Google has finally rolled out the business version of its Google+ social network worldwide. Until now, companies and brands were prevented from joining the social network, which was unveiled in June this year and allows web users to share photos, chat to each other and leave messages and comments.
Google+ users can join Circles - lists of friends with whom they share content. Google+ also supports live video-chat for multiple users known as Hangouts, Huddle – a form of group instant messaging – and Sparks that lets users interact with others that have similar interests.
However, now Google has opened up the service to firms and brands worldwide. Here's how to set up a Google+ page for business.
Start by visiting Google's dedicated Google+ for business page and selecting the type of firm you want to create a profile for, for example a local business or place, a brand or even an organisation.
Now you'll be required to enter your location and your firm's primary phone number. If your business is registered with Google, any matches will appear and you'll be able to select from those. However, if it's not already registered with Google you'll be given the option to do this first.
Once you've selected your business, a Google+ page will be created. You'll be required to upload a photo for your firm's Google+ page. You can select one from your PCs hard drive, your web albums on Picasa or capture a new one using your computer's webcam. Press Continue.
If you already have a Google+ personal page, you'll be given the option to tell everyone in your Circles about your new business Google+ profile by pressing Share on Google+. Press Finish. Now you can begin posting on your page, adding people to your Circles and even place a Google+ badge on your website, so your customers can easily located your Google+ page.