05 May Google+ Launches Collections – A Page Within A Page Concept
If you log in to your Google+ account today, you’ll notice a new feature. Collections! Without a lot of hype, Google has released this new feature that allows users to create boards of images, videos, and other content categorized around a specific interest. Think, Pinterest meets Google+, or rather, see it as the ability to create a page within a page.
As a business with a local Google+ page, this is a great way of building content that centers on different areas of your business or speaks to varying demographics.
Check out some of our first Collection boards here at Boostability (below).
With Collections, users can make multiple collections, name them however they would like, set a featured header image specific to each of their collections, and fill their boards with images. During this process, the Google+ user can define who will be able to see this specific collection – making the board either Public or specific to circles or individuals of your choosing. Note: The name you first choose is permanent and cannot be edited. However, if you mess up, you can delete a collection and start over.
To add posts you’ve already published to your collection, you’ll need to make sure your post has the same privacy settings as your Collection group. That means, if you’re creating a public Collection, you’ll need to ensure your post is being shared publicly as well. If you’re sure a post is public, the next step is to add it to your collection. You can easily do this by clicking the drop down next to the share icon on your individual post. Here, you’ll be able to choose a Collection to add it to.
Tip: If your posts are automatically sharing to your Google+ page from another app and not being shared as Public posts, you can update your app settings here: https://plus.google.com/apps
Warning: Herein lies a kink in Google’s system, by adding a past post to a Collection, you are reposting that post to everyone you’ve enabled to view that Collection. If you’re adding a post to a Public profile, then the Public will be able to see that you’ve now shared several posts all in a row, for example, without clearly knowing that you’re just sorting past posts into Collections. While this may not bog down their individual Google+ feeds, if that user has asked to be notified of new posts from you, they will receive a notification for each post you file away or reshare to your Collections. To avoid this, just start today and add new posts going forward.
To get started with collections you can navigate directly to your Google+ Collections page here: https://plus.google.com/collections
If you want to view collections for a Google+ page you manage, you’ll need to navigate to that page as a manager and then from the Home menu in the top left, you’ll navigate to your Page’s Collections tab.
At this point, you may notice you’re already following several other Collection boards. This means that someone you currently follow on Google+ has already started creating Collection boards. Take a look at their boards to see how they are utilizing this feature. If you create a public board, keep in mind that public boards are available for other Google+ users to follow. Knowing this, you may not want to have a generic name for your Collection board. Brainstorm how you can make your board unique in three words or less.
Now that you’ve created your own board, you can either sort a few past posts into their appropriate Collection (see warning above) or you can begin posting new content. As new content appears, your Collection will appear very much like your main Google+ page – allowing you to share new content, encouraging your followers to +1 and comment, and allowing followers to share your content to their own boards.
Note: If you post to your individual Collections, your content will appear on your main Google+ page feed as well. This works if you share a post directly in a Collection as well as if you share a post on your page, choosing to share to a specific Collection group in the “To:” field of your new post.
If you share a post to a Collection that is private and not public, the post will appear on your main Google+ page, but will only be viewable by those that have viewing permission. You set viewing permissions at the start of a new Collection when you choose if a Collection will be viewable only by you, by the Public, or by Custom setup.
All in all, this seems like a great new feature. We hope that Google+ holds onto it, unlike some of their other fantastic features we all loved once upon a time. RIP Google Reader and Google Buzz.
Have a creative idea for your Google+ Collection board? Tell us in the comments below!