You’ve probably heard about Google Plus. Yes. It’s another social media tool vying for your attention. It combines services from Google’s existing toolset with a clean and clever social networking platform. It covers photo sharing, blogging, chatting, video, aggregation, and cool new privacy controls through “Circles.”
There’s a catch though. You aren’t allowed to set up a Google Plus profile for your business yet.
Why you can’t set up a Google+ Business Profile
Google wants all users to be real people. That means you can’t set up a profile for your brand name. If you create one, Google will remove it. However, Google is working on a new feature for business pages. They should be available later this year.
3 Ways to Leverage Google Plus While You Wait
3 Ways to Leverage Google+ While You Wait
You don’t have to wait for Google Plus business profiles (or break the rules) to make the most of the network. There are ways you can connect, drive traffic, and build visibility right now.
- Add +1 buttons to your website. When readers use the +1 button to share your content, it will display in their +1 list in their profile. Recent changes to the +1 button now lets visitors share your content directly in their Google Plus stream. The Snippets function lets you customize how your title, image, and description will appear there. Visitors can also see if someone they know shared your content when they visit a page with the +1 button on it with new inline annotations.
- Have employees set up profiles. Using Google Plus internally can familiarize employees with the platform before business profiles are available.
- Set up Circles in your own account (the G+ tool for sorting members of your network). Share company news, announcements, or other messages only with relevant employees based on the Circles they’re in.
- Use the Hangouts feature for video conferences or virtual meetings for up to ten employees.
- Share business-related images — from event photos to infographics. They can show up on the “photos from your circles” page for anyone following you.
- Follow industry news. Sparks let you follow industry news or what others blog about in your niche. You follow a topic rather than a person. Your own blog posts or news might even appear in others’ Sparks listings without you doing anything special. If your content can be indexed by Google and is well-optimized, it can display there automatically.
You need an invitation to get started with Google Plus, so ask your friends and colleagues for one. Already there? How are you leveraging Google Plus for business without going afoul of the rules?
Share your tips in the comments below!