Thanks for these resources, Laura. I created brand pages for my writing business and my blog too, just because I could, but I’m still working out what to do with them. For me, having additional brand pages means more fragmentation and I’d really prefer consolidation. Perhaps Google will one day allow you to post directly to both your profile and a selected page. I haven’t yet figured tat out. However, it seems better to have the page first and then work out how to use it later. ;)
20+ Helpful Google+ Brand Page Resources for Freelancers
A few weeks ago Google+ rolled out their much anticipated brand pages. These brand pages are intended for company and business use (in contrast to the original Google+ profiles, which had to be registered to an individual).
Many big brands have jumped on the bandwagon and set up their Google+ Pages. Many freelancers have also set up pages for their blogs and businesses. You may be wondering if these pages can help you build and strengthen client relationships.
If you haven’t looked closely at the Google+ Page functionality yet, you may be wondering if this feature is for you. While I can’t make up your mind for you, I can provide you with information to help you decide whether a Google+ brand page is right for your freelancing business.
In this post, I identify over 20 resources on Google’s new brand page feature. I’ve sorted this information into categories so that you can easily find the information that is most useful to you. Of course, this information is changing all the time, so feel free to add your own Google+ information resources in the comments.
Getting Started with Google+ Pages
The resources in this section provide an overview of Google+ Pages and should give you an idea of its basic features. Many also explain how to set up a page for yourself.
- Google+ Announces and Launches Pages for Business and Brands on jeffbullas.com–This post provides a good overview on Google+ Pages as well as a step-by-step guide for setting your page.
- Google + For Businesses: At Long Last, It’s Here on Small Business Trends–Susan Payton directs this overview to small businesses, which is exactly why it’s a great read for freelancers.
- How to Set Up a Google+ Page for Your Business on Social Media Examiner–Kristi Hines provides her usual detailed look at how to set up a Google+ Page. Probably the best part of the post is the examples at the end, which can give you an idea of what a Google+ Page could look like.
- Google Plus Rolls Out Brand Pages on Duct Tape Marketing–John Jantsch points out some of the basic Google+ Page features. Have you got your brand badge yet?
- 3 Ways Google+ Pages Make Business Social on NewRayCom–Ray Hilz explains some of the social aspects of Google+ Pages.
Now that you know that basics, it’s time to weigh the pros and cons.
Benefits of Google+ Pages
If you’re trying to decide whether a Google+ Page is for you, these resources list the advantages.
- The Power Potential Of Google+ Pages For Businesses on Fast Company–Nathaniel Perez explains some of the business benefits of using Google+ pages. If you’re sitting on the fence trying to decide whether to set up a page for your business, this might be for you.
- Interview: Google + – Time to Get In for Businesses? on Social Media Today–Cliff Figallo interviews a social media specialist, who makes some very interesting points.
- Why Your Brand Needs a Google Plus Page on P.S. Jones Communications–P.S. Jones gives a clear explanation of why the new brand pages are important.
- Why you need a Google + Brand Page for your business on The MarketingMomma.com–Kate explains how businesses can benefit from Google+ brand pages. Great perspective for small business owners (including freelancers).
- Google+ Pages Live: Thoughts Now and on the Future on George Passwater–This post from a freelancer is actually balanced between the benefits of Google+ Pages and the drawbacks, which makes it the perfect post to lead into the drawbacks…
Drawbacks to Google+ Pages
Here is the other side of the Google+ Brand Page coin–some cautions about using brand pages.
- I wish I had never heard of Google+’s brand pages on Scobleizer–Veteran internet guru Robert Scoble weighs in with his initial concerns about Google+ brand pages. Although some of these concerns have been addressed, some may still be valid.
- Google+ Brand Pages Lacking, But You’ll Make One Anyway on Search Engine Watch–Miranda Miller lists some of the functionality that was not initially released with the brand pages.
- Were Google+ Business Pages a Mistake for the Company? on webmasterview–The author speculates as to what might be the thinking behind Google+ Pages.
Now, let’s compare Google+ brand pages with other social media.
Comparison with Other Social Media
You may be wondering how Google+ brand pages differ from other social media. (I know that I was.) These posts will help you determine the differences between these pages and several other types of social media.
- Why Google Plus Pages (Will) Beat Facebook. And Twitter on Wired–Caleb Garling provides this very upbeat comparison between Google+ Pages and other social media (including Facebook).
- Google+ Brand Pages vs. Facebook Fan Pages on Mashable–Christine Erickson takes a look at some of the differences (and similarities) between Google+ Pages and Facebook Fan Pages.
- Which Is Better: Google Plus Pages Or Facebook Pages? on PCMech.com–Rich Menga provides a point-by-point comparison between Google+ Pages and Facebook Fan Pages.
- Google+ Business Pages vs. Facebook Fan Pages on The WM Freelance Writers Connection–Alyssa Ayst provides this comparison of the page functionality of Google+ and Facebook.
If you’ve already set up a Google+ brand page, you may be wondering how to improve it.
Brand Page Tips
The posts here will help you make your Google+ brand page more effective.
- 10 Tips and Tricks for Better Google+ Brand Pages on Mashable–Amy-Mae Elliott presents a slideshow to help us get more from Google+ brand pages. She’s got some really interesting tips and ideas that any freelancer can implement after they get their page set up.
- Google+ launches an official guide for sharing, promoting and measuring Pages on The Next Web–Sherilynn Macale does a nice job of summarizing Google’s guide and pointing out exactly what you need to know. Of course, if you have the time you can read the complete Google Guide here (http://www.google.com/+/business/index.html)
- 7 Things to Know About Google+ Pages for Brands on Social Strand Media–This post also contains some helpful tips that freelancers could easily implement.
- 5 Key Things About e Pages for Your Business on Technorati–Kent Wakely makes some interesting points about the brand pages feature.
- What Businesses & Brands Can Use Google Plus Pages For Now on Search Engine Land–Practical business advice from Monica Wright. This advice is geared towards all businesses, but most freelancers should be able to make use of these tips.
- The 10 Step Guide for Great Google+ Page Management on G&B Magazine–Louis Gray provides these ten steps to help you get Google+ Pages right.
Do I Have a Google+ Brand Page?
The short answer is–yes, I do. I created a brand page for my writing blog and another for my writing business.
To be honest, at this point I’m not entirely sure how brand pages will fit into my social media and marketing strategy.
What About You?
Have you created a Google+ brand page for your freelancing business yet?
Feel free to share a link to your Google+ brand page or to add your own Google+ Page tips in the comments.
- 20 of the Best Google+ Guides and Tutorials to Get Freelancers Up and Running
- Why Freelancers Need a Brand and How to Create One
- How to Use a Facebook Fan Page to Promote Your Freelance Business
- Hot Google+ Tips for Freelancers
- Eighteen More Helpful Twitter Applications for Freelancers
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November 20th, 2011 at 6:27 pm
November 20th, 2011 at 6:48 pm
Thanks for these articles, Laura. I’m in the same situation having created a G+ brand page for my website but still working out how to use it effectively. One thing I have noticed is that the brand page has been showing up in my Google alerts more than the website despite there being more new content on the website. It’s that old story of Google rating its own products before anyone else.
I’d love for you to check out my page and I’m always open to comments. I am at freelance writer
November 20th, 2011 at 9:19 pm
Great post, Laura.
Although they are new, there’s plenty of potential for Google+ pages. With the recent updates on things like direct connect and others, it will be important to search.
Thank you for including my post in your resources – it’s an honor to be part of all of these great resources. :)
November 20th, 2011 at 11:58 pm
Sharon Hurley Hall–Thanks for your comment! :) I think a lot of freelancers are trying to work out an efficient way to use the Google pages functionality right now.
Paul Callaghan, Is your page called just “Freelance Writer?” I couldn’t seem to find it.
No problem George Passwater–You did a good job of describing the freelancer’s perspective in your post. I agree with you. It will be interesting to see what features are added to the pages.
November 21st, 2011 at 12:16 am
Awesome list Laura – thanks for including my post from SME! :)
November 21st, 2011 at 2:12 am
Ya, It is true this all information is very useful for all of us. Here you provide Google plus brand page information very briefly which is very nice thing. Through this Google plus profile people can expand their business.
November 21st, 2011 at 2:49 am
Great tips, I have just started google+, very helpful links.
November 21st, 2011 at 6:49 am
I love google+, it’s usful for my brand.
November 21st, 2011 at 8:47 am
Great post, Laura.
Much like many who have commented, I created a page but have yet to settle on a strategy. My sense is that Google wants us to use our Business Pages much the same way as we use our profile pages – to interact on a human level and not so much as a brand; thus the rules against promotions and contests.
I think this is a good thing, but what it means is that we have to find a way to make our Page compelling and the content different that what we publish personally.
The challenge of course is that one of the attractive things about Google+ was that we could manage both on one platform. i.e. news about business and social media could be distributed through my “business” circles and personal stuff like art and jokes etc., through my “friends” circles.
So for now, I’m publishing resource posts on my brand page.
But if you have any other ideas, I’d be happy to hear them. ;-)
November 21st, 2011 at 9:39 am
Kristi Hines–I was happy to include your resource!
Ray, I think you’ve described one of the problems with Google+ Pages perfectly (which is one reason why this wasn’t a post listing strategies).
TylerNovember 21st, 2011 at 11:32 am
Excellent list of links for getting started, I recently helped a few businesses with their Google+ Pages. For small businesses that are heavily invested for Google there are still more opportunities to fully integrate this. Read some more about some ideas for making Google+ pages more full featured for businesses.
November 21st, 2011 at 9:17 pm
Any idea of we can have custom url just like with facebook?
November 22nd, 2011 at 4:53 am
didnt had the time to look into it..but after reading this and seeing ur approach i think its best to create one and forget for a while…but its definitely here to stay
November 23rd, 2011 at 6:40 am
Recently Google launched their Brand Page, which will help bring more people on Google+. Companies can do live video chats with their customers through the Brand Page. Google is working towards having multiple admins on the Brand Page, somewhat like Facebook, who will maintain and control the page. From a business point of view, Google Plus pages are more effective and can easily promote brands.This is because even people outside of your “circles” can view the Brand Page. The Brand Page also has an upperhand as one has access to Google’s other sevices and tools, like search engine, documents, Google Maps, shopping, videos, news, places, etc. With these advantages it certainly looks as though Google Plus is gonna win the race in the coming years.
November 24th, 2011 at 5:14 am
I wrote on this issue for Intuit Small Business Blog as well and the conclusion that I reached is that Google + for business pages are still in their infancy–though when and if Google + pages do evolve, it presents an opportunity to segment messaging and possibly bump yourself in search results. That said, there are two things you should do now to leverage your Google+business page : install the +1 button on your website, and install the Google + badge on your website–this is what will link your site and your +page. Without these, few people will ever find your Google + business page. You can read the complete explanation and find the links to access the codes and install here: http://blog.intuit.com/trends/how-to-set-up-and-use-a-google-page-for-business/
November 24th, 2011 at 8:54 am
Thank you Laura…am going to get us one of these + pages right after this!
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April 17th, 2012 at 7:28 am
Google + is so new, i don’t know how much time it will need to gain such popularity as Facebook. But, anyway, our company also created a Google + page for the future.
April 19th, 2012 at 5:43 am
Google + will grow, I’m sure eventually they will catch up with facebook. They have lots of resources to make it happen, if they wanted to.
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Thank you for this article and excellent links! It is very helpful for me cause I am just starting to work with Google+.
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