Google Plus has finally released their Google Plus Collections to the public today.
It is an exciting day for the Google Plus community users!
Some of you have heard rumors that Google+ was doing this, but nothing was confirmed. However, they have officially released this feature today!
Some people are reporting that they can’t see it showing up in their Home tab yet. If this is you, don’t worry, it has just been released and will more than likely be open to you soon. Also, if you’re an iOS user you won’t be seeing it either. For today at least, this is only open to Android and other web users.
Let’s do it.
What Are Google Plus Collections?
That’s probably your number one question at this moment. You’re seeing all of this talk online about the new release and you probably are a little curious.
Let me just say that if you aren’t using Google+ religiously, then you may want to start because they have literally turned the tables on the social media community.
First of all, Google Plus Collections are just that- a set of collections of your choosing.
The best description I can give this new platform is by telling you that it’s like Pinterest, where you can create a board, say Social Media Psychology, and everything related to that topic will be pinned to that board.
Every Collection that you create is a place where you keep the topics centered around that particular subject.
Now you have the opportunity to be more centered and targeted with a group of people. This is exciting because people are going to start seeing Google Plus Collections in their stream as suggested by the Google+ platform. Just like you see suggestions that G+ has compiled for you to follow, Collections will be no different.
It is an overall way for you to be more specific with your posting on the Google Plus platform and therefore attract more like minded people to a specific topic that you are interested in.
You are able to create a Collection of photo’s, images, links, and videos and post them to each specific collection.
There is nothing different, nor is there anything new to learn when you post to these Collections. It is still the same posting principle, the only thing that has changed is that people will be able to see the topic above the post.
If people enjoy what you have to share from that specific topic, they will be able to click through and browse the rest of your specific Collection.
Again, more targeted, more specific, and it helps your business on this platform as well.
If people follow you on Google Plus, then they automatically follow your Collections. However, they can also follow individual Collections without getting everything that you post.
There is also a limited number of Collections that you can follow. That number is still being determined now. I will make sure to update this article as soon as I know more about it.
That is the basics of what Google Plus Collections are and how they affect you, but let’s talk about getting set up.
How To Set Up A Collection
It is very easy to set up your Collections on Google Plus.
In your “Home” tab, scroll down until you see the Collections tab and click that to get started. From there it will prompt you to create your first collection:
#1: Getting Started:
Once you click the “Create A Collection” link it will direct you to name your Collection and also give you one of three choices:
- Public-A standard public share.
- Your circles only-shared to the people that are in your circles.
- Private to you only-I use this one to save articles that I want to read/share later.
- Custom– where you can create your own choices of who you would like it to be sent to each time you share.
Be warned that once you pick who it is visible to, you can’t undo it. So make sure you take some time to think about who you want to see this. You can go into it later, click the cog *shown below* and change the name, however.
Also remember that sending to your circles without people’s permission could get your account suspended. Until you get the hang of it, I recommend setting this to “Public” until you can learn more about it.
After you have named your Collection, now it’s time to get this customized and attractive for your followers. Here is a collection I set up just for this. As you will see, Google+ puts a generic photo on it, but I recommend that you change that to make it more appealing to the social user.
As you will see there is a customize button where you can pick and choose the best option for your Collection and what it stands for. Check it out below:
If you are using Google Plus Collections for your business on social media, then I suggest you use a collections cover template from my buddy Dustin Stout. He has some great ideas on what kind of dimensions you should be using in order to build a great cover image for your collections. You can click the “Add Your Own” and it will allow you to upload your cover image there.
Three things to look for in the Collection of choice:
- Customize: Allows you to make changes to the cover image.
- The Arrow: Allows you to share your Collection to the Google+ community.
- The Cog Wheel: Allows you to edit the Collection name, or simply delete the Collection
Sharing Your Collection
While you may think that this would be self-explanatory, I wanted to cover this part so you can get the benefit of some of my mistakes while learning it.
Once you have created your collection, it will appear in the white drop down box, where the green “Public” tab usually is. However, you cannot share to a Collection AND the public at the same time.
Easy enough, right?
Ok that’s what happens when you want to share straight from your profile, but what about resharing someone else’s post?
It’s still ok but a little bit trickier. Thankfully, I’ve made enough goofs for both of us and can show you the right way to do it.
There are two ways you can reshare. Keep in mind that the Google Plus platform is a micro-blogging site and the more description you can give it, the better your engagement will be.
I’m not calling it the wrong way, but I will call one more right than the other one.
Will lead to you not being able to add to the description in your Collection of choice.
I recommend that when you want to reshare someone else’s post to your collection, that you click the regular reshare button like you always do, refer to the image above that one I just showed you and you now have the best of both worlds. You are able to write your description AND share it to your Collections.
The Final Thought
Do you think Google Plus is dead now?
With so much integration within this social platform itself proves that the Google Plus network is not dead nor dying, but breathing a breath of fresh air that will soon provide a more targeted audience for the user.
Google Plus Collections is a great way to build more targeted relationships on social media, and, even though they have taken a page out of the Pinterest book, they haven’t taken away the engagement factor for your business.
That is important.
Google Plus Collections has built a soap box so you can stand on it and share to the world what you have to say. Take advantage of everything that it has to offer because they’re not stopping with just this.
I have set up an opt in form for those of you that want to learn more about Google Plus Collections and as I get more information I will pass it along!