This is a question I tend to get quite a lot when people first arrive in the Plus: should people start with a Profile or a Page.
So let’s take a quick look at a few of the factors…
I believe most people relate best to a Profile with a nice smiley pic and this really enables you to build your network and connect best with those whom you want.
Note: since ‘Google Authorship’ was retired in summer of 2014 you image can only appear alongside Google+ posts, not blog posts.
Whatever you decide, a Google+ profile will ‘own’ a page, so you will need one of these anyway.
Who should look at a Page?
Well, pages are very flexible and if you don’t want to be posting ‘as yourself’ then a page could well be the answer.
So, this includes brands, charities and causes too. There is a limit of about 50 pages per profile which should give you enough room to look at experimenting too.
There are times though when a Page is a must.
Are you a company?
Well, keeping it brief, in this situation you will want to have a Page, and if you have a physical location you will want to request the postcard and you can then verify that location. This gives you a ‘tick’ on the page.
How much you build it up right away though will depend (see below).
Advantage of Pages
If you want someone to manage your presence then a Page is the best way to go. You can have up to 50 managers on a page and you can even move ownership from manager to manager.
Also, pages are great for niches – you can set up several brand pages and differentiate your content i.e. you don’t have to share all cat pics on your profile if you wanted to build up a separate pets page!
Tip on setting up Pages
If there is even the slightest risk of the ‘owner’ leaving the company (and you not being able to contact then) then you could be left unable to transfer ownership to another manager i.e. you are stuck with them.
As such, I would suggest you set up a ‘master profile’ owning the Page and Human Resources having access to that log in.
For a micro-business
It seems to be obvious for larger companies for them to have a Page, so the real question is whether you should ‘act’ as a profile or a page when the business is just ‘you’. My general advice is that people benefit most from building up their Profile, and then looking at their Page next. There are no real rules to this, but at about 1000 people having you in circles, you will start to understand Google+ a little more and it will make building the page much easier to do.
One thing to consider is how Pages can only currently do ‘video calls’ and not the group text aspect of hangouts.
For collaborative working, you will find hangouts in all aspects very useful so keep this in mind as you may be losing out on efficiency if you don’t take advantage of them from a Profile.
Adding in circles
This was a test I ran a while ago but seems to still be the case. When you add in a circle of people, as many will do to grow their network, a Page and a Profile will be different.
A Profile sends a notification to the person that they’ve been added to a circle; a Page adding in a circle does not trigger such a notification.
Using both Profiles and Pages together
We will often work with PYB clients on the best approach for this, but very briefly you can use your personal network to flow information (i.e. posts) through, from your Google+ Page. If however you find you consistently don’t get any response (i.e. +1s,comments,shares) from people then you may want to rethink your approach.
Want to hear a few more things?
This interview will give you some more info too:
One final note:
Everything depends, of course, so please drop any specific questions into the Plus Your Business community and we will see if we can assist.