Creating a thriving online community takes time.
Here are 5 strategies to help you get more exposure for your community:
1. Share posts from your community into your personal stream.
A great way to build exposure for the community you want to support is simply to share interesting community posts with your personal stream.
For example, I shared a post from our LinkedIn for Business community with people who circled me. I also included a link and invited everyone to come join. This one post has three links directing people to the LinkedIn community.
If you’re part of a public community that you would like to see grow, make sure and share an interesting post with your followers (and invite them to join in). If a bunch of people in your community share posts regularly, you should see an increase in membership.
2. Post useful content often (so that it’s visible in public search)
If you moderate a public community, your posts are indexed in the Google+ public stream. Simply by posting more about your topic will help your community get more attention in the public stream.
Posting regularly also notifies members of your community that there is fresh content to be seen, so that will encourage members to come back. Just make sure to add useful content for your community. Don’t add content for the sake of having more keyword-rich content; that’s how you’ll lose your community.
3. Set-up a community event and host a live hangout.
Hosting video hangouts with your community on a regular basis can help you build a stronger community. And if you create a live hangout, you can ask members to share a link to the streaming YouTube video in their personal stream. Live hangouts can provide your community great exposure – and help others learn more about the community and members.
4. Share useful content from your community with a relevant community.
Another way to get exposure with your target market is to find communities where they already spend time, and share a post from your community into relevant category of that community.
For example, I’m a member of The Social Media Strategy community and one of the categories is on using LinkedIn. I shared a post about conversion rates of LinkedIn groups from the community that I’m part of – which soon earned 4 +1s from that community. Only share posts from other communities if relevant and useful to the community (and only post if you’re active in that community). Don’t spam or annoy anyone.
5. Promote on your Google+ Page.
If you manage a Google+ page, make sure you choose your page as the owner of the community you’ve created. Once making your page account as the owner, your Google+ page will have a “Their Community” section highlighting the community on the right-hand side. This can help bring awareness to page followers about the community you’ve created.
There are many other ways to bring awareness to your Google+ community. Please share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.