The screenshot below shows the landing experience for new users, highlighting featured Collections.
So what are Google+ Collections?
The best way to think about a Collection is like a mini social media channel, which is owned and managed by the collection creator.
You can choose to follow People and / or follow individual collections about topics you are interested in. Follow a person and UNFOLLOW a collection of theirs that does not appeal to you!
Where people may have two or more instagram or twitter accounts, because some of their posts "don't fit" on their main channel, with Google+ Collections you can easily create mini social media channels which focus on topics which people can follow and have posts on the topic arrive in their home stream.
Featured Collections also appear across Google+ in places like search.
So you need a strategy!
It's easy to jump in and create collections on a whim, but doing so without consideration will lead to chaos. What should you think about first?
- Consider your audience. Who is this mini social media channel for?
Think about your audience, or just a section of your audience when creating your collection(s). The collection doesn't need to appeal to everyone, it should have focus.
- Be as clear as you can.
Use clear titles and images that help the viewer understand what the collection may hold before visiting. Make your collections clearly different. That will also help you know which collection to use when posting!
Some technical considerations
You can create collections which are ...
Anyone on the internet can potentially visit and see the posts in your Public collections. Though only Google+ users will be able to comment on the posts they contain (if you allow that).
At creation you can Limit the audience of the collection to one or more of your circles.
Note: visibility cannot be changed after creation, so it is important to know what audience you want to be able to see the collection, and the posts it contains, when you create it.
Though you can't change the visibility of a limited collection after creation you can allow new people to see it by adding them to the circle(s) you initially chose. If you make a collection visible to your "Friends" circle, then adding people to that circle will let them see the collection and all the posts within it.
- Don't go wild
There is a finite number of Collections you can make on your Personal Profile or Page Profile, so don't go crazy creating too many. You'll hit the limit and probably won't be able to generate enough content to keep all the Collections alive with fresh content.
In part two of "Building a Strategy for Google+ Collections" I'll cover some example use cases for Public, Limited and Private collections.