Google Plus for Catering Businesses: Part 2
Now that you’re up to speed on why Google Plus is important and how it can grow your catering business, let’s get you a page! If you missed part one you can view it here. If you are a recently established catering company this will be piece of cake (see what we did there) for you. If you are a long standing company that has never used Google Plus it may be a bit trickier.
First thing’s first, for all business to have a Google Plus Business page you need to meet the Google guidelines. This ensures that you are a business. If you do not meet the Google guidelines (aka you work out of your home and don’t have a physical address) you can create a Brand page instead. Great, now that we’ve established the ground rules let’s set up your page.
Newly Established Businesses
What do we mean by newly established – you came about in the last 12 – 18 months. You are what some people would still consider an infant. If you are newly established, chances are you have not had a page “claimed” for you yet. You will need to create a Google Plus for Business page. First, you will need to create a personal Google account if you do not already have one. From there you will be able to select Create Google Plus from the Pages Menu on the right of the screen.
Second, you will need to select your category of business. Most you can probably select “Local business or store.” Google will want to verify this so they will then have you input your business phone number to establish your location. During this step you will confirm that the information Google populates is correct and fill in what is missing. You will then input your external email address and select who your website content is appropriate for. At this point Google may ask you to verify your business one or two ways, which could include a phone call, postcard, or email.
Once you’ve verified your business…boom! You have a Google Plus page. But, wait, you aren’t done yet. Skip to the It’s Up, Now What section to find out what to do with your page after setup.
Established Business to be Claimed
So you’ve been business for a few years (or decades) and have not claimed your Google Plus page. What does this mean? Shorthand – it means Google already knew you were a business and set up a page on your behalf when they came out with Google Plus and you have not raised your hand to say “Hey, that’s my business!”
How do you tell if your page has been claimed already? First, Google yourself. If your business comes up with a different address you can select “This Doesn’t Match – Add My Business.” This will bring up a page where you can fill in the correct business information. Note, this not creating a Google Plus page. If the business comes up and is the correct address and info you can click on that business to view their Plus page. In the lower right hand corner you will see “Manage this Page.” This allows you to claim your Google Plus page. From there you will need to follow the verification process to get a code from Google so that you can edit your page. Once this is complete you can start using your Google Plus page, adding content and users, requesting reviews, and interacting with customers.
It’s Up, Now What
Now that your page is up or claimed make sure that it is successful. This means filling out the page with information that will be helpful to potential customers. Fill in your business description and contact information. Your description doesn’t have to be overly elaborate, make it simple. Be sure to categorize your business as well. Don’t limit yourself to one or two categories but don’t over-do it. Pick a handful of categories that you fall under, for example, Catering, Weddings, and Events. You do not need to file yourself under Food or anything that is not specific.
You should then update your profile picture. We suggest a picture of your company logo. This will help reinforce brand recognition. If you’d like to display pictures of your event setups or dishes you’ve created, share them on your page. This is the place where people can interact with you. Fill your page with content so people can get a feel for the type of business you are.