Earlier this month, Google introduced its addition of the long awaited Google+ Pages to its budding social network. By expanding the ability to connect strictly with other people to connecting directly with local and global businesses, Google+ is building a community with the capacity to drive social interaction as it takes place online. Similar to Google+ user profiles, Pages offers features such as Circles and Hangouts that make it easy for users to feel connected to the businesses they follow. By creating a Google+ Page for your business, you open up a new line of communication with your clients and consumers and a new way of interacting with them.
Before you can create a Google+ Page, you must first have a profile of your own. This is easy to do with any Google account. From your Google+ user profile, there is an option to create a Google+ Page in the right-hand menu. One issue you may want to consider is that there is currently no way to add multiple administrators to a Google+ Page. This means that the Google+ account the Page is created on is the only account with the ability to post as the page or edit it.
The original idea behind circles with Google+ user profiles is that you can create niche groups to categorize the types of people you want to follow and share your posts with. Any user can add any other user who may or may not add them back.With Pages, the difference is seen in that a user must add your page to his or her own circles before you can add that user to your page’s circles. Once you begin to rack up your followers, however, you can categorize them and target each of your circles with different marketing materials that might appeal to them. For example, Web Ascender’s clients would be interested in much different information than someone who works in the industry. Using circles, we can ensure that the information we post applies to those who are adding us to their circles.
Hangouts are also a feature available to both Google+ users and Pages. They allow you to communicate directly with users via group video chats. While the number of users that can be involved in one hangout is limited, this feature offers many possibilities including planned sessions or spontaneous discussions. Hangouts can be used to put a face to your brand and give users a sense of who you are. You may want to use them to provide consumers with valuable information or to get customer feedback.
Ripples are a new feature that allows you to examine the sharing patterns of posts throughout Google+. These diagrams indicate how publicly shared posts are shared and re-shared, giving you a peak at what content is popular and who it’s popular with. An interactive timeline displays trends in sharing over time. Information on people with the most re-shares, the number of shares per hour, the languages in which each post was shared, and more are also available. To get started, simply select "view ripples" on any public post.