Google+ communities are everything I ever wished the Facebook group would become.
They’re great for networking, participating in discussions and marketing. But why is this? What benefits can I or my business get from becoming involved in one of these buzzing little communities? And should I start my own?
Why should I become involved in a Google+ Community?
Below is an example of a community which I’ve used for both personal and business interests… ‘Bloggers Network’. I’ve found this community great for networking with fellow bloggers, discovering new articles and promoting content.
In my experience, Google+ communities are more effective than Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn when it comes to reaching out to new people. Essentially they make you feel part of something – something that Facebook groups haven’t done in a long time.
Community Etiquette – The Do’s and Don’ts.
- DON’T just drop links in as many communities as possible. This is not a good content marketing strategy.
- DO get involved, engage with other community members. + 1, share and comment on other’s content. The more involved you get, the more likely the content you post will be read and interacted with.
- DON’T sound like a robot. Communities are give and take areas, so ramming your content down people’s throats won’t go down well.
- DO show the human side of your business. These groups are called communities for a reason.
To hear more about Google+, content marketing and much, much more, join us at Social Media Marketing 2013 (London) on October 23/24.
Why should I start my own community? And can they deliver real results for my business?
If you’re having trouble finding a community that interests you or that is busy enough, then it may be an idea to start your very own. Again, on a personal and business level this can provide you with some great opportunities.
Once your community is up and running, the next step is to invite everyone in your circles to join the community. Then go into the other communities you participate in and ask people there to join. This process can take a bit of time, but once you’ve got an active core of people in place then the community will start to grow organically.
A community is not an extension of a Google+ page, so don’t just create a community about your business. For example, if I was the owner of a youth hostel in Berlin I wouldn’t create the ‘Berlin hostel community’, instead I would create a community about sights to see, things to do and travel information for Berlin. This would allow me to build-up trust and a rapport with people looking to travel there, before telling them that I run a hostel in Berlin and have rooms spare.
Business wise, they can also do your SEO efforts a whole world of good. Google takes into account the interaction your profile gets as a way of measuring how you rank in its SERPs. Communities are a hot bed of interaction and getting plenty of engagement will give you or your company page a great SEO boost. See this post on Expert Tips for Using Google+ to Improve SEO.
In essence, the key with communities is not to sell or promote yourself too much, that’s what Google+ Pages are for. Get people into your community, get them engaged, build up a rapport, then offer them a service. It’s a very soft and time-consuming approach, but it could be very fruitful.
Join us at Social Media Marketing 2013 (London) on October 23/24 to hear from fantastic speakers such as Doug Kessler and Dr Dave Chaffey. Topics will include content and engagement marketing, Facebook strategies, B2B techniques, how to integrate social and digital and much more. You can see the full programme here.