While Google Plus may not be as big of a Facebook competitor as some had expected, it has found its place among social networks and Internet users. The site has attracted people who enjoy being able to connect with their friends and acquaintances by sorting them into circles and choosing which posts to make public and which to share with specific groups of friends. Google Plus is also closely integrated with other Google services, like Gmail, Google Drive and Google Reader, among others.
This week Google has unrolled a new feature called Google Plus Communities, which could have an impact on the way your business uses the social media site.
How Google Plus Communities Work
National Geographic’s community is listed on the right side of its profile page.
Google Communities are essentially groups centered on a common cause like an interest, hobby or profession. Users can now join communities and connect with others across the world who have similar interests. Settings can be adjusted to allow for new post notifications and private groups.
A new button on the side menu bar allows users to view the communities they have joined as well as discover new communities. There is also a new section on the right-hand side of the user profile page that lists the communities a person or company has created. This is likely where your audience will find out about your communities.
Each community can host several discussions. These are listed under the community image and are a great way for your audience to become involved in your community. As people add posts to a community, they can choose (from a drop-down menu) a conversation to add it to.
Communities are an excellent way for groups of people with commonalities to stay connected, share information and discuss topics of interest.
Each community can host several discussions.
How Your Business Can Use Google Plus Communities
With Google Plus Communities, you’ll be able to more easily reach your target market. Before now, if you wanted to use Google Plus as a marketing tool, you had to entice users to follow your brand and then compete with every other business they were following to grab their attention. Now you can create a new community and more directly reach your audience. You’ll still have to create a good reason for your users to join your community, but once they become engaged, you’ll have an easy way of reaching them.
In your communities, you can cater your message and content to your various publics, speaking to them in terms they understand and identify with. By fostering a sense of belonging and by helping to create a space where your customers can connect, you’ll be building your brand.
Google Plus Communities also offer an amazing opportunity for you to listen to your publics. You can start discussions, ask questions and even listen in to what people are saying about your company and the services you offer. Listening to what your customers are saying can be one of the best ways to find out if your digital marketing strategies are working and what you can do to improve them.
Just like any other form of social media, Google Plus and its new communities feature requires a strong strategy and effective execution. However, by forming your own unique communities, fostering relationships and listening to your publics, you’ll be able to use Google Plus Communities to enhance your business’ marketing efforts.