Google+ may seem like the underdog when it comes to social networking sites, but that’s actually not the case at all. Just this year, it was announced that Google+ had surpassed Twitter in active monthly users. This means that Google+ is actually the second largest social networking site on the Internet, coming in just behind Facebook. This attention has attracted tons of new Google+ users who don’t want to miss out on the newest trends in social media, but this platform is actually quite different from other social sites.
When you first create a Google+ account, it can be a little confusing because you haven’t learned the ropes yet. One aspect of the site that you’ll encounter right away is communities, and since communities are one of the coolest features offered by Google+, we thought we’d help you out. We’ve created a guide to communities specifically for people who are new to Google+, or those who are thinking about creating an account. Check it out below!
What Are Communities?
Google+ communities are groups that are formed around a topic of interest such as sports, cooking, horseback riding, parenting, etc. No matter what your interests are, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be able to find a community full of people just like you. Communities operate like open forums where users discuss the topic at hand and share relevant information including photos, videos, articles from around the web, and much more.
How Do You Find Communities?
To find a community, all you have to do is type in the topic in the Google+ search bar. After the search results come up, click the tab that says “Communities,” and viola—you have a complete list of all the communities that are focused on the topic you entered. It also shows you how many members each community has, and the results are filtered so that the communities with the largest memberships are displayed first. For example, when you search for “Sports,” the first result is “Skiing & Snowsports,” which has a total of 4,882 members.
Are Communities Open To Everyone?
On Google+, communities are either public or private. Private communities are closed, and in order to join, you must be invited by the user who created the group. Public communities have two different settings: 1) Anyone can join, and 2) You must ask to join. For the latter option, you’ll become a community member as soon as your request to join has been approved.
Can Companies Join?
If you manage a company page on Google+, then don’t worry, you’re not shunned from communities. You can still take full advantage of communities, and in fact, a lot of companies join communities that are formed around topics relevant to their brand. Some companies even start their own, like Instant Checkmate, an online background check company that created a Google+ community around the topic of background checks. This is a great business strategy because it allows companies to take part in community discussions and connect with current and potential customers.
What If You Can’t Find A Certain Community?
If for some reason, a community doesn’t exist for the topic you’re interested in, then you can always create your own community. You never know, there could be tons of Google+ users out there who are passionate about the same topic. Being the creator also gives you the opportunity to manage your community’s privacy settings.
Now that you’re well-versed on the ins and outs of Google+ communities, you can browse the site and join as many communities as you’d like, or create a new community for users who are interested in the same topics. If you know anyone who is new to Google+, share this information with them so that they too can become a master of the communities feature!