G oogle+ 101: How to set up a Google+ business page
With over 540 million active users at the end of 2013, Google+ has become one of the most popular – and valuable – social media networks for businesses. Still, there are plenty of of business owners who haven’t gotten their business onto the platform yet, and they’re starting to miss out. If you haven’t created a business page yet, we’re putting together a series of “Google+ 101” articles to help new adopters get comfortable with the platform. This first article focuses on how to set up a Google+ business page, and whether or not you should create it under Google+ local.
Do you have a Google account?
That’s the first step. Note that Google is now tying just about all of its products together under one email address, so chances are you already have one of these. If you don’t, go here to create one. If you don’t have a Google+ account, you’ll need to make one of those too. Also note that whichever Google account you create a page under will be the “Owner” of the page, and will have the most account permissions. You can assign other pages managers later, but preferably you’ll want to create the page under an account tied to the actual owner of the business.
All set? Then it’s time to choose a page type.
To create a business page, log into Google+ and selected “Pages” from the drop down menu in the upper-right corner of the social network. This will show any pages you’re currently and owner or manager of, and will also allow you to create a page. Click that. You’ll be given five options:
- Product or Brand
- Company, Institution or Organization
- Local business or Place
- Arts, Entertainment or Sports
Though you’ll likely want to choose the option that most closely identifies with your company, the main choice you need to be concerned with is whether or not your company should sign up as a “Local business or Place.”
What is Google+ Local, and how is it different?
Although there are technically five different types of business pages, the main delineation is between a Google+ Local page, and a general business page. Initially, Google+ Local was Google Places – a feature that has since mostly been folded into Google+ as Google+ Local. For the sake of this article, we’ll assume you did not previously have a Google Places account, as merging the two is another jar of caterpillars.
To be brief, Google+ Local is Google’s answer to Yelp. It’s integrated with Google Maps, allowing users to see what’s in their area, rate those businesses, and provide photos. At the same time, it doubles as Google+ Business page. That means you can participate in Google+ just as you would normally, but your page also has the added visibility of a map listing, reviews, and local business searches.
How do I know which type of Google+ business page is right for me?
The simplest thing to do here is glance at the categories offered, and ask yourself which you most closely identify with. If you’re still not sure whether or not you should choose a Local page, ask yourself this question: are you a local business with one specific location?
Once you’ve answered that, you should be ready to choose the type of business page right for you, and then start the initial setup of your profile – which we’ll be covering on the Zbra Studios blog next week.
Still have questions? Take to Google+ with your new account and let us know!