November 18, 2011

First impressions of Google+ Pages for nonprofits

Google Plus pages

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A look at the significance of Google+ Pages for brands

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, brands, businesses, social media managers, Web publishers, individuals.

Debra AskanaseGoogle+ launched Pages last week, a move many of us have been looking forward to since the launch of Google+ itself. Within days, stories of unintentional G+ personal posting, problems sharing admin oversight, and issues with merged profiles were shared on the web. However, during that same time frame, hundreds of nonprofit organizations worldwide created and launched Google+ brand pages.

Google+ Pages are little SEO beacon lights

Two nonprofit motivations are apparent. A primary motivation seems to be related to search engine optimization: Google is the largest search engine by far, and Google Pages will certainly benefit from Google’s search algorithm (see why). I wrote that Google’s+1 button will change search, and so will Google+ Pages. The second motivation seems to be that everyone wants to get in on Google+ Pages early enough to start figuring out the medium. And maybe get a head start.

Does using Google+ Pages makes sense for your nonprofit?

Strategy: Think strategically about what the conversation should be about on Google+, how you might use Google+ to meet your SMART goals, and how it will help your organization further its mission.

In her blog post, Beth Kanter suggests that nonprofits might want to think about strategic ways to use their Google+ Pages, such as for community cultivation or as a focus group. Are you a resource-driven organization? Make your page the “go-to” resource. Are you an advocacy organization? Engage with your G+ Page fans, find out why they are so passionate about your nonprofit or a cause, and move them to action. Are you a volunteer organization? Make this the place where people share volunteer opportunities and experiences. Have fun thinking about Google+ features, your own objectives, and how you can use those to meet your goals! Continue reading

November 16, 2011

How to create a Google Plus business page

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, businesses, brands, social media managers, Web publishers, individuals.

John HaydonLast week Google released their business profile page, which includes many of the features that Google Plus profiles have. Creating a Google Plus page for your nonprofit or brand can increase the visibility of your organization.

Once you have a page, you will have a URL for it that you can include on all your other marketing collateral and in any communications your organization sends out. If you make the information on your Google Plus business profile available to everyone on the Web, then your page URL will also appear in Google searches, making it more likely that your organization will be discovered.

The video above walks you through the steps of creating a business page for your nonprofit. If you’re already using Google Plus, you can easily build a business page from within your existing profile. On the left-hand side of your profile page, under your avatar, there is a drop-down menu with the option to “manage your pages.” By selecting that option, you will get started in creating a new business page. Much like Facebook Pages, you can switch between two different identities on Google Plus — your personal profile page and the page for your nonprofit.

The video tutorial covers:

  • How to choose the right category for your business (the category options are much more robust than they are on Facebook, so this is an important aspect of your profile)
  • How to upload and feature multiple profile photos to represent your organization
  • How to select the settings for who sees the information on your business page
  • How to navigate within the Google Plus dashboard
  • How to add visual extras to your business profile
Will you create a Google Plus Page for your nonprofit?