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Google Plus Basics for Your Investigations Firm

Many private investigators are already aware of the advantages of being a member of the many social networks on the web. As an important tool for marketing, education, networking with colleagues and clients, skip tracing, people locates, and more it's important to have an account and be active on major channels. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Yahoo already have active communities of private investigators, but Google's social network, Google Plus, hosts some unique features and benefits that make it an important network for every private investigator to join. 

Why should I join Google Plus?

Google Plus is different than other social media sites in its unique features like Hangouts and Circles as well as in benefits like personal branding and local search optimization. A clean and easy-to-use interface makes navigating profiles and posting information easy, and with an educated and tech-savvy user base, Google Plus is already gaining popularity within the industry.

Some of the features and benefits include:

  • Hangouts
    Google Plus Hangouts are a great tool for connecting with people in other areas. Hangouts are online video chats that can include up to 10 people and have options for broadcasting your hangout live, screen sharing, YouTube integration and more. This makes it easy to connect whether it’s for a meeting, to discuss industry news, or to bring together private investigators from across the country to discuss hot topics and law changes.
  • Circles
    One of the best features in G+ is the creation of circles. Rather than adding a friend, becoming a fan, or following a feed, when you connect with someone on Google Plus you add them to a circle. Essentially, you can compartmentalize your connections into different groups, so you can have separate circles for clients, colleagues, friends, employees, and any other groups. This means that when you share a post you have the ability to make it public or only share it with a specific circle. 

    For private investigators, having circles means that you can discuss software and industry issues with colleagues without your clients seeing, and conversely offer deals to your clients that your competitors won’t see. Additionally, if you want to share photos of your vacation with family and friends, you can do so without those posts overlapping into your professional life. In short, it’s a great way to manage your professional and personal identities separately. You can also filter your home feed too see what's happening within each circle.
  • Personal profiles and business pages
    Much like personal profiles and fan pages on Facebook, Google Plus allows you to run a professional business page through your personal profile. Not only does this provide your business with additional branding and exposure, but it also has benefits within Google’s search results. 

How to setup your account and a page for your business

Here’s a quick video that walks you through how to set up a personal Google Plus account and a page for your business:

First, head to Google and click the +You link in the top left hand corner. On the next page, click Sign up. After filling out a registration form, you will be prompted to upload a profile photo and continue to your profile. From there you can add people to your circles, hangout, share links and stories, and set up a page for your private investigation firm.

To set up a page, click More on the bottom left side of your profile and select Pages. After that, select Create New Page and Local Business or Place. You will be prompted to input your company phone number, which will bring up your local search profile information to verify. Once you’ve verified your address, select Professional Service from the Category dropdown menu, check the agree to Terms and Conditions box, and select Create. Congratulations, you now have a personal Google Plus profile as well as a business page!

Get on the list of private investigators on Google Plus! is compiling a list of private investigators on Google Plus. Add PInow to your circles to let us know you’d like to be included on the list.

Connect with PInow on Google Plus!

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