What? You say that sounds like everybody? You’re right. Everybody should be getting in on the community action. But first, and in order to be successful, you need to understand how to be a good community participant. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 10 do’s and don’ts:
You’ll find them in each community’s “About this community” section. Google Plus-ers take their community rules seriously. Even if you have the best intentions, you will quickly be reprimanded or even removed from a group for not following the rules.
Focus on being a helpful resource and establishing yourself as a thought leader. Comment on posts. Answer questions. Yes, you can post links to your own content. But this is best saved for after you’ve become an involved member of the group.
Explain why you think the information will be helpful to the community. If you’re posting the same link in multiple communities, tailor your post to each one. This will help you avoid getting marked as spam, and it will make your contribution more valuable.
Communities often have different categories. The “To” field allows you to choose the appropriate category, which makes your post easier for others to find and keeps the community organized.
Browse through old posts. Ask questions. You’ll probably be surprised at how quickly you’ll receive an answer; it can be more relevant than a Google search. Google Plus-ers are a helpful bunch.
There are lots of communities out there, so there is definitely a place for the content you want to share. If you have a lot of great content and aren’t a member of a community that fits the topic, that means it’s time to find some new ones to join!
This is important if you are posting content to your profile as well as to multiple communities. If your community posts are showing, your profile page will be filled with the somewhat redundant content. Take a few seconds and go to “Settings”. In the “Profile” section, uncheck the box that reads “Show your Google+ communities posts on the Posts tab of your Google+ profile.”
Most communities have an actively engaged member base—these people want to talk about what you’ve posted. Stick around for the conversation, because that’s the part that makes Google+ communities unique and valuable.
If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, take charge, because chances are other people are hoping to find the exact same thing. Being the one to fill the void not only makes you the established thought leader of the group, but it also gives you a new resource of like-minded people.
If you’re new to communities, it can be overwhelming—there’s the rules we talked about earlier, and it can seem like everyone is more of an expert than you. They might not be, but they’re making their voices heard. If you have something to say, get involved in the conversation!
By following these 10 do’s and don’ts, you can begin to get the most out of the G+ communities. As with all social media, if you listen, engage, and share, you’re opening yourself (and your business) up to a whole new realm of possibilities.
Do you have any additional Google+ communities do’s and don’ts to add? Let us know in the comments below, or on our Cursive Content Marketing Google+ page.