Running a Google+ community isn't easy but can be a very rewarding experience. Launched in December, 2012 Google+ communities are proving to be a great way to initiate a conversation about particular interests, groups, or even organization.
Google Plus Communities can be a boon for brands, if used smartly. I have shared 5 Reasons to Use Google Plus Communities for Brand Promotion in the past & still vouching businesses to use it.
A community is a great place to share questions, comments, and views with other users who are interested in the conversation. Using a Google+ Community becomes easier, once you get a feel of how to use Google Plus for your business.
With Google+ Community, you get the freedom to network within your industry and engage with potential customers with the final outcome being; A better branding of your business.
Gearing Up for the Google+ Community
Doing your part of research is a must, before you are all set to create your community. It is always better to look at other similar communities and understand what they are doing. A research on competitors and similar communities will act as a valuable feedback & great way to kick-off your very own Google+ Community.
2. Join a Community
Even if you have decided to create your own sphere in the Google+ Community, it is always better to join other communities. This will help you in getting know-how of what works and what doesn't in these communities.
Becoming a part of an already established community with active members is comparatively an easier option than starting from the scratch. This will also help you in understanding the popular topics trending in the community & what makes members participate in the discussions held.
3. Distinct Approach
When you launch your own community, make sure that it is distinctive in terms of topic to attract membership. There are communities such as Cats of Google+, unique in their own way. Members can connect with other cat lovers through this community, which already has 38,046 members. The community is really active with just one moderator handling it all. The community is strict on banning those who are spamming it with the duplicate tweets and posts they are putting on other communities also.
Other Benefits of Being Involved in Google Plus Communities
- Identifying interest areas and challenges in your target market
- Getting ideas for blogs. For example, the Strategic Social Networking community with 38,718+ is known to be very active. It has 19 subcategories including Blogging, Content, Hangouts etc. This community is also a great place for analytics resources & blogging tips. By joining such communities, you will get a better idea of writing creative posts for your community
- Positioning yourself as an industry authority with valuable inputs
- Eventually Increasing the traffic on your website
When you have a fair idea of what a Google+ Community requires in order to start and grow, the next step would be to take the plunge. Here are some best practices to help you accentuate its success probabilities.
You may feel that a broad Google Plus Community will get more members, but the fact is that a highly focused topic will contribute in making of a much more active community. The Night Photography community has kept itself dedicated to topics on night photography. If you have an interest in photography, especially capturing the magnificence at night, this is the place to be. The Night Photography community has 216,385 members. It is a great place to share images, tips on night photography, equipment, and techniques.
Be Really Active
Only the communities that remain highly active receive more engagement from members & are able to survive in the Google+ Community world. Make sure that you come up with interesting blogs & content that drives higher engagement. Put all your energy into the community and take help of one or more moderators to do so.
The Community Rules
A community policy is a must, if you do not wish spammers & gibberish content to take over the stage. Be loud and clear, when talking about the community rules, as this will minimize the number of ads or spams. Fitness & Nutrition Community is a good example. The community has 13,258 members who are interested in engaging themselves on fitness, healthy living, nutrition, healthy eating, and many more topics. The community has clearly defined its membership rules and does not entertain posts that are written with the sole purpose of product promotion.
One of the best features of a Google Plus Community is that you can create a Google Hangout session. You can have community meetings, discussions, and interesting conversations with the members through Google Hangout. A smart way of building even stronger relationships is through Google Hangouts.
Google has given businesses a great place to discuss, share, and discover new trends. However, remember that Google+ Communities are more about users who are interested in focused conversations than about self-promotion. Make sure that you share relevant content that sparks a conversation and invites members to participate in the debate. So, join/create a community, answer questions, posts your thoughts, and you will have the opportunity to meet interesting people, while growing your network.