Google has finally rolled out branded pages for Google+!
Whereas G+ Profiles was purely aimed at connecting people, it now empowers everyone from local businesses to global brands to build your online relations with G+ Pages.
Using the same style and layout as your Google+ Profiles, your Page is almost the same except for a small square icon next to your company's name which denotes you're on a page, not a profile. See our page for example.
Firstly, you're going to need a Google Account. If you don't have one yet, create an account through this link.
Once your set-up there, you can head over to plus.google.com/pages/create to get started.
Here you sign-in with your Google Account.
Punch in your Gender, Date of Birth yada-yada and you can upload your profile picture if you so wish, there is also another chance for that later on too so don't worry too much.
Remember you're still in your own profile; there are few differences between a Google+ Profile and a Google+ Page. Google+ pages can’t +1 other pages and unlike Facebook, it doesn’t support notifications. Also, Google+ Page admins can’t add people to circles until the page is added first or mentioned.
Anyway, next Google will check emails/networks for you to 'Add people you Know'. This IS important as later on sharing the page you create will come from these contacts, so when you go to share your new page, it will ask your profile account to send using your contacts. Clear as mud. But it's important, in a nutshell - your page is promoted via your profile.
We continue along and our next option is to 'Follow public posts from interesting and famous people', good to fill up the stream a bit - give yourself a better feel for the platform.
SO - we're now on your rather bare looking profile, time to set-up a company page. (SEE IMAGE)
RIGHT, now on to the good stuff.
Here, you pick the category of your business - this bit you'll have to chose for yourself. As far as I can see your choice makes little difference but just helps Google get the options a bit more specific and categorise you a bit better (correct me if i'm wrong)...
For me and many of you, I'm going to go ahead and create a "Company, Institution or Organisation".
So, page name, your site, sector, age appropiate for... and tick boxes then 'Create'.
Now we have your tagline (10 words), here's some inspiration from other G+ Pages:
PEPSI - Pepsi and the evolution of digital consumer engagement TOYOTA - We will lead the way to the future of mobility VODAFONE - Power to You on Google+ too MASHABLE - The latest in digital, social media, business, tech, entertainment and mobile news
Lovely. Now time for your profile picture.
Dimenions for profile pictures are largest at:
200 x 200px (Main profile picture - and below is a rather fantastic example)
As normal, this will be shrunk to 48 x 48px for use around the site.
Google does also throw in a chance for you to get creative and utilise the top 5 banner pictures.
They are at 150 x 150px and can be used quite ingeniusly. Haven't spotted anything game-changing as yet (so please post if you do see and will update) But for now, an average example of creativity, check out Toyota's new page and you'll see what I mean.
INTERESTINGLY, a trend already emerging appears to be a call-to-arms, "Add us to your circle" text (like we've done) and sometimes Google circle icons. Check out our Clock page and also T-Mobiles page for examples.
Finish up here and we're all good to go.
As Google will politely tell you, top-right drop down switches between page and profile much like the Facebook interface. (Also here to manage other Page accounts)
What is great about setting up your page is that G+ provides you with great tools to get promoting. From G+ icons for your site, to your public profile link everythings ready for you. [The +1 button is a really great one for SEO so I read...]
Wait, there's more
A 'cherry on the icing' for page admins is a new feature that more are beginning to learn and love, and that is the Google+ Direct Connect feature. This allows a direct link to your Google+ page (and even add that page to your circles) through Google Search itself. 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.
A final innovative feature of Google+ Pages is that you can create circles which can then be selected as the viewers of a particular post. At the moment, G+ provides ready-made circles with the titles 'VIPs', 'Customers', and 'Team members'. Naturally, this leads to a comparison with Facebook pages - so here are a few differences:
[As noted on Crazyengineers.com]
1. Followers can’t post directly to the wall of a Google+ Page. 2. If a follower mentions a page in his/her update, it wont be updated on the Google+ page. 3. Followers can not start discussions, the way they do on Facebook pages 4. Google+ Page has no facility right now for a separate landing page that appeals users to add them to their circles.
That should be more than enough to get you up and running, so have fun and knock yourself out. Always on the look-out for inspiration/creativity be it images or stories so comment below and I'll be dropping the best examples in.
RIGHT NOW: I'm just finishing the final touches to Clock's Google+ Page, have a look how I'm doing.
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