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How to create a Google+ Profile for your business

Angela West | Oct. 31, 2011
Google+ has finally opened up business profiles to its Google Apps for Business users.

Set Up Google+ on Your Google Apps Account

Click on the Organization & users tab on your Google Apps Dashboard. Right now, you can only enable Google+ for specific users. Click the users you want to add the services for, then click the Services tab.

Before enabling Google+, you'll need to enable Google Talk and Picasa Web Albums under that services tab. Both are automatically set to be on.

Next, scroll down to Google+ (Pro tip: It will be one of the only services not enabled automatically) and set it to On. Save your changes at the bottom of the page, and you have a shiny new Google+ profile for your business.

Set Up Your Google+ Profile

Go to your Google Calendar or Google Docs page, as long as you've already enabled them in Google Apps. If you're still signed in under your Google Apps for Business user name, you'll see your Google+ profile in the upper right. Click on the spot where a photo should be and hit Create Profile. As we've already suggested, creating a separate profile for your business is preferable if you're in a larger company, since IT admins and others will have access to your Google+ stream. However, if you are a micro-business and already active in Google+ circles, Google is working on a migration tool for you to port your current profile on over to your Google Apps profile.

When creating your profile, keep in mind that you're creating a business profile. The "Bragging Rights" section probably shouldn't include being able to drink 20 shots of Jäger and walk home. I've already devoted a story to creating a great Google+ profile, so check it out.

Finish Your Profile and Invite Friends

Once you're done with your profile, return to your Calendar or Docs. Click next on your profile picture at the top right, and click on Google+. You should be invited to join Google+ again (or not; it's in beta mode, so anything could happen) and click on some people you want to follow. If you go to your home screen, you're given the option in the right sidebar of inviting people by email. You're not given a unique URL yet that you can share on your business cards and email signatures, but hopefully that's coming soon.

After puttering around on Google+ for a while now, I can see why it could end up being the business social network of choice. If you have a business-only account, you'll be interacting with people from your industry and clients rather than trying to shut your chat availability to "off" to avoid your great-aunt's repeated questions about your family plans. It's not a replacement for Facebook, but it could knock LinkedIn off its perch as the predominant social network for business.



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