Google has finally launched its branded pages for Google+, allowing businesses, brands and institutions to join the social network. Previously Google had limited members to just personal pages, allowing people to connect with people, but there was no way to create pages to represent more than individuals.
The new feature added only yesterday means that you can now set up a Google+ page for your school, letting your community add it to their circles and keep up to date with school posts.
Setting up a page for your school is actually pretty straight forward and Google have done a good job making the process fairly seamless.
Step 1: Sign into Google+
The first thing you are going to want to do is make sure you are logged into your personal Google+ account. If you do not have a personal account, you will need to create one before setting up a school page. Visit https://plus.google.com to set up an account.
Step 2: Create a page
Once logged in, visit: https://plus.google.com/pages/create to begin the creation process.
You will be prompted to pick a category for your page. Depending on what type of institution you are setting up you can look through the options, but for a general school page choose: Company, Institution or Organisation
You can then fill in basic details such as Page Name, Website and choose Education and Schools from the category drop-down.
You can also select here who the page is visible to, with options “Any Google User”, “Users 18 and older”, “Users 21 and older” and “Alcohol related”. Hopefully you are not selecting the latter, and will most likely choose “Any Google User“.
Go ahead and click click “Create“.
Step 3: Customise
The third step is about adding details to help people find and search for your page, so make sure to think carefully about what information is placed here.
The short Tagline needs to be around ten words that sum up your school, perhaps a motto, quote or location are good options here. Be sure to make the tagline search engine friendly so Google can use it to index your page correctly.
The Profile Photo can be anything you like, but the school logo or photo is probably the best option if you have it. Be sure to make sure the image is high resolution and if possible square to avoid cropping.
Step 4: Spread the word
The final step gives you the opportunity to tell the world (at least the Google+ world) about your new page. A small note can be written to your personal feed so that circles can see the new page and hopefully start following school posts. Try to make this note sound appealing and explain why your followers would want to also follow your school. Be sure to understand that this post comes from your personal account, not your newly created school page.
Step 5: Add your content
If you are familiar with Google+, then this is very straight forward as you have the exact same interface as your personal account. If you are not so familiar with Google+, you can add content such as photos, videos and links very easily using URLs and drag-n-drop.
It is impressive what you can create in a short period of time, but as you become more familiar with Google+ you can create some really nice designs. Take a look at some of these early adopters for inspiration:
So that is it. You have your page, now the hard work begins, posting interesting engaging content to encourage the Google world to add you to their circles. Try adding the Google+ badge to your school website, mails, newsletter and Facebook page to encourage your community to get involved.
If you or your school are intererested in taking social networking to the next level, check out our new eBook: Quick Guide To Social Media in Education
Circle Fractus Learning on Google+ for more cutting edge Google+ info for schools.
Image courtesy of Flickr, west.m