- Content Marketing
When Your Customers Become Your Contributors: Brand Journalism Meets TraditionalGoogle Is Changing the Close Variant Matching Option in AdWordsBefore You Invest in Online Advertising, Do This!Native Advertising: The New New Thing or a Race to the Bottom? [VIDEO]
Technology & Data
Data and Creativity at the Social Shake Up: Defining Your Data-Driven Social CampaignTalking Strategy and Data with Shannon Lee of Precision StrategiesNew IBM Study Reveals 3 Key Characteristics of the Most Successful CompaniesMinority Report: Confronting Privacy Issues in Big Data Gathering
- Tech & Innovation
- marketing automation
Social Startups: Moment.me Captures a 360-Degree View of The Social Shake-Up 2014Hootsuite Partners With Syracuse University to Bring Social Media Savvy to College StudentsThe Best Hyperlapse VideosThe Best Content Moderation Tools for Busy People Who Don't Have Time for That
Social Change Agent Survey: Passion, Skill Set, and Persistence Lead to Career Growth#SocBizShakeUp: Sandy Carter at The Social Shake-UpThe Social Shake-Up: How CMOs Drive Innovation and Revenue GrowthThe Social Shake-Up: The Future of Social Business
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Recap from the First-Ever Employee Advocacy SummitFormer IBM Senior Advisors Launch Brands Rising to Build Employee Advocacy ProgramsPerformance and Risk Management Through Social Media TrainingEmployee Advocacy Summit: Advocate Stories from the Field
- Customer Service
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Joining Google+ Communities to Build Your Circles & Brand
Posted on January 25th 2013
I was an early adopter of Google+ and continue to be a believer, even though many pundits are still on the fence or have written it off altogether. Insofar as social media channels go, Google+ may never be the new "Facebook" - and that's just fine with me. I've stopped comparing the two and pitting them against one another. They are similar, but different. On a personal level, I use Facebook as a way to connect with old friends while I use Google+ as a channel for connecting with new ones. With respect to brands, well... I thought they were on par. That is, until Google+ rolled out Google+ Communities.
But first... For the uninitiated, Google+ circles can be very confusing. Users can create as many or as few circles as they want, and then add as many people or brands to them based on the circle topic they choose. It's the "as many" part that can overwhelm them. Sometimes, there is less freedom in too much choice. It took me awhile to consolidate the 10+ circles I started out with into about 4 or 5 that I actually use. As with all new tools, there's a learning process involved with how to use them and Google+ was no exception for me. And just when I got the hang of it, Google+ Business was rolled out and the process started over again.
Newcomers to Google+ will laugh at the People and Pages suggestions they will encounter when they first create their profile on Google+ - unless they're social media geeks like me. In my case, the suggestions had little to do with my personal interests and only by happenstance fit in with my professional interests. So building circles from scratch can be somewhat of an intimidating and daunting task if none of your friends or peers are on Google+. Searching on hash tags is a good way to drill down and find people/businesses to add to your circles, but even they can lead to more generic choices than what you are searching for.
Enter Google+ Communities. Whether you are a hobbyist or a hotel, Google+ Communities are a great way to build your personal circles and your business brand via public and private communities where people, brands or both gather to share information and talk about common interests.
Anyone can start a community and invite people to join. Communities can be public or private and need at least one moderator. Categories can be created for filtering post topics also. For instance, outside of my work in social media, I'm a scuba diving fanatic. A Scuba Diving Community might have categories for 'general discussion', 'underwater photos', 'underwater videos', 'dive spots', 'dive travel', 'industry news', etc., allowing you to filter through the posts within the community, thus targeting more specific information relevant to your subinterest.
Google+ Communities are searchable also, so it's easy to find the communities that best suit your interest(s). And you can even invite community members to Google+ hangouts, or participate in them, to further enhance your reach or your knowledge. What's more, once you are a community member, you can add other members to you circles and they can add you, or add you back. In this manner, your circles sort of build themselves instead of you having to build them yourself.
625,000 people join Google+ every day. Google +1's become more and more relevant every day in Google Search. Add to that authorship verification and how Google Search weighs verified authorship against non-verified authorship in search results and you really can't deny that having a Google+ personal and/or business page counts for both you and your brand.