As explained last week by Paula, Google+ is a growing social media tool that now has an audience that easily competes with that of Twitter and Facebook. Today we are going to introduce Google+ to those of you that have not used it yet, discuss why you should use it, and tips for everyone (including already avid users of the platform) on how to improve your profile.
Featured to the left are great introductory videos from Google about this platform. Click on the image, and once you go to the link, you can select from three videos (“stories,” “features,” and “how-to”) from the menu near the top of the page (there are also more videos to select from to the right as well). Photographers may be particularly inspired by the first video, but I promise you that Google+ is a necessary platform for every artist.
Now that you have watched these videos (and Google has enticed you to use its platform!), the next step is to build your profile. There is a great infographic from MarketingThink that you all should check out. Essentially, this infographic highlights each key feature of your profile page, what the feature is, and how best to use it. For instance, make sure your profile picture speaks well about yourself since it will show up in Google searches as well as in each email you send if you have a Gmail account.
One of the great things about Google+ is that you can divide people that are following you into circles (Note: they will know when you add them to your circles, but they will not know which circle he/she is in). Each circle can have its own unique name (for example, “family”), and when you post a link (or photo, video, etc…), you can specify which circle you want to see your post (or you can make your post public).
Here are some tips specifically for artists on how to enhance your profile:
1. Have your profile picture reflect what you do as an artist. For example, if you paint, take a picture of yourself working at your canvas, such as in Ria Krishnan‘s profile.
2. The background graphic is much larger than that of Twitter or Facebook, so use the space wisely. For example, you can use one of your paintings, make a collage in Photoshop of your work, or advertise your next novel (see Emily Guido).
3. As Emily Guido‘s profile also illustrates, it is a good idea to have your profile name be your name then your occupation. But, to ensure that people can find you, always make sure that your profile name is consistent across all your social media platforms.
4. Use “hangouts” to talk about topics with other professionals in your field. You can also use this feature to reach out to potential clients, as shown by the photographer in the Google+ video.
5. Have a great piece in progress that you would like to receive feedback on? Create a circle for individuals that you trust and who have provided you with good critiques in the past. Then, post a work in progress and select this circle as your only audience for the post in order to receive great (and quick!) feedback.
6. You can always post an image of your latest work. But, it is also a good idea to archive images of your work in a photo album. Are you an aspiring film director? You can use the same strategy for archiving videos.
7. Have your tagline describe what you do, but keep it short.
8. If you want a more focused audience, consider making a Google+ page for your work versus a Google+ Profile.
9. There are so many great ideas out there, so do not be afraid to look at other artists’ profiles and pages on Google+ to get some ideas.
Next week – a great platform to link your Google+ profile (or page) to.
Already an expert at Google+? Have questions? Share your comments and suggestions below!