Growing a Community
It may help to discuss specifics of growing a community beyond the basics of providing great content. Here are some of my recent thoughts. I hope people will add to this...
My efforts to attract outside of the G+ universe have been very marginal. Posting a link on our website ( traffic ~600/day) and naming it FORUM had added very people, but does increase awareness. My impression is it is not easy to get the general public to join G+. I suspect the public may read the tips we post on our G+ Community/Forum and just leave. To compare, there is also a facebook link next to the G+ "Forum" link and our facebook followers are not growing much faster, so the adoption rate may be slow across the board.
Creating a post on facebook linking to tips on our G+ Community also works poorly.
I really think the best way is to share the best of the posts from your Community into other somewhat related Communities and add a short non-bold tag that it was shared from your Community. If they are interested, they will follow the link.
I am still looking for the magic bullet to grow a community after posting quality information in the community and creating a wide range of categories to interest most people. My current idea is to emphasize an element of my Community ( named Ponds & Lakes) and share that with much broader communities such as Gardening or Nature. Emphasizing an aspect such as our promoting the idea of people helping nature by using native plants in ponds, ditches etc could be a way to draw interest from a much broader audience. In this case that would be people who enjoy nature and wish to support it via native plants and animals. I believe you really have to explore your niche and expand it to a broader audience appeal to grow your specialized community.
I recently expanded the topic categories in the community again to spark interest from a broader audience. I have no way to directly measure this impact. It is just a good practice.
Yesterday I started a new practice of posting a helpful tip along with a link to my community onto select Youtube videos. The thinking is the people who post all have at least a default G+ profile so the threshold to join a G+ community may be lower/easier. We shall see if we get a result there.Any other productive ideas out there?
for convenience here is the community in question https://plus.google.com/communities/106122096790923657121
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