It’s more than 3 weeks now since the launch of Google+ Communities and like true social media buffs many of us embraced it like the world was going to end the next day. With the numbers clearly on their side and after launch of Pages, the Community phenomenon was waiting to happen. What with great number of Facebook Groups and also LinkedIn Groups, like-minded people do look forward to gather at one place and engage. So, Google was right in having the same feature in G+ too and by the time I write this,many of us, started multiple communities or joined multiple communities and tried to be everywhere on G+. And that exactly was that the folks at Google wanted, did we play into their hands!!?? Maybe!
But then how best can we leverage the new feature and build a strong community that is truly engaging, here are the 5 ways according to me.
1. Identify your niche
You might have multiple areas of expertise or interest – craft, photography, technology, social media, marketing or anything for that matter, just make a note of an area on which you can contribute in the community. Sometimes, it would be even worthwhile to just lurk & learn too.
Once you have identified your niche, go to #2
2. Identify the community
Once you’ve identified the areas of your interest, trying looking out for relevant communities. The ‘Discover Communities‘ option or the ‘Search‘ option are few of the best ways to search for communities of your choice.
3. View engagement
Once you have identified the communities of your choice, it would make sense to check the engagement in those communities. It would give you an idea on the type of discussion and see if the participants are talking on the topics of your choice. This would make it make it easier for you to join the discussions if you ultimately become a part of that community. The number of members in a group can matter too, sometimes a smaller community talking about a niche subject can make it an interesting place. So in my view, irrespective of the number of members in a group, what matters is ‘engagement‘.
4. Join or Create
By now, you might have seen various communities and the engagement within them. Join them and start joining the conversations or start your own conversation. Unless, there are no communities to your liking, you can start one too. Starting a community is quite easy. The best part of creating the community is, you define the structure, privacy and even the size.
Once you have created the community, you can send out invitations to like-minded individuals and start growing!
5. Limit Yourself
My biggest learning from Facebook Groups and LinkedIn Groups is, after the initial euphoria, things die down very quickly. And since you have joined more number of groups, you hardly notice the inactivity in a particular group. So my advise is, limit yourself to lesser but quality groups. It’ll help in keeping the engagement alive.
If you have loved interacting on either Facebook Groups or LinkedIn Groups, I can tell you that the experience in engaging on Google+ Communities will be much better. While you can leverage Hangout (though limited to 15), the best part is you can create multiple sub-categories inside the Communities, which helps in keeping the discussion focused.
What are you waiting for?? If you have not yet joined any community, join one now. And do share your experience with me.
Hoping the above tips helps you!!