Google Inc. began Google + to a rocky start in fall 2011 but as of Jan. 2013 it is now the second largest social networking site in the world with Twitter a close third.
The ease of linking to Google and your Gmail to find out when your contacts have joined is one reason people have begun setting up their accounts. But for businesses, the reason is simple - go to where people are congregating online. With as fast as Google + is growing, it only makes sense that pizzerias start a business page.
About 22% of U.S. adults are currently on Google + and with the addition in 2012 of teens, the age limit of 18 was bumped down to 13 which helped grow the site.
If you don't have a Google account (can be YouTube, Gmail, or any other google log in), than you will need to start by obtaining one.
Otherwise, start here at the Google+ Business page and select Create a Page (on the top right)
Similar to the Facebook pages, you will select the type of business that you are and then be prompted to log in to Google. At that point, Google will pull up a map to have you search for your business name. If your business can't be found on the map, you can select to create and enter your information.
Once the page is created, then it is about filling with content including your cover image and profile image.
You will also want to start finding people to add to your "circles." Take for example Toronto Pizza-Frank's Pizza House- Best Pizza Delivery-Italian Restaurant on Google + who is an active follower of our page. We've added them to our Pizzerias circle but we both also use the hashtag #pizza often on Google + so both of us are easy to find two different ways.
When you post, it enters the "stream" which is where all the updates including photos and video go. You can filter the stream to see only select circles of friends. This is the main reason for circles is to see what specific people are saying and to share only with those you want to share with. Perhaps I want to post a personal photo, that can go to just family in that circle. Or if I want to post pizza news, that can go to the pizzeria circle.
You can also do a hangout which is a video chat with a maximum of 10 people. This allows for webcasts which can be broadcast again later and also can be linked to YouTube.
But the newest tool, started in May 2012 is Google+ Local which allows users to post photos and reviews of locations directly to the page of the service and also includes reviews from Zagat. This is an important tool for pizzerias as it can let people interact directly to your page with information they may otherwise put in other tools such as Yelp or UrbanSpoon.
But the main reason to join? The +1 button that allows people to like your posts or your page is already linked to Google and the rumor is that it does make a direct impact on search engine results.
Check out the Why Google+ from Constant Contact on all the lingo for the site and to learn more about why you should join.
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