- 07/29/2013

Ecommerce, Social

The Business Guide to Participating in Google+ Communities

Google+ Communities are the newest addition to social media groups. While LinkedIn groups are best known for professional networking, Google+ communities have one major advantage for business over both LinkedIn and Facebook.

In this post, we’re going to look at how businesses can use Google+ to build visibility.

The Key Advantage of Google+ Communities

When you participate in groups on LinkedIn or Facebook, you have have to do so using your personal profile. You then have to hope that someone will click through to your profile to potentially see the link to your LinkedIn company page or Facebook page.

In Google+ Communities, you have the advantage of being able to participate using your Google+ business page. Whether it is just you or several employees who manage your page, you can post new discussions and comment on other discussions using your page. Now, when people see the valuable answers you provide, they can click directly through to learn more about your business.

This means that instead of seeing John Smith engaging on behalf of your company, you will see Company Inc. building brand visibility. One thing to remember is because you are engaging using your company name, you need to make sure that you (and your page managers) are engaging with professionalism in mind at all times.

How to Avoid the Moderation Filters

In the above example, you can see how some businesses use communities to share their own links to products and content. While it may be OK in some communities, it’s generally not in others. You should note that Google+ has the strongest moderation filter of all of the social media groups, meaning that if you share a link, you may get put in the moderation queue. Your discussion will only be published if the community owner or moderator approves it to go live.

So how do you avoid the moderation filter Simple: don’t post links. If you do want to post links, you need to make sure the community owner or moderator recognizes you as an active member of the community. After you’ve engaged for a while in the community, you can try your luck at posting links so long as they are absolutely relevant to the main community theme and the topic at hand. Then be sure to come by to see if the link is approved. If it isn’t, you may want to steer away from link posting.

Benefits of Creating Your Own Google+ Community

The other thing you can do is actually create your own Google+ community for your business. The best way to attract a large audience for your community is to focus it on something people are interested in. So instead of naming your community ABC Fashion Store, name it New York Fashion Lovers instead. Your goal is to create a community that drives potential customers with a particular interest (and even location).

As the community owner, not only will you have the control over which links get posted and which stay moderated, but you can also put a link to your main business website and other priority items in the About information for the community. This will always be displayed to community members and visitors when they visit the community.

As an added bonus, you can also list your community on your business page. Then, people who visit your page can connect with your page as well as join in the discussion!

Measuring the Results

The best part about using Google+ communities is that you will grow your Google+ audience and engagement for your business. To see how your Google+ activity affects your overall marketing strategy, you can plug in your Google+ account into SumAll by creating a free trial account.

As an added bonus, you can even add your competitor’s Google+ pages to SumAll to monitor their growth. If you see a particular spike in engagement for competitors, that is a good reason to check out their latest activity to see if it is something you can fine tune for your audience.