Google+ Brand Pages for Churches

So after much backlash and time waiting after Google+ launched, Google has finally launched Brand Pages for their social network, Google+. If you’re not on Google+ yet, click here to create a personal account.

What are Google+ Brand Pages?

They are basically Google+’s version of a Facebook Page. Just like your church has a Facebook Page, a Google+ Brand Page will serve a similar purpose.

So why should churches pay attention to Google+ Brand Pages?

Well, because Google+ isn’t going away anytime soon, I would recommend that any church that is using social media heavily should commit at least a small amount of time to checking it out, and creating a Brand Page for your church. (Notice I used the word “heavily.” Google+ is so new that there are probably a small percentage of your people on the network. If your people aren’t there, don’t commit alot of time. It just depends on your context)

Also, since this is a Google Social Network, chances are that when your church is searched for on Google, your Google+ profile will probably be high on the rankings.

How do I create a Google+ Page?

It seems right now that Google is only allowing a certain number of businesses to create a Brand Page right now, and there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to their selection. If you don’t have a personal Google+ account then you’ll need to create one first.

Then you can click this link to be taken to their Brand Pages. This is where you’ll find out whether you have randomly been selected to create a Brand Page. I tried to create one for Park but this is the message I got. So I guess I’ll have to wait a couple more days.

Why is this important for churches?

Interaction & Online Community

One of the reasons this is important for churches is because of the amount of interaction that is currently happening on Google+. Google+ is seeing record amounts of interaction from it’s users, even more than Facebook at times. The church should see this as a huge opportunity to engage and create online community. The way that Google+ is structured allows for a couple of interesting things…long form conversations, and group video chatting just to name a few.

Google Search Rankings

Of course Google isn’t supposed to be biased in their search results, but as Google is becoming more and more social, we are seeing Google+ results show up more and more in search results. My point being, if your church has a Google+ Page there is a good chance that it will be easier for people to find you on Google by doing a search. I know for us here at Park, Google search is a large part of how new people find us for the first time. So this is going to be just another way for people to find us.

Hangouts – Update…11.7.11 4:25 PM

I’m learning more and more as more brands are creating pages. One of the killer features that is also available to Brand Pages is “Hangouts”. If you’re not on Google+ yet, a “Hangout” is a group video chat session. Imagine your church holding a hangout and allowing anyone from your community to join. This would be a great way to interact with your community, host Q&A’s, and just another way for you to transparent and authentic with your community and give your church’s online presence a personality.

More help…

The great peeps over at SearchEngineLand did a great, extensive post on everything you’ll need to know about Google+ Brand Pages, so you should definitely go check that out as a starting point to creating a page.

Do you have a personal Google+ Account?

Are you going to create a Google+ Brand Page for your church?

Why or why not?

Leave a comment below…

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