Google+ pages help you connect with the customers and fans who love you. Not only can they recommend you with a +1, or add you to a circle to listen long-term. They can actually spend time with your team, face-to-face-to-face. All you need to do is start sharing, and you’ll soon find the super fans and loyal customers that want to say hello, Google announced in their blog.

Google+ Pages are extremely similar to Google+ Profiles, but what are the key differences:

  • Pages can’t add people to circles until the page is added first or mentioned. Learn more.
  • Pages can be made for a variety of different entities whereas profiles can only be made for people.The default privacy setting for elements on your page profile is public.
  • Pages have the +1 button.
  • Pages can’t +1 other pages, nor can they +1 stuff on the Web.
  • Pages can’t play games.
  • Pages don’t have the option to share to ‘Extended circles’.
  • Pages don’t receive notifications via email, text, or in the Google bar.
  • Pages can’t hangout on a mobile device.
  • Local pages have special fields that help people find the business’ physical location.

How Google+ pages and Google+ profiles can interact with one another?
Pages can interact with other Google+ users who are in their circles much in the way that a Google+ profile owner would. As an owner of your Google+ page, you can:

  • Add +1, comment on, and reshare people’s posts.
  • Add people (who’ve already added you) and pages to circles.
  • Start and join hangouts.
  • Mention people in posts and comments (who’ve already added or mentioned you).
  • Block and ignore people and pages.

If you’re worried about how deeply a page can interact with your Google+ profile, don’t be. Unless you show that you’re interested in a page by adding it to a circle or mentioning it, there’s very little that page can do to reach out to you.

If you want to limit the ways in which a page can interact with you, you can remove the page from your circles, ignore the page, or block the page. And if the page is behaving abusively, you can report the page for abuse.

Who your page can share with?

When you share from your Google+ page, it’s up to you to choose who gets to hear about the latest and greatest. Choose from among four levels:

  • Everyone (public)
  • Your circles (can be comprised of people who’ve added or mentioned you and other pages)
  • People who’ve mentioned you
  • People who’ve added you to one of their circles

When you share publicly, your content will appear in the streams of people who have you in circles or have mentioned you. They don’t necessarily have to be in your circles as well. Learn more about sharing in Google+.

Unlike with Google+ profiles, pages can’t share to extended circles because this would mean possibly sharing with people who haven’t already interacted with the page.

Google+ Pages Contest and Promotion Policies

You may not run contests, sweepstakes, offers, coupons or other such promotions (“Promotion”) directly on your Google+ Page. You may display a link on your Google+ Page to a separate site where your Promotion is hosted so long as you (and not Google) are solely responsible for your Promotion and for compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations in the jurisdiction(s) where your Promotion is offered or promoted.

Your Promotion must not be run or conducted in a way which conflicts with the +1 Button Policies, Google+ Privacy Policy or Google+ Pages Additional Terms of Service. Google has the right to remove your Promotion content from Google+ Page for any reason.

Google+ Direct Connect

Not only will brands’ Google+ pages be included in search results, but Google introduced a new feature, Direct Connect, that makes it possible for users to visit Google+ pages without a single click. If you Google a company’s brand name, preceded by the plus sign, you’ll be taken directly to that company’s Google+ Page:

More info: Google+ Help

And see also some not so positive point of view –  critical remarks about Google+ Pages by Robert Scoble:

“The problem is that there’s no editorial tools for anything posted to our Google+ account. Google+ brand accounts are woefully inadequate for public companies’ needs. Let’s discuss some of the limitations:

1. Only one person can “own” or “post to” an account. There’s no way for a social media team, or a customer service team, to split up duties. Heck, and that’s assuming that only one team inside a company will want ownership of such an account. What if the marketing team wants to post to the team owned by the customer service manager?

2. If one Gmail account was used to build the public account, and it’s shared between multiple people, there’s no way to know who is posting to that account.

3. If there are rules against posting inside a company to a company account without getting several people’s approval (as there is within Rackspace) it makes it unbearable to post content that has any “life” in it. Why? Because there’s no process for signoffs, so now we’re stuck coming up with some new publishing system that isn’t built into the tool itself.

4. There is no way to add Team members to this account without getting them to follow the account first…”

Read full post “I wish I had never heard of Google+’s brand pages”