At the beginning of June, I came across an article by Andrew Garberson. In it, he describes how Google+ Collections helped increase views of his content by 700%.
This number intrigued me and I decided to give Collections a try. A few weeks in, and the results have been amazing. For example, my photos now average 20 +1s. Shares and comments have also increased. And while my social media posts and curations are getting less impressive results, engagement is still on a steady rise.
Actually, I cannot remember Communities or even regular public shares bringing me that kind of exposure before. So, I am really happy about the experience.
Interested in leveraging Collections for your business? Here is a quick guide.
What are Collections?
Collections allow you to group content under specific categories. Think of them as Pinterest boards or Flipboard magazines.
Your Collections can be accessed from the menu section in your profile or page (left) or directly from your profile. It is the same thing for other accounts’.
Note: The people who circle you will automatically follow all your Collections. However, they can choose to unfollow or subscribe to individual ones. Just visit the Collection’s dedicated page and click the “Follow” button at the top.
On that page, you will find additional options:
- Sharing button to tells others about Collections
- Notification system
- Ability to report Collections
Creating a Collection
Any profile or page can create a Collection. This is how:
- Click the + sign on the your collections page.
- Enter a title (50 characters max) and tagline. These can be edited later.
- Choose the level of privacy (public or private). Note that this cannot be changed.
- Click “Create”.
- To change the default banner photo and add your own, click “Customize”.
To edit the name or delete your collection, click the gear icon:
- Deleting your collection will remove all your posts.
- Each profile / page can create up to 50 collections.
- Only the collection creator can add content.
Adding content to Collections
There are four ways to update collections:
- From your post, enter the name of your collection in the “To” box
- From your already published post, click the arrow at the top and select the collection.
- Other accounts’ published posts: Click the downward arrow and select the collection. Note that you cannot add any comment.
- Other accounts’ published posts: Click the curved arrow and select the collection. This time you can add commentary.
- To move posts out of collections, click the arrow at the top of your post and select “Remove post from collection”.
- Posts shared in Communities cannot be moved to Collections. You will have to share them instead.
- You cannot share to circles / communities and collections at the same time. However, if your collection is public, your posts there will be visible to everyone.
Tips to Leverage Collections
Now that you know how to create and share content into collections, one question remains: How can I make them work for my business?
Here is a short list of tips to help you get started on the right track:
- Think of what you would do on Pinterest. Create collections that reflect your brand and related passions.
- Collections are indexed in Google Search. So use relevant keywords in your title and tagline.
- Take advantage of hashtags. Like Twitter, people rely on them to find content.
- Don’t just share your stuff. Curate worthy content from other relevant sources.
- Take advantage of the different post formats allowed on Google+ (text updates, links, videos, infographics, pictures). Tag sources, share the best content from your customers, feature your products in context, highlight user-generated content, etc.
- The Google+ team monitors Collections. Quality and consistency will help you make it to the Featured Collections page.
Don’t believe me? This is the comment Marie Barros left on one of my posts a few weeks ago:
The result? Two of my collections that are featured on that page now have a combined total of 31,000 followers. And the number grows hourly!
Some Collections to Follow
- Business in a Social Media World (my collection)
- Google (Mark Traphagen)
- Better Business Blogging (Denise Wakeman)
- Content Marketing Tips (Denise Wakeman)
- Infographics (Irfan Ahmad)
- Social Media Marketing (SEO)
Do you use collections? If so, share them with us in the comment section below.