If you have a brand, you need a Google+ Brand Page.
To create a Google+ Page you need to create a Google+ Profile.
You need to invest time on both.
Your company needs a ‘face’ that reflects your business culture and “personality”; something a logo can’t do.
Maintaining a personal profile on Google+ is how you build trust and authority, and by extension, your brand.
I struggled with balancing my profile and brand page for a year; from November 2011 to December, 2012 when Google updated Pages to make Page brands “people” too.
Before then, it was hard to get anyone to circle my Brand Page. Why would they when they already interact with me as ‘Ray’?
I’ve since changed my strategy and the number of people who have circled my Page has increased 100% since January. But more importantly, the level of interaction and leads on ‘NewRayCom’ has increased as well.
What I found worked the best was:
1. Making sure that my association with my business is very clear on my personal profile.
2. Make sure Brand Page lists ‘contributors’. In my case, it’s easy. I’m the only employee. But if you have another person, or several posting for the company, identify them on your About page.
3. Let people know where they can talk business with me by inviting them to Communities and Hangouts interacting with them in interest specific Circles.
4. Cross posting some content on each page. (Do this sparingly and only when relevant to conversation.)
5. Posting my blog posts to my Brand Page.
Why have a Brand Page at all?
1. Your G+ Page is your company’s identity on Google. By being on the Google property, you have more control of your brand on search.
3. Targeting and nurturing relationships through Circles and Communities allows you to spend more time interacting with those potential clients and less time, “fishing”.
4. Google Brand Pages are people too. They can circle anyone, comment, +1 and share on any posts. This is essential for building networks and improving SERP results.
5. Creating and participating in Communities under your brand name builds authority and trust for your company as you share your expertise and take a leadership role.
7. Google “rel=publisher” (verifying your Page by connecting it to your website) adds legitimacy to your brand and there’s some evidence that rich snippets with company logos are being seen in search results. (For further info on authorship & publisher, check Mark Traphagen’s post.)
8. Brand Pages can now have their own “branded” youtube channels. This means that if you host a Hangout as your Brand, this will be uploaded to your channel increasing your reach and adding to your content cabinet.
TIP - From Ronnie Bincer: One advantage that Brands have is that you can have up to 50 Managers per Page. So if you hold a Hangout On Air it’s possible to have two managers as host. Should one host lose internet connection or have to make a sudden departure, the other can continue as host of the Hangout. (The Host or Producer literally runs the show.)
Google+ works when you treat Google+ like your business.
You reach out to the community at large as a person. You build relationships with people. They in turn, get to know you as their “go-to” guy.
When they show interest in what you do, you invite them back to “the office”.
When they’re in need of a service you provide, who do you think they’re going to call?
It’s sales 101.
Do you manage both a Profile and a Brand Page?