Social media strategists this week were quick to hop on board a new way for businesses and brands to connect with customers and clients.

The Google+ social network, which debuted this summer and has garnered 40 million to 50 million individual users, according to some reports, rolled out its "pages" feature Monday for local businesses, brands, companies, nonprofits and other groups. Already up and running are pages for the likes of Pepsi, Time, Macy's, Angry Birds and the Muppets.

It's one more way for businesses to "control their presence online" and be found when people search, says Seth Meyerowitz, a certified Google trainer and chief executive of UBE Inc., a Bellmore-based website design company. Late Monday evening he set up a Google+ page for his company, highlighting his online marketing seminars.

Nathan King started building a page Tuesday for Hauppauge-based Austin & Williams, an advertising and branding agency where he's a digital strategist. He posted photos and content, added agency contact information, and shared a circle of Austin & Williams staff who are already Google+ users. King says he expects the page will be a good place for brainstorming and communicating between clients and the agency's staff.

On Google+, users group their contacts into circles and share publicly with everyone or with only those in specific circles. As with Twitter, individual users do not have to ask permission to follow others, but the new pages can only follow those who follow them first.

Negative feedback on setup and administrator issues prompted Google+ to say on its own page: "A few of your top requests we've already started working on."

Others on Long Island who are launching pages include Becky Kopprasch of Smithtown, owner of Basically Becky, a social media marketing and design firm; and Alure Home Improvements of East Meadow.

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Meyerowitz advises businesses to quickly set up a page and claim their names, especially if they are common ones, and to watch how other brands are using their pages. Learn more on the Google+ page or at