On Thursday Google announced it was introducing Communities to Google+ and this morning we were pleased to see it live and full of activity.
Google describes Communities as a place to ‘talk about the stuff you’re into with people who love it too’. Any Google+ user can create Communities, which includes features such as public/private membership, discussion categories, the ability to start hangouts and events with members of a Community, and the ability to share something with other Community members any time you hit a +1 button on any site.
Google also recently released stats showing the platform to have surpassed 235 million active users (500 million accounts), finally making it a real contender as a social network. This move to add Communities to the mix shows its commitment to making Google+ a serious rival to Facebook who already have the familiar, and similar, Facebook Groups.
Google+ Communities for businesses
This morning we received a number of enquiries about how businesses can use Communities and if it was worth the investment. We do see a value for businesses in a number of ways:
- Make a Community private and use it as a staff intranet.
- Set up a Community in your businesses specialism and promote yourselves as thought leaders in the field.
- Join other Communities and engage, again showing yourself as thought leaders and experts.
- Create a customer Community and promote Community only special offers.
You can set up a Community from either a personal page or a business page, or make both owners as we have done with our new Community ‘Plain Social – Social Media for Business’.
Setting a Community up is very simple and Google, as always, give great on screen steps whilst you set one up. It’s really simple so why not go and set one up today – https://plus.google.com/communities
And don’t forget – engage with your audience and Community members! This is what will give you the real value to your new social media Community and business.