12 Most Googletastic Reasons Google+ Communities Are the Bomb

12 Most Googletastic Reasons Google+ Communities Are the Bomb

If you want to really start enjoying the benefits of belonging to an online community, Google+ is the place to be! Once Google+ started their communities feature a few months back, I jumped in right away and have been spending a lot more time on “The Big Plus,” as it suddenly became a lot more relevant to me.

Developing rich social experiences and fruitful relationships is what good online engagement is all about! With Google+, one size does not fit all — there are communities to discuss all kinds of topics, industries, hobbies and interests — with highly-focused conversation. My re:DESIGN community is for people interested in design, creativity and innovation.

Sort of a cross between Twitter and Facebook, Google+ has a great blend of engagement and smarts: quieter and deeper than Twitter, yet more alive, better focused and less clutter than Facebook. The Google +1 has also recently begun to take on a whole new meaning — more powerful than a Facebook “Like,” it promises to boost engagement, online influence, and search rankings.

I enjoyed discussing some of the virtues of being on Google+ with New York’s Newsday recently. Right now though, I’d like to make the case for why G+ is the best social platform for starting or participating in an online community:

1. Nicely-organized streams

Cleaner pages with multiple columns yet more white space and less clutter than the other social platforms. This allows quicker scanning and access to good content by distilling the information down to what you want you want to see. More good stuff and less junk — and that can only help your overall engagement, too. Happier, more inspired community members makes for a happier, more inspired community.

redesign community, Google+, G+, Google Plus

2. Controlled environment

Google+ has nicely engineered mechanisms for moderating and managing communities. Communities can be made either public or private, depending on the intentions. It is also important to bring in the right people, and Google provides a couple of ways to promote communities that help set the foundation for a good social experience:

Share the community — similar to inviting, this button lets you promote both public and private communities by sharing them with a broader group of people.

Invite people — just click this button in your public Google+ community and it’s a nice, easy way to bring other people whom may be interested. This feature also pairs well with your curated circles, where people may already be grouped according to certain interests and possibly also a good fit for a particular community.

3. Speak freely

You can say as much as you want on Google+, yet you see only the first few lines until you click for more, similar to Facebook. When you want to pursue deeper conversation, it’s nice not having the 140 character limits of the Twitter hashtag communities.

4. Categorized discussion

I find that the Categories feature really helps organize the community and, along with Search,  lets you filter the content better than the other social channels. Anything that helps you decipher what’s what quicker is a community benefit in my book.

5. Clarity

Details about the community are readily available and clearly posted — not buried like on the other social channels. Knowing the ground rules right upfront is critical for any smoothly functioning community, and Google+ provides a nice spot to make those crystal clear.

6. Strong identity

A well-branded community visually identifies the space as “your community.” Having a familiar place to engage on a daily basis with people you know creates a virtual home, and a clear identity makes it easy to find while igniting a sense of community pride.

redesign community, Google+, G+, Google Plus

7. Visibility

Posting within public communities is visible outside the community too. Time spent in the community doesn’t mean you are totally isolated — your influence can still spread. And it’s great knowing that your engagement in a community, especially if frequent, is still getting the highly-coveted Google rankings juice that helps get you found in search. Posts on G+ rank similarly to blog posts, so together with Google’s increased emphasis on the importance of +1’s and their secret algorithms, your online influence will spread as you gain influence among your peers in the community. Sweet!

8. Stunning images

Great visuals will help any stream by making them more interesting to look at. Google allows for bigger, crisper images than the other social platforms, and that makes for a much more pleasant experience overall.

9. Well-crafted, nicely-styled posts

Bolding, italicizing and even strike-throughs are all fair game on Google+ — it not only looks better, it draws the eye to what you want to emphasize and aids in communicating how you mean to say something. Together with a beautiful image, some hashtags for better search and … BINGO! Better visibility and better communication — and that helps any community. redesign community, Google+, G+, Google Plus

10. Ability to edit

On Google+, you can edit whatever you say at any time. There’s nothing like being able to fix a typo or revise the way you said something to make what you are saying clearer. Try that on Twitter! Heh.

11. Video calls

This option, called Hangouts, is available right within Google so it’s a seamless community experience. Being able to see and speak with members of your community make the bonds stronger for richer and deeper social engagement.

12. Stay in the loop

It’s great being able to stay abreast of comments and updates. Google+ notifications does a good job with that, and if you really don’t want to miss anything, you can also get emails whenever there’s a new post. I make sure I get these with the re:DESIGN community I run. Well functioning communities are happy communities.

I think you can see how these twelve points help facilitate a well-oiled process for online communication and relationship building. As people become more experienced on the social networks, it’s the depth and quality of these relationships that they crave. Developing rich, online, social experiences drives deeper engagement — this is as true for individuals as it is for businesses and brands delving into engagement marketing. Communities facilitate this, and I don’t think you’ll find a better place to do it than on Google+.

Do you belong to any communities on G+ or want to join one? Or maybe you’re interested in starting a community yourself?

There’s lots more to say about Google+ communities so hit me up in the comments section below.

Featured image courtesy of KaCey97007 licensed via Creative Commons.

Photo illustration work: Paul Biedermann, re:DESIGN

Article by Paul Biedermann

Paul Biedermann


Paul Biedermann is Creative Director/Owner of re:DESIGN and Managing Partner/Editor-in-Chief of 12 Most. re:DESIGN specializes in Strategic Design, Brand Identity, and Visual Content Marketing. Paul intersects smart, custom design with visual business strategies that reach, engage, and inspire people to action. He also founded the vibrant re:DESIGN Google+ community for those who value what good design can do for business, and served on the Board of Directors of the Social Media Association. Paul began his career at ABC Broadcasting before moving to a design agency that created innovative campaigns for ESPN and then becoming Art Director for NFL Properties. As Creative Director for The McGraw-Hill Companies, Paul spearheaded projects for such leading brands as Standard & Poor’s, BusinessWeek, J.D. Power and Associates, Architectural Record, and McGraw-Hill Education. You can follow Paul on Twitter, "Like" re:DESIGN on Facebook, circle him on Google+, follow him on Pinterest or visit his blog.

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Thanks for this article. I have been blogging and posting on G+ and as much as I enjoy that I don't get the interaction I am looking for. So now I am looking at spending more time in my communities that I own and ones that I am a member of and trying to increase my interaction that way.


I don't agree. If you were on G+ from the beginning you may have noticed that Communities have broken up the stream into thousand of smaller streams. It was a lot more fun before. If you just joined recently it is hard to understand the difference, but believe me that the interaction was far greater then than now. Google has done it , I'm sure they have their good reason. Simply, my opinion is that it was a lot better before but of course, I will adjust. I learned that G+ is a "game" that changes the rules very often. It isn't like playing Monopoly


Thanks for this informative article. I joined a few photography communities shortly after joining G+ recently and I think they are amazing, very interactive and supportive. I think G+ does a really good job with them and they should promote them more. They are certainly the most well-thought-out communities I have taken part in and much better than Facebook.

Chuck Frey
Chuck Frey

I belong to the Visual Thinking Hub community on G+, and it HAS brought its members closer together. It does weekly Hangout mastermind calls and webinars to further the knowledge about and practice of visual thinking techniques. It's a dynamic group that really feels like a community!


Thank you for this piece, Paul. I still have a lot to learn about Google+ Communities in order to really take advantage of them and this will help!

PaulBiedermann moderator

@piodalcin Interesting — I was on G+ early too and found just the opposite. I guess it depends what you are trying to accomplish, but I think some splintering is good when you are interested in achieving more focus and clarity from busy social streams. Thanks for sharing your point of view!

PaulBiedermann moderator

@Chuck Frey I’m not familiar with that community but it sounds interesting and it’s amazing what can be accomplished with these online social platforms. Google+ facilitates engagement on multiple levels — and the integration of video calls is an integral component of that.


@PaulBiedermann @markjohn222  I agree Paul. I've started a few communities on G+. Some have done well and some have gone sour. No matter I keep trying to find the right mix.

I always wonder about posting on other communities when it relates to my blog. I know on my community I won't have an issue but others don't like link drops which I don't like either.