As most know, Google+ launched a while ago and one thing I have particularly loved about it is the strong Catholic user presence on the service. Up until yesterday the service lacked the ability for organizations and brands to have their own “page” like Facebook Pages. So the announcement yesterday was very welcome news. I know I spent most of last night with one eye on a football game and the other on my laptop screen figuring this new aspect of the Google+ out. I see huge possibilities for parishes, Diocese Offices, and Catholic organizations not only from external promotional social connection; but also to collaborate internally. This is a big difference from Facebook which keep the two very separate. Let’s take a look first at the setup. Then look for a follow up post on the uses and benefits for your parish or organization as I see them.
** Before we get into the set up, it’s important to make a decision under which account you want this page associated with. Google Apps users now have the ability as well to participate on Google+ which was another change yesterday. Currently there is no ability to have multiple Administrators like Facebook Pages, but Google has said they are working to bring that feature.
Setting up your Google+ Page
1. While on your personal profile page look to the right-hand bar and scroll down to where you see “Create a Google Plus Page”
2. You will be asked to give your page a name and set up your profile similar to how you set up your personal account. Don’t worry about this too much, because you are able to change the name. I personally would recommend using the same name you gave to a Facebook page if you have one and are looking to expand your exposure. Remember, this is representing your organization so provide a nice ‘Introduction’ paragraph or two and all the relevant information.
Have some fun with the profile image and create a nice looking image. The dimensions are 200 pixels by 200 pixels. So similar to Facebook, you really do have enough room to create a image with your parish or organization information visible.
3. Connect to others by sharing your page. This part is different than the individual account. You can not just begin following people. You’ll need to share your page out and gain “Followers” (yes, we’re ‘following’ and not ‘liking’). So you’ll want to tell all of your personal Circles about the page. You’ll notice you can “Share” your page publicly once it’s created. So it’s kind of backwards initial announcement that looks like this:
- The best way to do this is to simply go back into your profile. Do a search for your page and use the “Share This Page” feature. Make sure to add your page to your Circles as well.
Once you gain followers you can begin assigning them to Circles (and create custom Circles) as you would normally in a regular Google+ Profile. You actually use the service very similar to you do as your regular profile. When you are under your Page Profile you post things, comment, start hangouts, etc. just as normally would under your personal profile.
Look for the next article coming on how you can use this service as a great benefit for your parish, ministries, Diocese and related offices, etc. There are a ton of great possibilities.
What questions do you have?