The importance of social media for any kind of promotion cannot be denied or underestimated.
Unfortunately, there are still quite a lot of photographers who neglect the opportunities of such network as Google+. They think that most of their clients are on Facebook and, well, they might be actually right. So why waste your time on promotion via Google+?
Why is there so much fuss about G+?
Because this service is really helpful. Despite being as large as Flickr, it offers more ways of interaction and is reputedly one of the most engaging and lively photo communities on the web. The thing is that Google+ affects search engine rankings, which gives you an advantage over those who haven’t taken this chance yet. This network has real power to put your site on the first page of search results, easily and at no charge! Dealing with SEO may scare some of you, but this aspect is vital for the potential clients to stumble upon your portfolio. Simply put, if you publish something on Facebook, it remains only on Facebook. When you publish content on Google+, it can be found via online search engines. That’s why you have to spend some time on it, but don’t worry – it doesn’t hurt.
Another reason is that photos uploaded to Facebook have always left much to be desired (those tiny thumbnails), while maximum width for images on Google+ is 2048 pixels! So large, it feels like there’s no limit at all. Your photos are neither compressed, nor distorted; they are clear and proportional. Some people even recommend avoiding watermarks for your photos on Google+ in order to show them as nice and clean as possible, but the beautiful HD-display of your pics is hardly a reason to stop protecting them from stealing.
Anything you want
Google+ is different from the majority of other social media in that it provides easy uploading, personalizing and updating of photographs. The interface is user-friendly and looks very pleasant and slick. The image capabilities, as we already mentioned, are just great: the service offers large image resolution and nice slideshow, which contributes to the overall image of your profile.
Google+ allows triggering full-scale discussion, and any social interaction is welcomed on this platform. There are ‘Hangouts’ – a feature involving real time communication via web camera for people (up to ten in total) from all over the world. Many photographers have even launched their own Photography Shows via Google+ Hangouts. The recordings help them afterwards to promote their blog and website by attracting much more potential customers.
Google+ offers the feature called ‘Circles’ which enables you to segment your visitors into unique audience. This allows targeting potential clients more specifically.
And even more benefits:
- Photo sharing on Google+ is free and unlimited.
- Terms of service are transparent and convenient.
- On the ‘About’ page there’s an area for you to showcase five pictures of your choice.
- On your profile you can also share your own ideas, thoughts and advice on photography, links to posts you liked, photos that you admire, etc.
- All the photos in your Google + portfolio are already optimized for mobile devices.
The main feature
Let’s move on straight to the point: Google+ gets your site on the first page of search results for those who gave you +1 and their friends! Of course, if their initial query was in any way related to what you had posted.
For easier explanation: imagine that you shoot a wedding and posted your photographs on the service. The bride gives you a +1 or makes a re-post. Your post then will appear on a stream of her friends on Google+ for some time. But wait, that’s not the icing on the cake yet!
The main benefit is that your post will appear on the first page of search results when friends of that bride will look for a photographer for their own wedding! And it doesn’t matter when exactly the bride hit the +1 button. +1’s are the same as Facebook’s “likes”. The difference is that they really help you get higher search ranking. Another simple way to trace the influence of Google+ social actions is to use Google Images service. There is a high probability that the pictures made by your Google+ friends will show up first among the results.
This principle goes for all content you publish there. This works exactly the same way as good old word-of-mouth marketing. Do you understand now that Google+ is not just another social network? It really matters, especially when you take up developing a strategy to promote your works.
<b>Google indexes all the content you put on stream via Google+, so that it can be searched on the web.</b>
To sum up – creating a photographer’s portfolio on Google+ is easy, free, and fully integrated into Google’s search engine, which is the crucial option if you want to promote your work on the web. To learn more, check out the book by Colby Brown exactly on the subject.