How to Set Up a Google+ Account

How To Set Up a Google + Account 

1. Start with Gmail

  • Visit plus.google.com to set up your Google+ account
  • Checklist
    • Email address
    • Username
    • Bio
    • Picture
    • Website
    • You will need a Gmail account to create a Google + page.  This can be an existing Gmail account, but it is beneficial to create a separate Gmail account for the business page.  The business page can be linked to your personal page, but Google does not allow multiple users to access the same Google + account.  By creating a separate Gmail account for your business (example: “modernlawyer@gmail.com”, you can make that account sharable and solely for business purposes.  Anyone with access can update your Google + page.
    • When you sign up for your Gmail account, you need to enter your personal information and a username.  The username should ideally relate to your business, so potential clients can easily identify you.  For example, in the email address “modernlawyer@gmail.com,” “modernlawyer” is the username).  Click “next step” to continue.

2. Build your Gmail profile

  • You can add more information and a photo at this step.  Your profile is editable at all times, so you can return to this later if you prefer.
  • When choosing a photo, use a clear, professional photo of yourself or use a business logo.
  • If you have other social networking pages, use the same image across all the sites for consistency

3. Creating a Google + page

  • Visit google.com/+/business
  • Click on the blue “Create a Google + page” to get started
    • Make sure you are signed in with your business Gmail account- if you are signed into a different account, sign out and sign in to your business account.
    • Pick category
      • Company
      • Legal
      • Click the red “Continue” button
      • Add information
        • Choose a name for your company- enter your law firm name here!
        • List your external website
        • Click the red “Continue” button
        • Get started
          • Add a cover photo- this can be a banner, a photo of you and your co-workers, or general law-related clip art.  This image is large and prominently featured, so you want something that catches potential clients’ eye.
          • Add your logo- Google + offers a separate image location for your logo, so maximize that and add a logo!
          • Describe the page- think of this as a tagline!  Give a brief overview of the legal services that your firm offers.
          • Contact information- this is incredibly important!  Google + offers a drop-down menu of ways to contact you.  Once you enter one way to contact you, another box will automatically appear.  For example, if you select “email” from the drop down menu and enter your email address, a second drop down box will appear, and you can select “phone” or another form of communication.  Prioritize them in the way that works best for your firm, but make sure to give potential clients as many options as you are comfortable with!
          • Once you click “continue” your new page will appear!  At this point, Google + will offer its own tutorial that you can follow to learn more about your page.

4. Utilizing Your New Google + Page

  • Your Google + page is controlled from the left sidebar
  • “Home” takes you to a timeline of posts from you, people you follow, and other communities you belong to.
  • “Profile” takes you to your personal page.
  • “Pages” is how you control your business page.  You can click  the blue box labeled “Edit profile” above the cover photo and next to your business name to make changes.  Posts from the box labeled “Share what’s new” will appear on Google +.  The bar below the box that has the green box “Public” in it is how you control who sees your posts.  Public posts are shared with all Google + users.  You can also select specific circles with which to share the post.
    • There are four tabs under the cover photo: Posts, About, Photos, and Videos.  Under “About,” there is an introduction and a “Links” box.  These are great places to link to your other social networking sites!
    • “Explore” gives you the ability to follow people, see what is trending, and suggests communities, circles, and friends.  We’ll come back to this later.
    • “Events” is the calendar function.  You can create events, manage events, and join events from this page.
    • “Communities” is a new feature on Google +.  You can create and join public or private communities.  This is similar to “groups” on LinkedIn.  People with common interests come together and share information.  There is a search function on this page.  For example, typing in “law” produces a great deal of communities on various legal topics.  Join in!  This is a great way to network and find potential clients as well as connect with fellow attorneys.  Additionally, Google + allows you, as a company, to join the Communities- something that Facebook doesn’t offer.
    • “Photos” acts as a photo album.  You can post photos related to your business here, but make sure that you do not turn on Instant Upload.  This will sync the photos from your personal cellphone to Google +.
    • “Circles” is one of the core networking components of Google +.  This is where you find friends, interested individuals, and potential clients, and add them to your personal network.  You can add individuals manually, search for people, or click on the “find people” and “see who’s already added you.”  Clicking on “find people” allows you to connect your Yahoo, Hotmail, and Address Book contacts to Google +.  After you connect your non-Google contact lists, Google + will automatically search for your contacts and suggest that you add them to various circles.  You can create circles for current clients, potential clients, attorneys geographically close to you, or any other type of category you desire.  This is an organization system for your connections on Google +.
    • “Local” recommends offers, deals, restaurants, and activities near you.

5. Exploring Google +

  • Return to the “Explore” tab on the Google + sidebar
  • There are trends, suggested communities, and items of interest on Google +.  By exploring these suggestions and using the search bar at the top of the page, you can find communities relevant to your practice area.
  • The search bar will also produce posts by fellow Google + members.  Follow members that are relevant to your interests!
  • The right sidebar offers you the chance to “Start a Hangout.”  This is a video chat and conferencing system through the Google + interface.  You can use this to meet with co-workers and clients!  Hangouts even offer you the possibility of holding workshops or giving demonstrations to a broad yet scattered audience!
  • Following businesses
    • This is a critical way to network.  Enter a company name in the search bar and click on their page.
    • Click the red “Follow” button above the cover photo to follow their page.  The company updates will now appear in your timeline.
    • Following individuals
      • Search for a contact name or click through to their Google + page (for example, https://plus.google.com/105660614967708643414/posts)
      • Click the red “Add to Circles” button.
      • Check the box next to which Circle you want to add the individual to.  You can select multiple Circles or create a new one.

 

Remember to check your Google + and Gmail account often!  Follow up with individuals who comment and keep your posts fresh, timely, and frequent.

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