December 9, 2012

How to Create a Community on Google+




Where do you spend most of your time? Ugh... It's none of my business. Well, on what social network do you spend most of your time? Social Media is about connecting people. People start leaving one social network and start loving another if it offers competitive and brilliant features. Of course, you can be on multiple social networks if they have different exclusive features. However I'm not here to tell you what social network is the best. We find like-minded people online as they interested in same topics as we are. We see them at places we go, hear about them via friends, sometimes they come and knock our doors or vise versa, and most possibly there will be an extraction point. But it may be a long story. Do you like hanging out with many like-minded people online? AND are you on Google+? Oh... One last question - Did you just say "YES" for both?


Google+ Community


Can you recall we discussing about creating a group on Facebook? It was really a great feature on Facebook to meet like-minded people and start endless conversations. Now a similar feature available for Google+ users - Google+ Community. But there are some features identical to the Google+ platform too. Before I step into more details, let's take a look at Google+ Community introductory video to know what you can do with Google+ communities.



Categories, Events and Hangouts


Google+ Community is a great way to find and interact with like-minded people. I hope now you are familiar with how it works. It's about talking what you love to talk about, with people who love it. However I'd like to mention exclusive features that Google+ communities offer. Unlike Facebook groups, Google+ communities can be organized through categories. So it makes easy for community members to find posts they are most interested in by navigating through the favorite categories. Also Google+ allows community members to plan events too. Don't you love events? Furthermore, my personal favorite is Google+ hangouts. Google+ hangout is a really cool feature and I love the fact that it's available for Google+ communities too. Now you can talk face-to-face with community members using Google+ hangouts. Don't you love having a community enriched with these productive features?


Google+ Page vs Community


Now don't fall for it. If you already have a Google+ page, let's say for your blog, it doesn't mean you don't need to think of creating a Google+ community. Google+ page and community are two different features. On Google+ pages, it's more about broadcasting stuff relates to representing cause, brand, business or such and users follow to notify new updates or stories. It's much of a controlled space and only people behind the page can share posts. Followers only able to interact with whatever content shared on the page. Google+ community is to get together and talk about interesting stuff that matters to the community. All members can contribute to the community by sharing posts or engaging with existing posts. The members engage and drive conversations there. So it always matters having right people in the community.


More Productive


One thing I really hate on Facebook groups is that it allows to add friends to a group without having their permission. Don't you? But here on Google+, first off invitees send to view the community they have been invited and invitation need to be accepted. So it mostly prevents letting in people who don't wanna be on such a community. It will leads to a community with more active members, than idles. Thinking of creating one for you and start connecting with interesting people through Google+? If you are a blogger or own a blog, I'd like to invite to the Google+ community I have created too. Now you know background information to jump on and I'll let you know more information when you proceed with the steps. Let's find out how you can create a Google+ community and manage it to make most out of it. Are you ready?


Steps:

1. Navigate to Google+ Communities page.

2. Click on Create a Community button.

3. Now you will prompt to set up your community by starting off with the privacy of your community - Public or Private. The privacy matters as it defines the scope of your community and let's take a look at both.

Note: You can't change the privacy of your community after creating it.

Public

Public communities will be open for anyone to view content, join in and share interesting content or start conversations relevant to your community. Google+ let you decide whether anyone wanna join your group needs an approval or not.


First off, enter your community name in the given space and select whether people need permission to join with your community.

No, anyone can join - This option will let Google+ users to join with your public community instantly and they can share posts and start conversations rightaway.

Yes, a moderator needs to approve - Setting this option will need an approval for newcomers to join and interact with posts in your community. But it doesn't prevent showing content for non members.


Private

Private communities are dedicated to construct a private space on online social world. The posts in private groups are not visible to anyone except for existing members. Google+ has given the opportunity to manage the visibility of your community when you create a private community too.


Enter your community name in the first field and specify the visibility of your private community.

Yes, people can find it and ask to join - This option makes your group searchable and someone who interested in your community can request to join too.

No, hide it from searches - This option hides your community even from the Google+ search and only invited people will be able to join in.

4. Now click Create community button and your community will be live in next second.


More Information:

* Click on Actions drop down button beneath community photo and select Edit community option to edit your community and add information.


There you can easily change your community name, add a tagline for your community and set a custom community photo. The community photo needs to be at least 250 pixels of width and height.


You can also create categories to organize your community, using Add category option and encourage community members to post on relevant categories.


Note: Removing a category will delete all the posts shared in that category. You can rename categories instead of deleting them too.

Further you can fill up information about your community - Description and Location. Use Edit link corresponds to each to edit information. It will help newcomers to know what is your community about, where is it originates from and its main purpose. Make use of description wisely.


Once you done with editing your community, click Save button to save changes.

* You can promote most engaging and trusted members as the moderators of your community and let them manage your community too. You can find community members by clicking on Members link beneath the community photo.


Then locate the member you wanna promote as moderator and click Member options drop down menu (Circle with up down triangle inside) corresponds to the member. Now select Promote from member to moderator option.


* You can start hanging out with community members easily via Google+ hangouts. Click Start a new hangout button to go live.


* You can create and manage events for your community on Events tab.


Just switch to Events tab and click Create Event button to start creating a new event for your community.


* Further, you can use Actions menu to invite interested users to your community and spread the word by sharing on your Google+ profile or pages.


* If you wanna delete your community, find Delete this community option from switching to edit view using Edit community via Actions drop down menu.



You will need to confirm deletion after clicking on Delete this community link.


Note: You will not be able to recover your community or undo this action. The deletion is permanent.

* You can view all your communities at Google+ Communities page.


Enjoy :-)




Awesome! Thanks for coming by and taking your time to read this post :) I hope you have learnt something today. Now you can share it with your friends and I'd love to hear from you too.






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Chris Barber said...

I think the power of Google+ is underestimated as the people who use it are very influential in social circles. Thanks for the very detailed introduction to Google+ Communities. I'm going to start messing with it right now!

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Chris,

lol :D I hope you'd love to mess up with it.

I think the recent growth of Google+ shows that people truly needs Google+ :) It's true that Google+ was left behind for some time and it was criticized as it's just made for Google employees :D lol... But Google search integration, games and hangouts were powerful enough to reach more users. Now communities are very powerful with its features. I'd say better than Facebook :)

Thanks for coming by and sharing your views on it mate :) Appreciate your compliments too.

Cheers...

Sapna said...

Hi Mayura


So far I am concerned, Google+ is the most overlooked part. I have never devoted any time....for delving on to this.
Surely your post has given me a thought to look beyond FB.


Thanks for sharing this great info.

Sapna

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Sapna,


As bloggers, I think it always better to touch the opportunities available and stick with best few for you :) Actually I have seen more men on Google+ platform than women though. I really love Google+ communities due to its exclusive features :)


I hope you will give it a try and see how it will work for you too :)


Thanks for stopping by and commenting dear :)


Cheers...

Brenda Lee said...

Very cool Mayura! I'm reading your post and had to click over to my G+ page to check out the new feature! Not sure if I will set up a community or not because as of most recently checking my blog stats and where the traffic is coming from, I'm getting very little from G+. BUT, I'm anxious to see what others think about this!

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Brenda,


Ha ha... I hope you have found it on your Google+ profile ;)


Actually it's quite different from the Google+ pages dear :) You know Google+ page is exactly to share your updates. Well, you can set up a blogging community to get traffic to your blog by letting all share their links. Marketers will definitely work on 'em creating tribes :)


How about a Pitbull community? ;) Talk, share and you can hangout with Pitbull lovers too. Conversations drive the community. Finally, it will help get more loyal followers to your Pitbull blog too. On top of all, it's about hanging out with people that have similar interests ;)


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views on Google+ dear :)


Cheers...

Chris Barber said...

I'm liking communities so far. I created one called "Blog Marketing" got some friends joined up and we're testing out the power of it. I think you're right. Between the search, hangouts and now communities the networking/marketing ability of Google+ is huge.

Mayura De Silva said...

That's great Chris :) I've started with one for bloggers to get connected and wanna see how it will go. I'm seeing Google+ adding more minor features right now too.


Facebook groups were helping out drive traffic through connections. Now it's time to try out power of Google+. Let's see what's next ;)


Cheers...

Adrienne said...

The answer to my prayers Mayura. Thank goodness that Google has a better handle on this then Facebook. We all hate being added to something we aren't interested in, you know how I feel about that too.


I keep hearing about Google communities but just hadn't had to the time to check it out. With you step-by-step introduction I'm off and running now. This is where I'll be connecting with some new faces.

Thank you so much Mayura for sharing this with us. You're the man!


~Adrienne

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Adrienne,

Absolutely, I'm glad that Google+ didn't make that mistake. I know how you felt about adding to a group without any invitation and I remember you were telling about it most of the time :) Still I'm wondering why Facebook haven't taken action on it and the group adding thing is still going on. Good for increasing numbers. Errr....

I really love the fact it doesn't let anyone add without permission and don't you love features of it? :) Especially hangouts. I think it will open doors for many people.

I hope you would love it with its features and connect with more new faces too Adrienne ;) Would love to see you there.

Thanks for coming by and adding more value to this post with your thoughts dear :)



Cheers...

Donna Merrill said...

Hi Mayura,
Were you reading my mind? I had a few invites to Google Groups that I have joined and want to create one myself. I am sick and tired of opting out of Facebook groups that I have been added to every day! Here Google made it better to do.

It was one of those things that I wanted to get around to do but needed to know more about it before I started one.
I use Google hangouts often and they are great. There is nothing better than getting together to learn and share with others.
Now with your explanation, I gave myself permission to start a group Woo Hoo!
Donna
P.S. I joined yours because I don't want to loose connections with you

Margarita Slavkova said...

Mayura, I cannot believe it. you wrote the post and then went ahead to create the Google + community, which I am part of already. This is called focused action. Way to go!

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Donna,

Sorta :D lol... That's nice dear :) I hope you find 'em useful. Well, communities will be a better option unless they abuse 'em. I wasn't getting too much requests for Facebook Groups but it was kinda enforcing. However in such groups, the activity is low compared to numbers.



That's what I'm talking about dear :) Google hangout was with people we known. But now with the community, more room to find new faces and share with each others.


Ha ha... I hope you will rock it there and hope to see you with yours too Donna :) Thank you for joining too.


Thanks for coming by and sharing your wonderful thoughts dear :)


Cheers...

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Margarita,

Aha... Thank you for your encouragement dear :) Really glad to connect with you.

I thought giving it a try dear ;) You know, as a blogger I find it a great way to find new bloggers to connect with and their interesting content too. So far I could find new faces there and read some nice blogs. I hope you will be able to find more connections there too dear :)

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughtful comment :)

Cheers...

Lisa Buben said...

It sounds like these communities will be good Mayura but we just need a little more time in our day right? How do you think they will differ from Facebook groups? It will be interesting to see how these develop over a little time. I've had a few invites to a few so we will see. These sound more like a forum? Thanks for sharing :)

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Lisa,

Very true dear :) If we need to contribute and make use of communities, we might need to sacrifice our time there too. However if it's something you love, you wouldn't mind spending 2 minutes on it, right? :) Being in right place would be matters.

As I implied, I like the fact that it doesn't let enforce users to participate as someone can does on Facebook. And I think hangouts will come in handy for a community dear. May be Facebook will come up with it later on. And there's a problem that how many users make use of 'em. Anyway I've seen more conversations going on Google+ than on Facebook. Let's see how far it will go :)

Actually it's a combination of forum and social ;) Google groups were the forums offered by Google but we couldn't connect easily with people there except for driving discussions. But here now social features integrated and it will get more attention to people who interact well :) Good opportunity to build some interesting connections.

I hope you would enjoy being on some communities which follow your interests Lisa :) You know, sometimes we need to initiate and talk with others. They will follow up then. Hey, you can think of one too.

Thanks for coming by and commenting on this topic dear :) Especially you have got very interesting questions.

Cheers...

SHORYA bist said...

Hi Mayura,

Nice article friend, today Google + is doing everything to lead social media websites.Google + community is one of the example.

I believe that Google + can be very helpful for a blogger and Google + community feature can be utilized very effectively.

I am impressed that your article cover everything related to Google + community and truely professional work.

Thank You

Shorya Bist

From Youthofest

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Shorya,



Google+ has been growing lately and absolutely I feel Google taking necessary actions toward the social features they offer :) Good sign and always user feedback matters.


Yeah mate :) Google+ communities can be fruitful if they make use effectively rather than being idle on platform. Will see how Facebook gonna respond and what features will be added on Google+.


Glad you find this useful mate :) I thought of having all the details about community for someone wanna start with.


Thank you for coming and sharing your views about Google+ community mate :) Ah... for your compliments too.


Cheers...

Chadrack said...

Good post here. I only heard of G+ community a few days ago and from what you have laid out here it is really something one has to look into. I've never cared to start a facebook group because I'm not really comfortable with most of what is going on on the site. However, since Google plus launched, I have committed to using it almost every day. I think I have an idea for a community already only thing is it's going to be private one! Thanks for sharing

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Chadrack,

Absolutely you might wanna give it a try mate :) It has some exclusive features. Ah... I don't hate Facebook groups completely but the fact it allows anyone to add us to any group. That's disgusting, no?



Seems you are attracted to Google+ platform :) Cool... Now it's time for you to come up with a community and see how it works out. Remember to select best privacy options for you mate ;)


Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts mate :)


Cheers...

Corinne Rodrigues said...

This is a fantastic addition to G+, and will I hope give serious competition to Facebook. I've just started a community and hope to watch it grow. Your post is most helpful @MayuraDeSilva:disqus.

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Corrinne,

Absolutely dear :) I was thinking about when Google+ roll out a competitive feature for Facebook Groups. First I thought they might associate Google+ with Google groups, but now it's proved wrong.

Really glad to hear you just started with one and I hope you would love hanging out with folks there dear :) As I see there's a different set of users on Google+ compared to Facebook. More new faces ;)

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your view on Google+ communities dear :)

Cheers...

Jessica Brown said...

Hi Mayura,

Awesome blog you have here!

This is really a great post. I've been using Google+ for well over a year now and absolutely love it. What I really like about it for blogging is that it's relatively easy to rank on the first page of Google by posting to G+. That is so cool!

I've recently been using the Google Hangouts too and love that just as much. I didn't know much about Google+ Community though and I have to say with your detailed directions, I'm going to get mine set up!

Google+ and Google in general has so much to offer and it is nice that it doesn't have all the spammy stuff that Facebook has.

Thank you for this very cool post!

Jess

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Jessica,

Ah... I rarely heard people loving Google+ earlier :) So glad to meet another who love Google+. Absolutely as you share on Google+, all the +1s counted as recommendation to your post dear :) As Facebook likes don't count in Google search, using Google+ is a plus point.

I have no doubt about Google+ hangouts though :) Everyone loving it as I hear. Isn't it awesome with its features? ;)

That's for sure Jessica :) Facebook seems flooded with spammy stuff. I've seen Facebook recognizing good links as spammy too, but real spammers allowed to spam. They need to re-think about it further.

Wow... That's wonderful dear :) I hope you will love the experience there and hey, I'm here too ;)



Thanks for coming by and sharing your experience with Google+ dear :) Ah... for your wonderful compliments too.


Cheers...

Praveen Rajarao said...

Mayura - Thanks for listing out the steps here, I am highly appreciative of all the How To blog posts you come up with, they are very informative and easy to walk through.



I agree that any such social communities must be private and by invitation only. It shouldnt allow people to join free or even members to just add their friends without proper authentication of the owner.


It does add value to the discussions we can have in such focussed communities of like-minded people, it is really helpful when facing an issue and trying to get more input on the same which cannot be found by just "google" :-)

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Praveen,


I agree with you about it shouldn't allow people to add friends without their permission :) But it helps groups to create groups with 1000 or more members. Is it worthy? ;) I don't think so, with no engagement.


You are very true about it mate :) We need to build connections with like-minded people and they gonna help us out too, which a search engine never gonna capable of. I really like that statement of yours :)


Thanks for coming by and hope you find wonderful communities to make use of mate :)


Cheers...

Harleena Singh said...

Awesome guide Mayura!

I loved the way you explained things so well here and made it all so easy for all of us. :)

I was quite surprised when I started receiving invitations to join communities from a few friends, and it was only when I headed over to G+, did I see this new feature added up. I agree, it is certainly better than the Facebook groups where we are added half the time without our permission, whereas here it's all by your permission and it is a separate page in itself, unlike in Facebook.

Thanks for your invitation which I joined straight away, though I know I still need to take out time and explore this feature and be a real part of the community. :)

Thanks once again for sharing this wonderful information with all of us. :)

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Harleena,

Absolutely I had no idea when the news pop up, but when I hear about this it's not public at all dear :)

You too :) As I heard from other friends, adding without permission is what becomes most annoying thing for them about Facebook Groups. It's true for me too. Glad Google+ following right way on doing this. I still wonder why Facebook don't think about it. May be groups working that way there? But how would they know?



As it for bloggers, I can't help sending you an invitation dear :) Thanks for joining in and I hope you will explore and find more interesting folks there to hang out with on blogsphere.


Thank you for coming by and sharing your thoughtful comment dear :)


Cheers...

Pauline said...

Hi Mayura
I get so annoyed when I find out that someone has added me a group (or a few groups) on FB and then I have to spend time leaving those groups....
I have to be honest I have not spent much time on Google+ and need to read up a lot on how to get the most out of it. Your post has arrived at the right time for me to get me started on this so I shall read it again to fully digest it and then I'm headed over to my Google+ account!
Pauline

Mayura De Silva said...

Hi Pauline,

That's for sure dear :) Can you think when someone adds you and your news feed getting flooded with group posts? Ugh... I'm fed up of that. It's people who abusing the online resources.



I'm pretty satisfied with Google+ communities so far :) Ah... You need to be on Google+ and play with it. I love playing games there as no ads popping up ;)


I hope this one helps you with Google+ communities and start playing with 'em too. Hope you find it helpful with exclusive features ;)


Thanks for coming up and sharing your thoughts on Google+ dear :)


Cheers...