You Finally Have a Google Plus Business Page… Now What?

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Tuesday night I had the awesome privilege of hanging out with Marc Pitman and Nathan Hand on Google Plus. At one point Nathan put a challenge on the table for the three of us to write a post about Google Plus Pages during the Hangout.

What follows is my version of the original document we collaborated on. Marc’s version is here and Nathan’s version is here.

So you have a Google Plus Page… Now What?

A couple months ago when Google plus originally came out a lot of people were hesitant to join because Google plus didn’t offer business pages. But now that they’re available the prevalent question is: “Now what?”.

Now, there are two different kinds of people asking “now what“:

  1. People who’ve been using Google plus for months trying to understand how to use Pages strategically. These folks have already spent a few months creating circles, finding interesting conversations, and figuring out how to use the technology.
  2. People who know nothing about Google Plus. These folks are trying to figure out what hangouts are.

Google Plus Pages vs. Facebook Pages

As we were talking, we decided that Google+ Pages are very different from Facebook Pages (Google Plus Pages are also very different from Profiles):

  • Google Plus Pages allow for more uses. A Google Plus business page has many of the same features as a Facebook Page, but also include the collaborative utility of Facebook groups. With a Google plus business page you could create circles for board members, staff, or any other group of people where you want to share private information (like a Facebook Groups). You can also publish public updates that can be commented on, +1′d and shared (like a Facebook Page). This feature consolidation makes the Google Plus experience much easier to manage.
  • Google Plus is way more open than Facebook – almost as open as Twitter. This means that finding people and organizations with shared interests is much easier than on Facebook.
  • Google plus pages have no Edgerank. What this means is that when someone puts you in a circle they will always see your Google Plus posts in their stream. On Facebook, Edgerank determines if your content is seen in news feeds. But while you no longer have the pressure of improving your edgerank, you still have to keep people’s attention. This will be more important as Google Plus simply because you’ll have to compete with other organizations.
  • Marc has many more reasons why Google Plus is awesome for nonprofits:-)

Eight tips for success with Google Plus Pages

  1. Create an awesome ”About” tab – Make it useful, compelling and memorable for visitors. Marc observes that many Google Plus users decide whether or not to put you in a circle based on your About section.
  2. Use an attractive main image. It goes without saying that your main image on your Google plus business page is what will create the first impression for visitors.
  3. Turn your avatar into a gallery – One thing that’s amazing about Google plus pages is that you can upload multiple photos for the main avatar. This creates sort of a photo flip-book like I did with the Inbound Zombie Google Plus Page (click on the main image to see this effect). Organizations can use this in a number of ways. For example, the Humane Society could upload a lot more cat pictures.
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