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A social media platform rolling out a new feature facilitating community engagement and communication? We didn't see this one coming, right? Google+ made the anticipated and obviously beneficial move early last wee to roll out new the new "community feature".  Similar to Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups, this new feature is a digital location for people to assemble around a specific interest, subject, or discipline.

There are several new things you can do with this new community feature:

1. Firstly, you have the option of setting the communities to public or private membership.
2. You can search and explore specific topics and partake in active conversations
3. You can share your community with other people in your circle using the +1 feature

In order to begin using the communities features, follow these simple steps:

1. Click the green "Communities" button on the left navigation. It is a new button in the column where home, profile, etc displays.

2. Once you click "Communities", you will be directed towards a welcome page for the new feature. Click the small, red, rectangular button "create a community" in the top right hand side.

3. After you click that button, you will be directed to a page asking you to determine the name and privacy settings for your new community.  Once you specify the information, click the blue "create community" button in the bottom right of the screen.

4.  Google Plus then directs you to a typical page requiring basic details and description information for your new community. Once you have made these edits, click the red "save" button.

5.  Next, it will direct you to invite people to the new community (you can do so through names, email addresses or circles)

And there you have it, you have created a new viral community! This is a great opportunity to converse with other professionals in your niche industry as well as potential customers. To search other communities that other Google Plus members have initiated, simply click on the green communities button in the left navigation menu at any point. It will list communities and their display photos. At any point, type in specific search keywords in order to specify your community search.

For more helpful information on setting up Google Plus communities as well as tips on integrating it into your social media marketing campaign, click here.

Carla Rosemarino
Internet Marketing Analyst

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