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Seven Tips for Getting the Most from Your Google+ Profile

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Having a quality Google+ personal profile is a must for business professionals who want to showcase their credentials and gain online visibility. Patrice-Anne Rutledge, author of Sams Teach Yourself Google+ in 10 Minutes, offers seven tips for making the most of your Google+ profile as a business tool.
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Launched in June 2011, Google+ is Google's answer to social sharing on the Web. Tens of millions of people have created a profile, but that's just the first step. To make your Google+ profile a solid business tool requires strategy and active participation. In this article, I offer seven tips to help you make the most of your Google+ personal profile for business.

Tip 1: Follow the Rules

A Google+ profile is for an individual person, not a business or organization. In addition, Google+ requires that you use your real name on your profile—not a username or business name. If you want to create a Google+ presence for your business, you should create a Google+ page for it. Because Google+ profiles and pages offer distinct features, you still need to maintain your profile even if you create a page for your business. See my article Google+ Pages for Business and Brands: Six Steps for Success for more information about the differences between profiles and pages.

For example, let's say that your name is Anne Smith, you have a business called Green Moms, and you refer to yourself as the Green Mama on your blog. On Google+ you must use the name Anne Smith as your profile name, but you can enter Green Mama in the Nickname field or in your headline. You can also create a Google+ page for Green Moms. Following these rules when you first start using Google+ can help you to avoid the frustration and ramifications of getting your profile flagged by Google. To learn more, read about Google's Name Policy.

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