Google+ Communities are a feature every Google+ using business should add to their social media repertoire. Below we list the different best practices you can employ in order to make your Google+ Communities stand out and work best for your business.
Focus on Relationships
This is the first thing you need to keep in mind – effective Google+ Communities are all about building relationships. These relationships are the core of a successful community, and if you created a Google+ Community for the sole purpose of selling your products you are missing out on the purpose of the community. Remember, these are communities and your focus should be on building valuable, rewarding interactions. Once you have established such interactions, relationships will start budding; and trust, reputation, and sales will ultimately follow.
Naming Your Community
It is tempting to name your community after your brand or business, but people are more prone to join communities with names that resonate value in something other than a product itself. A camping store for instance, has better chances of attracting new members if they are named “Brand Name Camping Adventures” rather than just “Brand Name.” One reason is that the first name sends out the message that the community is composed of real camping enthusiasts, while the second sounds like product promotion and sales.
Limit Your Promotions
Don’t make your community all about your brand or business. Be sure to post something else aside from your products and services. This is not a display cabinet (your Pinterest board would be more suitable for that). Add variety to your posts by including videos, quotes, memes or other things that will interest your community members. An store that sells camping equipment could post videos about “How to Start a Fire without Matches” or have users post pictures of their best camping food. Encourage members to post their own material and ask questions to other members.
Reach Out to Others
Google+ has an extensive network of users, all of which have the potential to become a member of your Google+ Community and a possible customer in the future. Thus, be sure to promote your Google+ Community to your Google+ friends and contacts. In addition, you can invite your friends from other social media platforms to join you in Google+, or write a blog or announcement about your newly established Google+ Community in your website.
Sadly, most Google+ Communities become ghost towns, not thriving societies. This is mostly because community owners rarely post anything on their community wall. One of the biggest mistakes of community owners is to simply create a community, invite people, then expect them to be the ones to do all the posting. To avoid tumbleweeds from rolling in your Google+ Community, be sure to post regularly on your community wall. Be an active community owner, and soon people will start noticing and will be more likely to respond and post on their own.
Be a Good Moderator
Moderators play an important role in Google+ Communities – and as the community manager, that task falls to you. Moderators do not only create posts and manage them, but they also serve as your brand representative for your business. Thus, you should make sure that you exercise high sociability and personality that promotes your brand and business in a good way.
Establish Community Rules
Community rules are very important, and you can post them in the “About” section of the Community board. Establishing rules helps to avoid your board from being spammed and filled with unrelated posts and gibberish which will be most annoying for you and your community members.
Google+, with its many features like the Google+ Communities, is slowly inching its way to being one of the top social media platforms that many social media marketers prefer. However, in order to truly achieve optimum success with this social media platform, certain practices must be followed. Keeping in mind the best practices mentioned above will surely help grow your community into a thriving customer base. Good luck!
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