By Jeff Kline

Blog

How To Set Up Your Google Plus Profile

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Google Plus Profile icon, courtesy of http://gplustutorial.blogspot.com/Welcome back to a new post on Google Plus! If you were here last week and saw what I had planned for today, you’re probably wondering why this post isn’t about Google+ Authorship. In the past few days, as I was catching up on the latest developments in the Google+ world, I realized that a post on how to set up your Google+ profile should come first. After all, you can’t set up Google+ Authorship without a Google+ profile!

Why Do You Need A Google+ Profile?

Facebook might be the world’s largest social network, but with 369 million active users, Google+ isn’t far behind. So there’s a good chance some of your supporters—and some of your potential supporters—are using Google Plus.

By creating a Google+ account and setting up your profile, you will gain a valuable new channel for promoting your organization, interacting with your members and supporters, and meeting new people who might be interested in your organization.

If you aren’t already using Google+, follow the steps below to get started today!

Part 1: Deciding Which Google Account To Upgrade To A Google+ Account

When you create your Google+ profile, what you’ll be doing is “upgrading” a Google account to a Google+ account. Google calls it “upgrading” because you’re essentially taking an account you already have and adding some awesome social features to it.

Some people have multiple Google accounts. As an example, let’s say you have the following:

  • An email address you created for Gmail (john.smith@gmail.com)
  • A business account that’s set up to match your company’s website address (john@yourcompany.com)
  • A Google/YouTube account for uploading home movies (smith_family_films)

You should really only have one Google Plus account (just as you have only one Facebook account, one LinkedIn account, etc.). That’s why you need to be careful when deciding which Google account you will upgrade to be your Google+ presence. Once you begin connecting with people and building a following, you won’t want to switch just because you no longer use the email address associated with your Google+ profile.

Another thing to consider is the fact that Google+ integrates with all of Google’s services. So if you want to create a truly cohesive online presence, you’ll want to use a single account for everything: YouTube, Calendar, Drive, Hangouts, etc. 

These are my suggestions for choosing which account to upgrade to Google+:

  • If you plan on being with your present organization forever (so if you are the CEO, president or founder), use your business account (john@yourcompany.com). This will make the most sense, since your main purpose for being on Google+ will be to promote your organization.
  • If you think that at any time you might leave your current organization for a new company, use a personal account (john.smith@gmail.com). You can still use your Google+ account to promote your current organization, but if you ever do leave, you won’t have to abandon the followers you’ve gained and the presence you’ve established. Plus, you can choose to display any email address on your profile, so you can change your contact information anytime you move to a new company. 

Once you’ve made the big decision, follow the steps below to create your Google+ account!

Part 2: Setting Up Your Google+ Profile

1) Visit https://plus.google.com/

2) If you have a Google account you’d like to upgrade to your Google+ profile, sign in using that account. If you would like to create a completely new account, click Create an account, then start over at Step 1.

3) Once you’re signed in, you’ll come to a page that says Join Google+ by creating your public profile. Provide your name, gender and date of birth. Then click Upgrade to turn your regular Google account into a Google+ account!

4. On the next page, you’ll be encouraged to add people you know to your circles. You can add people to the default circles provided, or click Create New Circle to customize the way you segment your connections.

5. The next page allows you to follow Google+ Pages (celebrities, brands, companies, etc.). By following pages, you will be able to see their posts on your feed. Be sure to follow pages relevant to your organization—this is a great way to find content to share with your circles.

6. Finally, you’ll arrive at the page where you fill out your profile. Be sure your picture is a clear, high quality headshot that will look good even at a very small size. Fill out the other information to make it easy for other people (including coworkers and classmates) to find and connect with you.

7. Click Finish! Now you can begin following pages, adding more people to your circles, sharing content and taking advantage of all the other capabilities Google+ has to offer!

Up Next: How To Set Up Google+ Authorship

Setting up your Google+ profile is just the beginning. Now that you’ve joined the Google+ community, you can begin taking advantage of the valuable marketing tools available. One of the most beneficial advantages of Google+ is Authorship, a method for authenticating your online written content and boosting your visibility in search. Come back next week to learn how to claim Authorship for yourself!

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