If you have a Google account, you’ve probably heard of the social networking site Google+. The site allows users to connect across all the different channels Google provides, such as Maps, Calendar and Drive. For nonprofit organizations, a Google+ page can be useful in attracting followers to your cause and linking them back to your website.
If you’re unsure whether or not Google+ applies to your charitable organization’s needs, check out our article “Should Your Nonprofit Be on Google+? What You Need to Know.” If you’re already sold on the idea, learn these 7 steps to setting up your nonprofit’s Google+ page.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a feature that allows organizations to have public profiles rather than having to use a personal account. If your organization does not already have a presence on Google My Business or Google Plus, we recommend setting up a Google My Business page, as this simplifies the process for setting up your Google+ page.
Google My Business gives your nonprofit organization (NPO) a public profile and presence on Google—meaning the information you provide can appear on Google Search, Maps and Google+.
Think of this as a dashboard that includes your Google+ page, helps you manage your Google properties and research any analytics for your organization.
1. Create a Google account.
If your NPO doesn’t already have a Google account, the first step towards a Google+ page is creating an account. Choose a Gmail account that multiple members of your staff can access, and not a personal email. For instance, NonprofitOrganization@gmail.com. This allows multiple people access to the organization’s Google My Business and your Google+ page whenever necessary.
2. Choose your business type.
Now that you have a Gmail account, you can add a business page to manage. Create this page by clicking here. You will first be asked to choose the business type most related to your cause. If your nonprofit does not have a physical location, we recommend selecting the Brand option in the far right, which will apply more closely to your needs.
If your organization does have a location, select the Storefront option. This will take you to Google Maps where you can look up your organization’s location and use it to create your Google+ page. This combines your Google My Business account, Google+ page and Google Maps, making it easier for constituents to find you.
3. Create your Google+ page.
Once you’ve selected the business type you would like, you will be asked to create your Google+ page. Enter your organization’s name for the Page Name option, and keep your website URL as similar to your nonprofit name as possible. When selecting Type of Page, we recommend a community page.
4. Verify Your Account.
When your Google+ page has been created, you will be asked to verify your account. This is the final step towards creating your page. Google will ask for a phone number to send a code to in order to verify your account. The phone number can be from anyone in the company and will only be used for this specific step. Google will text a code to enter on the page, and once the account has been verified, your Google My Business page will be set up. Google won’t use the phone number at any other time unless you first approve of it.
5. Get Started With Your Google My Business.
Your Google My Business account has now been created! You can get started by clicking the Get Started button in the bottom right corner once your account has been verified. Your NPO now has a Google+ page, along with a Google My Business dashboard.
The Google My Business dashboard can be accessed by clicking on the pages your Gmail account manages. This allows you to see insights on action across your Google accounts. You can also access Google Analytics through your dashboard to see who looks at your nonprofit Google+ page.
6. Edit Your Google+ Page Profile.
With your Google My Business dashboard comes your nonprofit organization’s Google+ profile page. Google+ recently updated its layout design, so you can now choose between the new and classic versions.
Customize your profile by adding a profile picture that represents your charity (preferably your logo) and a cover photo (perhaps an image that represents your cause or the people you’ve helped). You can also add a tagline, which should be short and search-worthy on Google. Stay focused on what your nonprofit’s immediate mission is, and add more in-depth information in the Introduction section of your profile.
7. Configure Your Google+ Account.
Learn more about your Google+ page and your Google My Business dashboard by playing around with some of the available options on the site. You can also access theGoogle My Business Help Center with any questions you have, or read our article on what you need to know about Google+ and what it offers here.
Google is a useful resource for a nonprofit organization to get your name and brand out there, raise awareness for your cause and generate leads. With Google My Business and Google+ pages, you can take a solid step towards promoting your mission and bettering the community.
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