If you want to get noticed and get your images seen, you need to do some serious social media marketing. But which channels to choose? To be honest, you should use all the main social media sites to promote your work: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.
G+ has some very interesting features that make it stand out above other sites for photographers. This article will take a look at some of the advantages of using G+ to promote your work.
Google plus image quality
Unlike Facebook, which uses a highly restricted image size and poor image compression techniques, G+ has been designed from the start to make your images pop. In 2013, Google added the ability for you to upload your images at full resolution, giving you unrivaled image quality.
There is a downside to this. Full-res images take a serious bite out of your 5 GB Google Drive space, so if you are adding a lot of shots, you might need to pay for more space. That aside, most computer screen resolutions top out at 1920 pixels horizontally, so if you upload at that resolution and at 72ppi, you are going to get a good trade-off between excellent image quality and use of storage space.
G+ features beautiful galleries and large image sizes
Another feature of G+’s image capabilities is the ability to auto enhance your images and, if using Google Chrome, to carry out simple editing on your shots. You can also group together several images to create engaging slideshows. On screen, images seem to have much more “pop”compared to the same shots on Facebook. Image galleries on G+ look polished and professional, and actively invite viewer engagement in the form of comments and discussion.
The Circles feature is a very powerful tool to market your photography. Unlike Facebook where your primary social circle is based on friends, with Google Plus you can connect with virtually anyone by adding them to your circles. If they are interested in what you post, they will reciprocate by adding you to one of their circles.
What this means is that you can create, for example, a circle containing photographers that inspire you, a circle of people who provide useful information on photography, and another circle of potential buyers or admirers of your photography. It is a little like keeping your home life and work life separate. Except in this case, you can reply to and comment on posts by your “inspiration photographers” circle, and promote your images to only your “image buyers” circle. The fact that you can connect with anyone allows you to potentially get in touch with some very useful people.
Another advantage of the Circles system is that it promotes and enhances social engagement. Comment threads on G+ are much more informative and comprehensive than those on other social media sites, and by engaging in these conversations, you can raise your own profile.
Circles are a powerful way to network
Not unlike Facebook groups, there are G+ communities for a huge range of subjects, including many in photography. Because of the open way that social engagement occurs on G+, joining a community of like-minded individuals can be very beneficial.
There are also many communities that actively encourage you to post your own photos. For example, I belong to a Travel Photography community that has over 100,000 members. When I post an image to that community, not only do I have the possibility that 100,000 people could see the shot, there is also the potential for a huge number of other people outside that community to see the image too. This is because the Travel Photography people that like my shot will “+1” and share it. It can then be seen by everyone in the sharers’ selected circles.
The power of Google is behind G+
Your G+ account is very closely linked to all of the other Google products, such as YouTube, Blogger, Picasa and others. All of these products are closely tied into the Google search engine, meaning that by regularly posting and cross-posting across your Google products, you can elevate your ratings within the Google search engine. This is useful if, for example, you want to get your own photography website rankings up. By using the website’s address in your posts—for example as a copyright notice on a G+ photo posting and in a Blogger blog—your site’s web address will start to climb in the Google search ratings. By doing this regularly and frequently you can significantly increase your site’s visibility.
The Internet is a sea of imagery, so getting yours seen is going to involve some hard work on the social media front. Because of G+’s powerful photographic credentials and close relationship with other Google products, I suggest that G+ should be your primary account for promoting your photography to the world.