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Google+ Pages, Events and Hangouts On Air for organizers (part 1)

If you run a conference, meetup or event, you're probably thinking about increasing your presence on Google+. I've recently helped a few folks set up their Google+ presence in haste so I thought it would be worth typing notes on what you need to know.

I've observed 3 types of events being organized on Google+:
  1. A yearly conference or unconf that it is a stand-alone brand, such as CES.
  2. An umbrella conference with several related or affiliated events, like JSConf.
  3. A broad collection of many local communities, such as the Google Developer Groups.
In this multipart series, I'll dive into each main part:  Google+ PagesEvents & Hangouts On Air, starting with Google+ Pages. I'll also touch on YouTube channels.

Google+ Pages

In the past, organizers would create a brand new email for their event, like myconf-needs-a-gmail@gmail.com. You don't need to do that anymore. Actually, DON'T CREATE ONE OFF GMAILS ANYMORE! Using you're existing gmail is easier to manage (we'll prove that) and you'll likely have to create a fake Google+ account that will be flagged as spam. You don't want that world of hurt.

Creating a new Google+ Pages is super simple - go to the Pages link from the Nav and create one. Here is where you'll see all the pages you own or manage. Way easier than managing a spreadsheet of shared passwords, right??


You can add up to 50 Managers & Owners, so feel free to add your cohorts to manage the page. A pro-tip that often gets new users: to make any changes to a page, you need to switch to your Google+ Page.

You should decide how many Pages you might need. I would suggest that you should optimize for followers by reducing the pages you create. For example, if you have a yearly event, re-use it year-to-year (MyConf versus MyConf 1999 & MyConf 2001.) Better yet, if it makes sense, use your main brand's Page for all event content. We did that for Google I/O on the Google Developers Page.

Of course there are times where having multiple related Pages makes perfect sense. If you have a large umbrella brand with specific sub-events (O'Reilly comes to mind,) followers are interested in a specific event subject and would probably unfollow you if they started seeing posts they're really uninterested in reading. Another good example would be regional branches, like local Google Developer Groups. In both cases, I recommend you provide prominent links between your Pages. The best place to provide a link is, well, the Link section of a profile.

Another pro-tip: I like to make sure every page is following each other so they show up "In their circles" when someone visits the page.

YouTube

I'll tack on a bit about YouTube here, though we'll see more on YouTube when we talk about Hangouts On Air. To make future features seamless, you need to link your YouTube channel with your Google+ Page.

For new users, the process is very easy. If you're creating a new Channel, a corresponding Page will be created and linked automatically. Likewise, if you've just created a Page as discussed above, you can create a new Channel that is linked to that channel.

To link a Page to an existing channel or to create new one, first go to http://www.youtube.com/channel_switcher. From there, click on the Page you wish to link and it will either let you link to a channel or create a new one.


The process is similar if you have an existing Channel you want to link. If you created the Channel with your main account, you're good to go with the linking process. If you created a separate account/email just for your YouTube channel, GET RID OF IT (see above.) To transition off, I would suggest following these steps (warning - I haven't tried this myself):
  • Add the my-youtube-email@gmail.com account as a manager of your Google+ Page
  • After logging in as the YouTube channel, link the channel to the Page
  • Transfer ownership of the linked page/youtube channel to your main gmail (if it's not already done)
  • Feel free to keep the YouTube gmail around or delete it.
That's it for now. Most of this comes from official support pages as well as chatting with my colleagues on Google+ & YouTube. In the next post, I'll cover best practices for using Google+ Events.

As always, ask away below.

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