Creating Google Plus Business Pages

Everybody’s been arguing over the value of Google Plus lately. Some say it’s only for geeks and others say it’s a waste of time. Well, Google just changed the conversation in a big way and just in time.

The announcement of Google pages for business came just in time to turn the whole argument on it’s head. Why? Because this is clearly a direct assault on Facebook pages. As I scanned my Google Plus stream it quickly became clear that it was way more than that. People are creating topic pages where they will share information that they used to share with circles.

For example:

  • Friend Mike Elgin created a page where he and his wife plan to share their new diet called The Spartan Diet and he says he’ll be sharing on this page instead of to the circles of foodies he had created.
  • CJ Brasiel created a page for questions about San Jose real estate and she plans to use it as a Q&A channel as well as a place to post news and information about real estate in the south bay.
  • Save the Children UK launched their nonprofit page and did a great job setting off their profile with moving photos (hmm, just like Facebook pages eh?)Save the Children UK - Google+
  • The online social media magazine Social Media Examiner didn’t waste any time creating a page, and neither did most of the regular users of Google Plus. How could we resist?
  • As for me, I’ll be sharing as, guess what, Social Media Coach and post tips and tricks, starting of course with a series of video tutorials to show you how to make use of these new pages.

There is a avalanche of new pages being created at the moment as everyone starts the land rush to save their favorite names and protect their brands, and just like with “fan” pages i expect there will be some tussles over who owns the rights to what. It’s Probably not a good idea to create a fan page that uses a brand name for example. Google says “Google reserves the right to restrict the content on your Google+ Page at its discretion.” and I expect they won’t stand for copyright violations like using a Brand’s name in your page, and any contests or promotions must fit within the Google + Pages Contest and Promotion Guidelines.

As many cool new features as there are with the new Google+ pages there are an equal number of questions popping up from my clients. I’ll cover the most frequently asked ones here and then if you want help, just post your questions to my new Google+ page!

How do I create a page?

(3) Google+How do I find my pages again after I build them?
See that little teeny arrow next to your avatar? It’s a drop down list of all the pages you own. Select one and you are now using Google plus as your page.

Can I make someone else an admin of my page?
Nope. Not yet. According to reports from the Google engineers they’re working on this.

Can I share content between myself and my page?
Here’s a trick for that. Create a circle called “Me” or something creative. Add only yourself and your pages to this circle. Now you can simply share your information between your pages and yourself by sharing only with that “Me” circle.

Do I really have to use that silly long numeric user name?
Nah. You can use a URL shortener to get you a nice tidy URL to share with your friends. Here’s a quick video showing one option for a shortcut URL to your Google business page.

Is there a way to connect my pages with my web site?
You can grab the G+ Widget from the right side of the page when you create your page or create your own with your Gplus avatar and a link to your new page. Once you leave this page, just click “Get Started” under your avatar and you’ll find a place to create a custom badge for your website as well as some good advice from Google about making the most of your page.

How do I find business pages?
If you know the brand you want, say, Toyota or Angry Birds, just type a + before the name in the search bar on Google’s home page and it takes you right to their Google Plus business page! . This is part of Google “Direct Connect”, and for the moment is in beta, so it only works with Particular brands. Give it a try. Go to Google’s search page and type on +Toyota and see what happens.

Do I have to create a whole new set of circles?
Sort of. I feel like this is just a glitch, but for the moment you can’t share a circle with your own business page. Your profile settings overide the page and if you already have people in circles the page will not let you create one there too. You’ll have to find somebody else with a similar circle and ask them to share it with your page. Note that once the circle is moved it doesn’t automatically update, you only get the people that are in the circle at the time you move it.

There is a particularly amazing spreadsheet maintained by Google that lists all of the publicly shared circles, from A-Z right here.

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Have you read my book yet? “Social Media Success! – Practical advice and real-world examples for social media” is available on Amazon

  • If you come across Google+ Business Pages “cheat sheets” it would be great to find them here?

  • Thanks for your comment. I’m actually half done with my next book which will be all about Google plus! Expect to see it out very soon. In the meantime I’ll work on adding information here and on my Google Plus page.

  • That’s Great.

  • Kathmere

    Thanks for the article. Quick follow up question: So if I created a Google + page for the company I work for, and say I take another position, what happens to the page? Do I delete it and have the new admin re-create it?

  • Kathmere

    Thanks for the article. Quick follow up question: So if I created a Google + page for the company I work for, and say I take another position, what happens to the page? Do I delete it and have the new admin re-create it?

  • Currently there is no way to hand off administration of a Google+ business page to another user. If you create it you own it. Google has said they are working on a multiple admin system and I assume it will work something like Facebook’s where you can add and remove admins. That will certainly make things easier!

  • Anonymous

    It will be great to
    see Google have a way to enable business to take advantage of Google Plus. Also
    if they retain the DO FOLLOW on links it may also be beneficial for SEO

    Google Plus Followers

  • Google is pushing hard its network. Making changes to search algo to incorporate the effect of social signals. Trying to supress FB and twitter, but it has still not been able to get the attention of the large non-geeky mass. I wonder when google will decide its time to close this project like Buzz. Google engineers are leaving their jobs because of Google just trying too hard with Plus and leaving its streak of innovation.

  •  I have little bit knowledge about to make realistic google business place…By your suggestion i became expert to make Google place page….I like your tips…Thanks

  • Oli Corse

    Really like the fact you’re promoting Google+, we’re doing a similar thing to help people see the benefits of Google+. Janet can we direct people to this article and also ask for your support with the Google+ Event? Follow our page and we’ll invite you!

  • Glad to see you promoting. There are other benefits we have seen with a Google+ page for businesses and that has been the SEO and also the better face it gives. Here is an article that marries well with want you have here:

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