Many people (myself included) have tried to set up a Google + profile under our business name only to get declined or an error message something along the lines “unacceptable name only people not entities are allowed”. After a bit of research I have found the solution and wanted to share.
Here’s what you need to create a google + account for your business.
- A gmail account. Easy and free. Good news is, you can use the same gmail account for your google+ profile and google+ business and you can manage them together. Hopefully you have a google analytics account already, so use the e-mail you set up previously or create a new account if you are having someone else help you manage your google+ business. (don’t have google analytics? Check into it as it’s a wonderful way to track and measure marketing initiatives online and your website performance -plus it’s free www.google.com/analytics ) Here is a link to create a gmail account https://accounts.google.com/SignUp
- You’ll also need a google+ profile created first. (think of it like facebook pages - you have to have a facebook account to create a page and then you are connected to that page to manage.) https://plus.google.com
Now let’s create a google+ business...
Click https://plus.google.com/pages/create and walk through the steps. Here are a few pointers while setting it up.
- If you choose ‘Local Business or Place’ google will search for your registered google place first. If you don’t have one follow instructions to set one up.
- Add a small profile image (this will be the image shown when you post and in other’s circles so use your logo.
- Add a profile banner (header image is 940 x 180 pixels -though keep in mind the right side is covered by your small logo image)
- Verify your page. (blue box on lower right side) You will then be introduced to a screen to get a badge for your website. Add the code or send it to your webmaster so visitors to your website can connect with your google+ business page. You’ll get a postcard in the mail with pin to complete the verification process. Here is a link to the badges in case you exited too soon. https://developers.google.com/+/plugins/badge/
- In the ‘about section’ choose ‘link your website’ and embed this code in your website or send to your webmaster to make your google+ page eligible to show up on the right hand side of the Google search page for relevant queries and make your Google+ page more discoverable.
Ok, now that your page is set up, explore and begin making posts offering value to anyone who may choose to follow you. You can then begin promoting your page. Here are some great links and tips to better understand google+ and all it has to offer.
- This link will help you understand google better for your profile http://www.google.com/intl/en/+/learnmore
- This link features Google+ business including promoting your page and measuring. http://www.google.com/+/business
- Start following other companies - use search bar on top and type your topics or businesses you’d like to begin following. Choose companies you do business with, referral partners, favorite places, but don't forget to follow companies who share a similar target market. When you interact with those pages you have the potential to gain followers.
- Build your Google+ business page with photos, videos, information and begin posting even though you have no followers. Get it ready to promote.
- Use your google+profile and recommend your page to your followers
- Content is king. Post content that your target market will find interesting, useful and worthy of sharing. Don't bore with your services and sales pitches. Make your time on Google+ count.
Show your brand personality. Be an expert in your industry and a source people look to!
A couple bumps I came across.
- It seems Google Places and Google + Business are in the process of merging. If you’ve already registered your Google Places then it is a bit challenging to register your Google+ page. You may notice your google+ verification symbol is still not checked as 'verified'. Google is working on this problem currently, and hope to resolve soon.
- Note: You cannot follow people/profiles as a company unless they follow you first.
- Don’t forget to put your Google+ badge on your website.
- Pop your gmail into your mail program for easy access.
- If you have someone assisting you with your account don’t use your personal gmail account. Set up a separate one that you share username and password. (at least for now, google may change and allow multiple admins in the future)
- Follow My Marketing Gals on Google+ - http://gplus.to/mymarketinggals
- Connect with my personal profile at http://gplus.to/karenbrandon
As with any new social media network it takes time to learn how to move around and get the most out of it. Google + has all of the makings for a great social network and with a name like ‘google’ behind it; how could it not be wonderful? I will continue to share Google+ blogs to assist you. As always, if you prefer, hire My Marketing Gals to set it up for you. Please include your comments if you find this article useful. Thanks. I look forward to connecting with you on Google+ http://gplus.to/mymarketinggals