When I first started writing a blog years ago I did not imagine that anyone would read it – and I was correct. For a while. When I eventually drew an audience it changed the way I thought about putting my thoughts “out there”. I was more careful how I wrote things, and what stories I told. For about 4 years I have been posting my photography on this blog, and my audience continues to increase. I want my work to be seen by as many people as possible, so naturally I also post my images on social media – namely Twitter, Facebook, and now Google+. Google+ seems to be quickly changing how many people see my work.
“Social” Media Should Equal Interaction
Let us pretend that the number of followers, friends or circles is an approximate indicator as to the potential size of my audience. In about 2 years on Twitter I have just over 700 followers. I have had a Facebook page for my photography since January, and have 100 “Likes” there. When I post a link on Twitter I often can get a few retweets, and occasionally a comment or two. When I post to Facebook, quite often nothing happens. I post content directly there and sometimes links to content like the blog posts here. Part of this is due to the lower number of “followers” and part seems due to Facebook deciding on its own what content is important to others. As a consequence, much of my content goes unseen. I have seen frequent discussions about business pages who have tested this and often their content doesn’t even get viewed (or doesn’t have enough instant reaction to be deemed “interesting” by Facebook). As someone promoting their work, this is not very beneficial.
When Google+ was launched 3 months ago I managed to get an invite a few days later from the guys at 500px. I set up my Google+ profile, and started posting content both directly to my image galleries and occasional links to my blog posts. I shared the content of the others in my “circles” that caught my attention. I believe I behaved exactly as I have with Facebook and Twitter (though I share the content of others a bit less on Facebook). What happened next was similar to my experience on Twitter but completely unlike Facebook. Google+ has an unprecedented amount of interaction. I don’t know why exactly, the content I am offering has not changed much, but I have a lot of frequent +1s (analogous to a “like” on Facebook) and comments from those who have added me. In addition to this, I currently have over 4,000 followers. While I have no illusions that 4,000 people will always view the content I offer, this gives it a much greater chance of being seen. The greater amount of interaction is a good indicator of this.
As a Photography Enthusiast why should YOU be on Google+ ?
- This is a great place to share and to view the work of others. Viewing images is easy and visually appealing.
- If you put in the effort – fill out your profile and comment on the posts of others – Google+ has a tremendous amount of interaction with other users. My experience with it has truly been social. If you do not put in any effort do not expect a social experience
- While I think that the photography community is one of the most successful on Google+, there are a lot of other communities that have taken off as well. I see a lot of tech and science related information. Of course, it is still just as good at sharing information with your friends and family
- Google+ has a favorable Terms of Service (TOS) for photo sharing. No copyright grabs or other deceitful behaviour. I feel comfortable uploading my photos there, and I do not with some other social media. Google has no desire or need to anger those who upload their content to its servers. A few wrote that this was not the case in the early days, but they were largely just seeking attention for themselves.
- Frequent updates and response to user feedback. A lot of the features evolving on Google+ have been a result of user feedback.
- Flexibility. If you want to write a lot of text in a post – there is a lot more room to do that on Google+
- While Google+ was only released to the public a few days ago (though is still in Beta) there are still over 45 million users on it already. You will not be alone.
If you are interested in getting involved with Google+ – Colby Brown has written a great guide for photographers ( or any user really ) on how to use the various features of the platform: Google+: The Survival Guide for a Photographer’s Paradise v2.1.
See you there!