Ten easy steps to set up a Google+ page for your business
1. Create and log-in to your personal Google+ account
To do this you need an email account (preferably gmail), once you're finished, you'll find an link to 'Create a Google+ page' at the bottom of the right hand side of the main homepage, click this!
2. Choose a category that applies to your business
You have to choose from;
- Local Business or Place
- Product or Brand
- Company, Institution or Organisation
- Arts, Entertainment or Sports
- or Other
3. Add basic company details and select the audience
This is your opportunity to enter your company name, link your new Google+ page with your website, and select which category your business falls under.
4. Add your company logo and tagline
Google+ logos are square so if like us your logo is naturally rectangular you may have a little creative work on your hands, Google also provide an online 'Creative Kit' you can use to change your logo if needed. The tagline is important as it not only tells your customers what you do, but also provides Google with an idea of what your company does.
5. 'Get Started'
Much of the tools you need to push your new page out to the masses can be found on the main Google+ homepage via a link named 'Get Started' on the bottom of the right hand side, click this!
6. Add the Google+ badge to your website
In the 'Get Started' section, you'll find a widget you can add to your website which will take any clickers directly to your new company Google+ page. This can be added to email signatures, your homepage, your blog, anywhere you like. Also, once Google can see the badge on your website, and see your website’s URL on your new Google+ page, it will link the two, and allow people to find your Google+ page directly from the main search bar just by adding a plus sign before typing your company name.
7. Add the +1 button
Also in the 'Get Started' section you'll find a link to help you add a +1 button to your website and any content you're publishing online. This allows your contacts to publicly recommend you, and your content to their contacts online. These recommendations will then appear in Google's natural listings, and will soon become much more powerful than Google AdWords, with people relying much more on personal recommendations.
8. Invite all your contacts
You can invite your existing clients and prospect either by sharing your new pages URL or by pointing them to your new G+ badge you've hopefully added to your website, email footers and blog. As with Facebook and LinkedIn, you can't currently upload a list of contacts and send invites as your company page, but you can do this via your personal page if you so wish. Once a contact has connected with your new company page, you can then add them to a 'circle'. We'd recommend using different 'circles' for prospects & existing clients, that way you can personalise what messages you send out to each. You can also take this idea further and separate up your clients depending on what products or services they currently you currently provide them with to personalise your messages further.
9. Hash Tag Research
Just like on Twitter, you can add hash tags to your posts on Google+ to allow people you're not currently connected with to find relevant content. From the main Google+ homepage you can search for relevant Hash Tags people are already using, for example at Red Wasp we were pleased to find an existing group of people sharing content under #marketing #advertising & #PPC. Whatever hash tags relate to your industry, write them down and make sure you include them on all relevant posts.
10. Publish Content
When publishing content on Google+ the trick is to make it as personalised as possible. Don't just send out the same message to everyone in the same fashion you would on other social media profiles, create a specific 'circle' of contacts, and write a piece of content aimed at them. You're click through rates will be much higher, and people will +1 your content a lot more.
Five reasons you should use Google+ for your business
1. Improve your Google search rankings
With the introduction of company pages on Google+, it becomes possible to link your company website and G+ page through a combination of badges, icons and +1 buttons. As this grows it will inevitably be integrated into their search algorithms, and in the mean time it is going to have an enormous impact on the amount of clicks a search result receives. This will completely change the landscape of SEO and for anyone who is serious about their inbound marketing, a well developed G+ profile is going to be invaluable.
2. Precise targeting
The thing that makes G+ different is the way in which you can, be targeted in how you share content. For an individual user, this means sharing more personal information with close friends and hiding it from others. For a company, this means being able to communicate specific messages with different groups of people; be it current clients or prospects, or perhaps different groups of staff. You can communicate to all of them through one platform, and can pretty much guarantee they'll get a notification as everyone uses Google.
3. Integration with other Google products
Applications like analytics and Adwords are integral to the digital strategy of most companies, and this only scratches the surface of what Google offers. The integration of these products with G+ and its company pages is already well under way, and the information that will be made available as a result of this, will make these apps infinitely more powerful and precise.
4. All the best features of other Social Media platforms
All social media platforms all have their own strengths, which is exactly why they are so popular. Facebook provides an unlimited supply of apps to aid our social interaction, LinkedIn give us interaction with our specific professional circles, Twitter enables us to communicate 1 way with strangers and engage in trends, social bookmarking sites like Reddit & StumbleUpon provide you with content based on your interests, and Skype allows us to speak to people via video link from the other side of the world. Google's social media platform does every single one of these things! It really is set to make all other forms of social media obsolete.
5. It's Google!
What more can I say. All of these incredible functionalities and exciting levels of integration are brought to us by Google, the single most powerful web based company in existence. They are constantly developing, constantly improving, and they have almost total control of which aspects of the internet we can access. Can you imagine anyone being able to do a better job?
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