I know what you may be thinking; “Great, another blog post about how to manage my Google Plus account”. The answer is yes, it is another blog post about the ever growing enterprise and social sector of Google: Google Plus. However, this is not just the basic guide on how to set up your Gmail account or set up your Google Plus page. Let’s face it, Google plus can be confusing at times especially for business owners that just don’t have the time to teach themselves about the wonders of Google and every update they make.
As a Social Media Manager I come across these 3 issues that just don’t seem to go away for our clients:
1. Mistaking Your Google plus personal profile for your actual Business page
Sometimes you just don’t know, and that’s perfectly fine. When you first create your Gmail account, you are automatically given a space to create your Google plus profile. It’s actually more like a profile already given to you but Google prompts you to edit and personalize it to fit who you are. During this step, some business owners that may be looking to start their Google plus page may be thinking that this personal profile is their Plus page for their Business. This is not true. You may even want to edit the personal profile with you business’ information as if it was the plus page. Instead, you should allow this page to either remain empty, or fill in some basic information and follow the instructions to start an official Plus Page for Business. If you are setting up a Gmail account that will manage multiple plus pages, it could also be a good idea to put a face and description to the plus profile that will be connected to these pages.
2. Having Multiple Gmail Accounts
It can be easy to just start over when you feel like you’ve made such a mess on your new Gmail account. But, it could also create an even bigger mess having another Gmail account that is used for the same purpose. When creating your Gmail account to start a Plus Profile and/or page, it may help to write all the Google Products that you’d want associated with this Gmail account. For instance, I’ve seen a business have a login for their AdWords account, Places account, AdSense account, and YouTube account. This alone can cause some confusion or can be a hassle just having so many logins under one parent brand. The good thing is, once you have a Gmail account for a particular brand, you can create the business page for that brand, and use that account to link to all the Google products you’d like in the future. Also, a good rule of thumb is to have another email account that is not Google related to be used as a “recovery email”. You’ll put this email in the account settings section of the Google plus profile.
3. Confusing Your Places Page for Your Plus Page
What’s the difference between Google Places in Google Plus? Before Google started rolling out with Google Plus Pages, Businesses would put their listings on Google Maps with Google Places; this is probably what you may have been used to. But, as Google updated and strolled into the social space, more options became available for the local business owner to amplify their business getting seen online. Google then updated places and gave it a face lift so now it looks and feels more like a plus page. However, these are still two different items on Google and unless you merge your local places page with your business page by verifying the page, they will stay two different pages. When verifying your business page, Google will ask for the address of your business, phone number, website, etc. They’ll then send out a postcard with a verification code on it and once you receive this, the code gets put into your Plus Page.
Now that you’ve got the top three common mistakes, and issues other local businesses come across with their Google Plus account, take some time if you can and learn a little more about what Google has to offer by visiting their Google Help page. I’d also encourage you to look at all the products Google has to offer so you’ll know ahead of time what the account you’ve set up will need in the near future.
Best of Luck!