What is Google+ Plus Communities Feature and How to Effectively Utilize it for Brands and Businesses?
On 6th December, 2012 we witnessed the great event – New Communities Feature in Google+ Plus introduced from Google. There are the same features like forums or groups in Facebook and Yahoo! where the like-minded people gather in one place and talk about similar interests. This is novelty for Google Plus and the very long-awaited feature. Thanks to Communities the number of users has rapidly grown for the last days.
As the other similar tools, Communities give a chance to find someone with similar affinities, to share experience and find answers for burning issues. Mobile brands, travelling, finance, sport, cooking and more communities are at your disposal. Now you don’t have to add people to see the news or posts you are interested in (sometimes) – all you need is to find community that covers specific interests and join it.
What is the difference between Business Pages and Communities?
Many people confused by Communities saying that Google Plus already has Business Pages and Communities feature is the same thing. But there are some obvious differences. Let’s consider both the tools.
Business Page is a great opportunity to represent your company around the Google+ world with detailed information about your business. You can post articles and news from your blogs (links to them) attracting new traffic on your site and new clients and partners in your company. And anyone who is interested in information provided by you can follow it and see all updates.
Communities’ tool is a hybrid of Business Pages and powered by the Notifications. When you add someone, or follow the page, you see all its updates. With Communities you can choose whether you want to get notifications or not. Also you don’t have to follow pages or add members of community to your circles to see their posts. You can just visit community and you’ll see all updates made by other members. If you can’t handle the problem related to software, you can find the relevant community and ask members about the help. Perhaps you’ll get the help from unknown person.
Some Facts about Google+ Plus Communities Feature:
1) If you are businesses you can create your own relevant community. The good thing is that you can make it public either private, thus, decide whether people can join it directly without request or they are need to be approved by moderator. Post there your news, articles and relevant information, invite your ex, current or prospective clients and let them share experience about your services.
- Public - Anyone can join or see the members: the best for food, photography, sports team, bands, etc.
- Public - Moderator approval needed to join, anyone can see the members: the best for running club, alumni of your school, local businesses, etc.
- Private - People can find through search and request to join, only its members can see the content and each other: the best for people from your sport team, coteries, etc.
- Private - Hidden from people and any searches. If you want to join it you need to get an invitation. All the posts of such community are also hidden from non-members. The best for party planning committee, small group of friends, family, etc.
3) Remember, once you have selected the type of your community you can’t it change anymore. So, try to think through everything in advance.
4) To create community you need to open ‘Communities’ on the left side bar of your Google+ profile, select ‘Create community’, the type of community, put its name, tagline, location and picture if you need, create category and invite people.
Well, now we finally got it! I love this new feature and it’s up to you accept it or not. But I think it will extend the number of Google+ users and make this social network more powerful. Of course, there are many things that need to be fixed, added, or clarified. Anyway Google+ became a home for many people and companies, and this new improvement will help users to find new friends, partners and just gather people in one great place.