There’s some skepticism regarding whether or not Google’s social media network would survive, but I think it’s safe to say that Google+ is here to stay. It may pale in comparison to the 1.3 billion monthly users that Facebook has, but Google+ remains an active and popular network with hundreds of millions of global users. Today we’re going to take a closer look at the “community” feature of Google+, revealing what it is and how it works.
Origins of Google+ Communities
Communities were first introduced to Google+ back in December 2012. As noted by Google’s Moritz Tolxdorff, this feature allows users to maintain a forum-like community (hence the name) of people with similar interests. Communities can be set to either public or private, with topics ranging from local eateries to global news topics. Users can also plan events with other community members, straight from the community interface.
How to Create a Google+ Community
You can create a new Google+ community in just a few easy steps. After logging into your Google account and accessing your profile, hover over the top left menu to expand the main navigation. From here, click the communities icon (looks like three dots, two on the bottom and one on top), followed by the “Create community” button at the bottom right. You will now have to decide whether you want your new community to be open to the public or set to private. Assuming you intend to use the community for commercial purposes (e.g. market your products or services), it’s recommended that you choose public or open.
There are few steps remaining before your community will go live. You’ll need to choose a name for your community, which of course should reflect the topic/nature of the community. And assuming your community is set to open/public, you’ll need to choose whether or not new members must first be approved by a moderator. Last but not least, click “Create community.”
Leveraging the Power of Google+ Communities
Google+ Communities is a powerful marketing tool that’s often overlooked by small business owners. Using this tool, you can create a narrow, targeted group of users whom are interested in your products or services. The secret to successfully using Google+ communities for commercial purposes such as this is to limit your use of promotional material. In other words, you should include both informative, non-commercial posts and content, alongside with the occasional sales post.