This past December, Google announced its latest addition to the social networking site, community pages. These community pages are dedicated to a specific topic, inviting the social networking site’s 400 million users to actively engage and share insights on the specific topic, which range from advertising and marketing to Star Trek. This new feature will join the ranks of the already established Google+ features, which include circles, hangouts and +1’s, and has the potential to open marketing new doors for business that maintain a Google+ account.
creating an online community
Similar to Facebook’s groups, community pages are designed to create a sense of community among fellow Google+ users with similar interests. The main difference between this feature and those on other social networking sites is the option to filter ideas, posts and photos that are shared on these community pages to only those that are about the specified topic of the page. This, as a result, creates a “centralized forum” for those passionate about a certain topic, actively inviting users to engage on the hundreds of community pages that have already been developed.
For businesses, these community pages open up a new marketing door. A business can post text or photos in certain community pages that pertain to their product or service. Consequently, their marketing message is sent directly to Google+ users that are genuinely interested in what you have to say or offer. A graphic design agency, for example, can post photos of their work in a graphic design community. From there, those who like or are interested in graphic design will be able to see the agency’s work. In addition, businesses can use community pages as a way to engage with fellow Google+ users, create connections or develop new ideas for their products, designs or services.
a community that gives back
Because of its connection to the popular search engine, Google+ and its community pages can also boost a company’s SEO and SEM rankings. If strategically done right, this new feature on this social media site can turn turning +1’s and engagement into a valuable return on investment.