Avoid the GooglePlus Community Trap

I'm a fan of GooglePlus it's a really useful network with increasing potential. I'm also a fan of Communities on GooglePlus, so what do I mean by Community Trap?

All Alone Syndrome

Your "Friends" probably don't use GooglePlus, old habits die hard, they are stuck on Facebook, so going to GooglePlus can feel like a lonely experience when you have no active network there.

The easiest way to solve the "no network" feeling is to join a few active communities. Find some (well run) communities, on topics that interest you and suddenly there'll be posts in your home stream. Life!

But .... communities are like rooms, they are walled spaces. They can be "public spaces" but they are still closed spaces, meaning only community members could see posts from that community in their stream and community members could comment on any posts you make in a community.

The Spammy Solution ...

Often people want to reach more people with their posts, and as only the members of community A could see or comment they go to community B and post the same content. Then community C, community D, E and so on ..... Then surprise surprise! Then they suddenly find themselves flagged as a spammer.

Being flagged for spam will affect your account. You will want to avoid being seen as a spammer.

Be the best community member you can be!

Join one community for any one topic, that should not be the biggest community: it should be the best community. That means one with a clear topic, with clear community rules, which are clearly being applied by the community moderators. 

Check who the moderates any community before joining. How active are they? You will have a better experience joining smaller, active, well moderated communities than larger unmoderated ones.

Get outside communities, stretch your social media legs!

While engaging in communities you need to also be building your own network. 
  • Find and follow active profiles posting interesting content and engaging with others.
  • Engage with users yourself outside of communities. 
  • Make a percentage of your posts outside of communities. 
It can seem counter productive to post publicly, outside of any community, when you have only a few followers and communities you are a member of have hundreds of members. 

Your public post could be seen by anyone with an internet connection and, as long as you have not restricted who can comment, anyone could engage with your non-community posts. That is millions more people than on any community post. 

The takeaway ...

Communities on GooglePlus are useful and powerful, but they are one aspect of the platform. Don't get trapped using communities alone. 

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