As if you didn’t have enough social-media platforms to juggle, Google announced yesterday it is now allowing businesses to participate in its Google+ social network.
A few businesses jumped on board in the early going via regular Google+ personal accounts. However, in July Google terminated business accounts while promising formal business pages would come.
And come they did. Businesses and brands can now make their presence known through Google+ Pages.
Here’s a quick crash course:
Choose a category
When you gain access, you’ll be asked to create your Google+ Page within one of five categories: Local Business or Place; Product or Brand; Company, Institution or Organization; Arts, Entertainment or Sports; or Other.
A local presence
Creating a page in the “local” category gives account holders options that allow customers to easily connect with a business’s physical location (e.g., phone number, maps, address, hours of operation).
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The local Google+ pages must be managed separately from Google Places. So what’s the difference, you might be asking?
Google Places provides info that makes it easy for customers to find you. Google+ Pages allows you to connect, engage and build relationships with customers.
Features and functions
Google+ Pages allow you to share videos, photos, links and other information. Pages also have the “+1” button, which shows how many people have clicked the button in Google search results. (Think of it as Google’s version of the Facebook “like” button.)
More important, a robust Google+ Page will undoubtedly play into search relevancy in the normal Google search. Users can also “direct connect” with particular businesses by entering a “+” in front of a search term. (Try searching “+Chrome” to see this in action for Google’s Chrome browser.)
Here’s one to get brands and owners excited: Google+ Pages allows you to create multiple pages per account. For example, Hilton Worldwide could create a main Hilton business page but then create additional business pages for each of its brands. Likewise, if you’re an owner with a 17-hotel portfolio, you could create one umbrella page for your company, and then 17 separate local pages for each property.
For more info, check out the official Google+ site here or view this short video:
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