How to Make the Most of Google+'s New Brand Pages Feature
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
November 09 2011 03:38 PM ET
Google this week launched brand pages for Google+ where companies, brands and bands can promote their products. Already, big brands including Samsung USA, Dell and AT&T have joined the growing social network. Pages are simple to set up, but they do have some limitations. Here’s how to make yours:
Before you set up a + Page, gather the necessary information. You’ll need an image for the page's profile photo. The maximum profile image resolution in Google+ is 202 pixels high by 192 pixels wide. You may also want to collect a number of photos for the scrapbook section (the thumbnail images that are displayed across the top of the page). Finally, decide on a 10-word tagline to describe your page. This will be listed under the page name.
Sign into your Google+ individual account and look for the blue button “Create a Page” to the lower left of your stream. If you don’t have it yet, go to Google Maps . Other categories will offer Page name, a website to link to, and an option to restrict viewers to 18 and older or 21 and older. Create your page. You’ll have an option to sends alerts to people who are already in your circles.
Circles work in the same way on + Pages, but you’ll have several new presets, including Following, Customers, VIPs and Team Members circles. Just as in your personal circles, you can add new circles, reorder circles and delete circles. At this time, there doesn’t appear to be a way to import contacts.
Hint: You may set up multiple business pages. To easily switch between pages, note that the number of pages you own is displayed under your name at the top of the left panel. Use the drop-down box to switch from one account to another. You can manage + Pages from this menu as well.
Google+ design team member Toby Stein posted a list of the most frequently asked questions about the new business pages. A top concern was whether a page can have multiple managers, and the answer is no. However, Stein said that adding this ability is a priority for the team and “is coming soon.”
Users also wanted to know whether they could transfer ownership of their pages to other people. Again, they cannot at this time, but the function is in the works. For now, users are advised to build a new page with the new owner, let their current following know they intend to switch to a new page, and then delete the old one.
New page owners are clamoring for vanity URLs, such as plus.google.com/pagename, which is a lot more appealing than a string of characters in place of a name. When Facebook launched its vanity URLs in 2009, a “name grab” ensued as users rushed to lock down their company names and Facebook was obligated to mediate disputes. Fortunately, Google+ has an account verification measure in place, which should minimize unauthorized users from grabbing a big name if and when the company changes its policy on vanity URLs.