profiles can add Pages first (similar to Facebook fan pages). It’s thus a bit different from Twitter’s follow concept where any page can subscribe to user updates.
What’s the difference between Pages and Profiles?
- Pages can’t add people to circles until the page is added first or mentioned.
- Pages can be made for a variety of different entities whereas profiles can only be made for people.
- The default privacy setting for elements on your page profile is public.
- Pages have the +1 button.
- Pages can’t +1 other pages, nor can they +1 stuff on the Web.
- Pages can’t play games.
- Pages don’t have the option to share to ‘Extended circles’.
- Pages don’t receive notifications via email, text, or in the Google bar.
- Pages can’t hangout on a mobile device.
- Local pages have special fields that help people find the business’ physical location.
As an owner of your Google+ page, you can:
- +1, comment on, and reshare people’s posts.
- Add people (who’ve already added you) and pages to circles.
- Start and join hangouts.
- Mention people in posts and comments (who’ve already added or mentioned you).
- Block and ignore people and pages.
The difficult part with Google+ is finding your Page again. I hunted around the site for ages and finally turned to the Support Forums to get my answer… a little bit of a turn off. So to save you the pain, here’s how you get to your Page after you’ve set it up:
Click on your profile photo or name in your main page and you’ll see the number of Pages you manage. Yep! It’s a rather easy to miss feature.
The potential with Google+ Pages
Although it does look rather bare bones at the moment, it’s important to remember that Google+ is still in testing. If we look at Youtube where Google has allowed for extensive skinning of channel pages, it’s expected that Google+ Pages will be able to deliver a high level of customisation as well. However, we will have to wait and see how apps (one of Facebook’s winning features) will perform with Google+. If Google+ can go beyond just framing brand information within their search engine, and actually provide useful custom features that brands appreciate, then Google might be a worthy alternative to Facebook.
2. Circles of different key groups
The Google+ Pages’ default circles allow you to separate your customers, VIPS and team members from your whole follower group – something Facebook should have thought of! Points to Google for this. With most Facebook Pages having amassed a big following (especially for large multinationals), separating hundreds of thousands of fans is going to be difficult and time consuming. It’s therefore quite possible for Google+ to become an enterprise solution if all Google products become integrated.
3. Direct Connect
A new feature called Direct Connect makes it super easy for Google+ users to find and follow brands through Google search. Typing in “+” into Google search, followed by the name of the brand/business of interest will bring up the brand’s Google+ Page. For example, if you searched for the query ‘+youtube’ or ‘+pepsi,’ you could be immediately taken to the YouTube Google+ page, or the Pepsi Google+ page, and given the option to add the page to your circles. Direct Connect isn’t without its bugs at the moment, however, so you may experience difficulties in setting it up. Find out more about Direct Connect here.
What’s going to happen?
Sure, lots of hype’s been going on with Google+ and it’s still going to take time for the search giant to show how good its product is. Here’s a very well-done video (you’ll figure it out when you get to the end) about Google+ that Nick shared a couple of weeks back.
It sounds a bit scary, yes, but it really doesn’t hurt to have your Google+ Page set up quickly.