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google-plus-iconGoogle unveiled its new social network, called Google+ or Google Plus, back in June but until now only individuals could sign up and use it. Well, a few weeks ago Google+ became open for businesses to sign up and claim their pages too, so it’s important for those building an online presence to understand how the network can work for them.

Don’t worry if you don’t know much about Google+ yet, not many people do because it’s so new! Although it’s different to Facebook in a few ways, it’s best to think of it like Facebook if you’re new to it, because it has similarities, like the chance to sign up an individual page and a business page and a news feed full of recent activity. For more information about what Google+ is then read our Introduction to Google+ from earlier on in the year.

Many people are questioning whether businesses should sign up for a Google+ page quite yet, or whether they should wait. We think that it’s really important you claim your page right away for two reasons:

1. Claiming your business name on Google+ will stop anyone else from getting it. Someone may try to claim your business name deliberately or just be accident. Although there might be ways to get them to give you the name later down the line it’ll be much easier if you have the right page and business name on the network from the start.

2. By having a Google+ business page so early on, it shows all of your socially savvy friends, contacts and potential clients that you’re being innovative online and trying new things.

3. If you have a business page on Google+ it means anyone can find your page by just typing “+ [your business name]” into Google, which is very easy for people who want to find out more about you, so you don’t want to miss out on being included in that great search opportunity.

However, Google+ isn’t as established or as proven as Facebook yet that you don’t dedicate too much time promoting it just yet. At the moment it makes sense to have it, but if the network doesn’t prove to be as popular as people first thought you’ll be wasting lots of time and money.

If you decide you want a Google+ page you can get in touch with a web team, like Codastar to sort everything for you, or set up the first stages on your own.

Visit https://plus.google.com/pages/create and then pick the kind of organisation you want to create a page for, so choose whether you’re a “brand” or a “local business” for example.

You then need to enter your organisation’s address and phone number. If you’ve already registered your business with Google, then the correct matches will appear and you’ll be able to select the right one. If your business isn’t already registered with you’ll be given the option to do that at this stage.

Once you’ve set your number and location you need to upload a photo to represent your company. A logo or photo of your team would work well, but don’t worry, you can change this at a later date.

That’s it! You will then have your own Google+ business page and you can start adding people to circles (the way people are grouped and organised on Google+), writing updates and adding more photos.

Here’s an example of a Google+ business page for Toyota USA:

google-plus-toyota-page

If you’d like more explanation about what Google+ is and how it can work for you, then get in touch with one of the Codastar team today. We can give you a basic introduction or even set up a brand new Google+ business page for you within a few days.

[Images via Google and Google+]

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