Okay, the ferns have been watered, the tea towels folded, the chicken fed. Enough dilly-dallying! It’s time to set up your Google+ business page. Here’s how it’s going to go down.
1. Set Up Your Personal Profile
First things first. If you haven’t already created a personal Google+ profile for yourself, you’ll need to do so now. Just like Facebook, you should your personal email and profile (rather than create a new account with a business email) to do this because anything you do for the organization will appear as your organization – not you as an individual. So it’s just not necessary to have two personal profiles.
For the inside skinny on setting up personal Google+ profiles see How to Get Started With Google+.
If you already have a personal profile, then you’re ready to create a page for your business.
2. Create the Page
First we must click the page into existence. Start on the Google+ homepage, and click “Pages” on the left navigation bar before moving onto the next page. Once you’re there, click “Create a Page” on the upper left-hand corner of the page.
3. Pick a Page Type
The next step in creating your Google+ page is to choose a page type. Here, five different page categories will magically appear on your computer screen and you will be asked to choose one. Because we’re dealing with nonprofits, you’ll choose the subcategory of Company, Institution or Organization. This category includes pages for companies, institutions, organizations and nonprofits.
4. Pick a Category
Next you will enter your page name and website and choose an applicable category, which includes everything from Aerospace and Defense to a Website. Probaby the option that most accurately conveys what you do is Company, Institution, Organization or Other, unless you’re creating a page for a campaign or project.
For pages in any category, you must also choose whether your page’s content is suitable for any Google+ user (from Grandma to Tiny Tim), or if the page has special age requirements. Then you will tick boxes to opt-in to updates for Google+ pages and agree to terms and conditions to continue.
5. Add Your Page’s Basic Info
Just follow the prompts and enter the appropriate information for your organization.
6. Add Your Profile Photo, Cover Photo and Tagline
Once you’ve selected your page’s category and updated your basic information, you can start customizing your page’s public profile. This is where we feel the first stirrings of fun.
First, you will be asked to add your tagline (the sequence of 10 words that best describe your page), and then a profile photo and cover photo.
For the profile photo, we suggest using the company’s logo. Logos are simple and designed for for quick recognition. The profile photo must be at least 250x250px, but your entire image will be framed inside a circle, so increasing the canvas size but leaving your image size a bit smaller often does the trick. After you upload your image, play around with it. If you want to get really frisky you can dabble with the “Creative Kit.”
Next choose a cover photo, which conveys your mission or impact at a glance. Cover photos are 2120 x 1192 pixels. Take advantage of this creative space to include any marketing message you like. Remember however that the view will be shortened (significantly less tall) on your YouTube page. Don’t try to use a smaller image, as resizing will make it blurry.
After you’ve done all this and have clicked on “Continue,” you will be asked to spread the word about your new page through your personal Google+ profile. If you’re not ready yet, click on “Finish” to be taken to your new page.
7. Edit Your Page Information
Once you’ve looked over your new home screen, it’s time to edit your page’s information. Go to your page’s profile by clicking on the Profile icon at the top of the page. Then go to your “About” tab and “Edit Profile.” Here you will be able to handily edit all of the information on your profile.
Be sure to enter additional links to your page in order to latch up with your other social profiles, website, blog posts and so on. Keep in mind important keywords for your business – if you are a nonprofit organization, include nonprofit organization in your profile.
8. Add Page Managers
Just like Facebook, you can add as many people as you’d like to manage your Google+ Page. This is important not only because it’s always good to have more than one person with access to your Page, but also because your Google+ Page links to your organization’s YouTube channel. By adding managers to Google+, you also allow them to easily switch between their personal and organizational YouTube channel. It’s a handy little feature that avoids having to log out of your own email and into the YouTube account.
All you have to do is make sure you’ve opted to “Manage the Page”, then scroll down and you’ll see a link to “View All Managers” at the bottom of the Managers box. Enter the email of the person you want to add (for some reason Google+ sometimes has a hard time finding the right people) and invite them – they’ll get an email from Google+. They’ll need to accept the invite and then they’re ready to go.
Congratulations! Your Google+ page is ready for launch!
Once your profile is all laced up and looking fine, you can start posting to your profile by adding status updates, links, photos and videos just like you do on your personal Google+ profile or on your organization’s Facebook Page. Consider writing a few posts before announcing your page to your personal profile connections using the “Spread the word” option.
But don’t leave it at that, make sure your page stays in tip top shape by reading our 11 Best Practices for Using Google+.