I’ve been immersed in internet marketing since the 1990’s, so it’s something of a passion for me. My artistic passion in life is photography and for the photographer, social media is a hugely powerful marketing tool. With that being said, the power of pictures and photographs in social media can be harnessed by any type of business, brand or niche. You’ve just got to do it well. Recently, I’ve begun a love affair with Google+ and the results have been very rewarding.
I confess that when Google + first came out, I dismissed it as another Facebook wannabee, but as the years have rolled by, Google+ has started to get a lot of things right. At the time of writing this article, Google + is still a totally free service. History suggests that won’t last long, so make the most out of Google+ while it’s still free.
I’d been using Google + for a few weeks before I even realized there was such a thing as ‘Communities’. Once I’d started posting my pictures to relevant communities I found that my user engagement went through the roof, click-through’s were up and the Google+ likes on my site pages skyrocketed. I also had a small increase in the number of people adding me to their G+ circles and people began to subscribe to the mailing list on my site and I even had a few sales of my photographic prints.
All of this came from posting a few pretty photographs in relevant G+ ‘Communities’. Totally free.
The trick to getting this right is to make sure that the G+ Communities you post in, are completely relevant to your niche. A lot of G+ Communities have different categories and some have posting rules, so make sure that when you post an image or video, you choose the most relevant category available in that community and that you include any requested info that the community owner specifies in their posting rules.
When posting an image, you’ll command more screen real estate if your image is in the ‘Portrait’ mode. By that, I mean tall and narrow as opposed to wide and short like a ‘landscape’ image. This is because G+ displays its content in columns, so when you see a community page full of posts, the ones that eat up the biggest screen area are the ‘Portrait’ ones.
Obviously, your goal is get people to visit your site or add your G+ profile to their circles. The way to do this is to provide desirable, high quality content such as tutorials and free downloads that help people. This also adds value to the community in which you are posting so you’ll soon become a Community darling and hopefully a recognized authority in your niche.
Your G+ Community Posts will look a lot better if you post an image and then enter your own description as opposed to simply clicking on the g+ share button from your site or blog. The reason I say this looks better is again, real estate. By uploading an image, your G+ post will look larger and have more impact. When you simply share a page by clicking on that pages G+ button, the image will be smaller and the shared community post won’t look as impressive.
If you haven’t already setup a G+ account yet, do it before someone else registers your name. Create a nice looking profile with some interesting posts. If you use WordPress, be sure to setup the Google+ Authorship plugin so that your author BIO links back to your G+ profile and vice versa. Once you’re all setup, start joining communities that are relevant to your niche and then share your posts with those communities. Have fun and let us know your results. If you have any more tips to add, please post a comment below.