Creating Google Plus Communities – Seven Things You Should Know


 

7 things you should know about Creating a Google Plus Community

Google delivered a nice present to the social world they call Google Plus Communities just in time for Christmas. If you ask me, it is one of the best gifts the social web has seen in some time.  The new interest-focused groups stand to be a real game changer for Google+ taking the search giant's somewhat dull social network from geek to sleek. In short the Google+ communities are easy to find forums or groups where people can discuss a common passion or interest.  Communities are open to both people and brands to read, comment and post new  threads within any given group.  The exciting part about Google+ communities is that they offer marketers a better way to segment online content sharing using topical themes and interests. In addition to the ease of sharing, communities also provide a forum to better understand your target audience and support their needs. Best of all,  the new Google Plus community feature is still so new it is a great time for any marketer to jump in and be one of the first to create a community for your specific area of expertise.

Here are seven things that will be very helpful for you to know prior to starting a Google Plus community for you and/or your business.

  1. When you first start using G+ you may question the difference between communities and circles. To make it easy for you, the main difference lies in the fact that you don’t control what circles other G+ users put you in whereas you have complete control over what communities you want to join. When someone puts you in a circle it designates what content they will share with you. Communities are social spaces people and brands have chosen to join versus a content sharing category you get placed in without your consent or control. 

  2. You have the choice of creating your Google Plus community from your personal Google Plus profile or your Google Plus Business.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both. If you create your G+ community from your personal G+ profile it will be easier to grow your community for a few different reasons including that  you will be able to invite people from your circles. You can invite up to 150 people from your circles at a time. Unfortunately your G+ community will not be displayed on your personal profile like it would be if you created it from your G+ business page.  The good news is if you decide you would rather have your community associated with your business page, G+ allows you to switch it. 

  3. In G+ communities you have the ability to create discussion categories.  Creating categories will not only help give members a better idea of what your community is about but also help guide your community discussions and make it easier for members to find topics and discussions that interest them. To create community categories click on "Actions" and then "Edit Community" and add your categories. For instance, in my "Social Media for Business" community, I have started creating categories for the different social networks I plan to discuss and support within the group. 

  4. When you post in a public community your posts are visible on your personal profile home page but will not appear in your friends and followers home streams. This means only those people who navigate to your personal page will see your community posts. There will be a text link in the post indicating the community and category it was posted in.  Any posts made in private communities will not be visible to people who visit your profile page unless they too happen to be members of the same private community. 

  5. While many features and settings within Google+ are flexible one that currently isn’t is the ability to change the privacy settings in your Google+ community.  So be sure to decide prior to creating your community if you want it to be public or private because at this time it cannot be changed. 

  6. Brand pages are also able to participate in your community just like personal profiles. This offers significant opportunity for small brands to be able to maximize their reach by sharing content and messages to targeted audiences. 

  7. You can name your Google+ community anything you want as names are not unique. I recommend using targeted keywords for your specific topic or theme so your group can be more easily discovered in search. 

Now that you are "in the know", are you ready to create a Google+ community of your own? It might help to join one or two first to see how they are set up and operated. I'd be thrilled if you joined my  Google Plus community "Social Media for Business" here

If you have any questions or comments about creating Google Plus communities please leave them below. And if you already have a Google Plus community, you are welcome to share the link below too. 

 
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  • http://assistsocialmedia.com/ elizabeth Maness

    Oh My I did not know I could swap my community to my business Google plus! Thanks for the great information, Shirley!

    • shirleywilsonsocial

      Yes I haven’t tried it but apparently it is an option. Best of luck!

  • dennyhagel

    I am just getting into the meat of Google + and this is very helpful! Thanks!

    • shirleywilsonsocial

      Glad it helped. Have fun digging in – lots of great benefits to be found.

  • http://twitter.com/kimgarst Kim Garst ツ

    My favorite part of Google+ communities is the discussion topics! Love this organization tool.

    • shirleywilsonsocial

      Thanks Kim, I’d say I have to agree. Thanks for stopping by my blog – so great to see you here.

  • http://CarlaJGardiner.com/ Carla J Gardiner

    Thank you, this was a very in-depth article on Google Plus Communities…I learned a ton.

    • shirleywilsonsocial

      Hi Carla, so glad to know you found the article helpful. Best of luck!

  • http://profiles.google.com/drdaisys Dr. Daisy S

    Thank you so much for this great article and tips:)

  • http://twitter.com/marcymckenna Marcy McKenna

    Great article . Looking forward to implementing your tips! Marcy

    • shirleywilsonsocial

      Thanks Marcy. I hope they help!

  • Lorii Abela

    Love all of these tips about Google+. This is also a great way to support my fellow marketers. Thanks for all the info Shirley.

  • Lorii Abela

    Love all of these tips about Google+. This is also a great way to support my fellow marketers. Thanks for all the info Shirley.

  • Lorii Abela

    Love all of these tips about Google+. This is also a great way to support my fellow marketers. Thanks for all the info Shirley.

  • Lorii Abela

    Love all of these tips about Google+. This is also a great way to support my fellow marketers. Thanks for all the info Shirley.

  • http://www.sherievenner.com Sherie Venner

    I am still learning about Google +. Thank you for the detailed info, I appreciate all the tips!

    • shirleywilsonsocial

      Hi Sherie, we are all definitely still learning. Glad you liked the tips. Best of luck!

  • http://www.facebook.com/suzanne.jonesimpens Suzanne Jones Impens

    One of these days, I will begin with Google +. I have it set up just haven’t ventured there yet!

    • shirleywilsonsocial

      Hi Suzanne, I was the very same way for a long time but I finally ventured in and haven’t wanted to leave yet. Just jump in…

  • http://twitter.com/JustPamelaGail Pamela Gail Johnson

    Shirley, thanks … I think a community is better for me than a circle … can’t wait to start one … I think.

    • shirleywilsonsocial

      Thanks for your comment Pamela. The more time I spend in G+ communities, the more I think so too.

  • http://twitter.com/EdmundSLee Edmund Lee

    Great article Shirley! I myself have been experimenting with Google+ Communities and am enjoying it :)

  • Jill McCarthy

    Awesome Stuff. Great Tips. Thanks Shirley!!