Get More Use Out of Google+ Communities to Raise Local Audience Engagement

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Gone are the days when engaging local customers meant physically interacting with them. In this technology-driven age, making that initial contact is best done online. Specifically, this should be hosted on social media platforms such as Google+.

Yes, this approach presents a more convenient alternative. But setting it up and getting results will take a bit more effort on your part. For starters, you may want to review our list of social media dos and don’ts. Since you’ll be reaching out to people using your company profile, it’s important to always give them a good impression of your business.

Google+ has a number of features you can use to aid audience engagement. For instance, Hangouts allows you to host video chats with a group of people. Circles enables you to organise social media contacts into clusters, which makes sharing specific information much easier. But the cream of the crop would have to be Google Communities.

Google+ Communities

(Flickr / JNFerree)

This particular feature aids the development of a community around a shared interest. Its business benefits include the following:

— Creates an awareness around your brand

— Allows you to develop your authority within the business industry you’re in

— Engage with potential customers

Some Unique Features

So what sets Google+ Communities apart from its contemporaries in the social media sphere? Listed below are some great reasons:

— Posts on a Google+ community can receive +1s from other members. These can also be shared to other communities.

— Hashtags can be used to tie posts to specific searches.

— Users have the ability to create categories. Specific posts can also be allocated into these.

— Community posts can be edited any time.

— Google indexes community posts. It means these can be found in organic search.

— Posts can gain and pass Page Rank.

Useful Tips

If you want to harness the power of Google+ Communities to increase local audience engagement, these tips will prove useful:

— Configure sharing settings for docs, sheets, and presentations

Of course, you can share the content above to just anyone in your community. But if you want to maximise its impact, it should be visible to the right people only. Configuring the “Visibility options,” found on the Sharing settings, will ensure that the intended audience can access special presentations, documents, or both.

— Classify content with categories

To streamline discussions, classify posts according to specific categories. Since these can be customised, choose functional names for each one, such as Breaking News, Tips and Tutorials.

— +1, comment, and reply

Use all of these three actions. Doing so shows your audience that you’re always there ready to answer their questions, give advice, and address their concerns.

— Hangout with your community

Each one of you might be in a different location. But that doesn’t mean you can’t see each other face-to-face. Do a live Hangout with your private Google+ community. You’re not just putting a face behind the brand but also sending a signal that you’re an actual human being, whom they can reach out and talk to.

Not on Google+? Let search experts walk you through the process of using it. Localised Search in the UK offers a social media guide for Google+ Local and Business – a big help to your audience engagement efforts.


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Author: Firdaus

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