Stop Fighting It: Just Say Yes to Google+It was difficult enough to navigate Facebook when we all left Myspace behind in the dust. Then, along came Twitter, Pinterest, & Instagram. We also have to keep up on blogging - oh boy, lots to do. Now there is all this buzz about yet another Social Network? Enough already! Do you feel resistant to try out Google+ too? I'm here to tell you: Don't! Google+ is not just another Social Media platform: it's a road to giving your website a better chance of being viewed by potential clients by boosting your SEO. If you are unsure why you need to get on Google+, you must read Stacie's post about this hot topic HERE.
Create An Eye Catching Cover PhotoOnce you're ready to get started, the first thing you will need to do is get yourself ready to have a hot profile page - grab a Google+ Cover Template from Colorvale®. These are sized just right & will make your life easier. Create two image covers: one for your personal page & one for your photography page. Tip: Go through old sessions and do a bunch at one time. This way, you can update your cover without putting much time into later. You will also want to find a photos to use as your profile image on both pages. Remember G+ is all about being personable so using your own image for the profile is a good idea.
Create Your Google AccountVisit: https://plus.google.com If you don't have an account with Google, you'll need to do this first. Fill in all of the fields. Next, you should be prompted to upgrade to Google+. Don't worry, this is free! Again, just fill in the fields. You are creating your personal account now, so fill this in as YOUR NAME. Do not put in your photography business here. Similar to Facebook, we are going to create a personal page and THEN a business page.
What's the difference?
- Personal Page: Use for socializing, not business, & not spamming. People that follow you here will be able to see that you have a business page & can visit it if they are truly interested.
- Business Page: Use for business & market your target audience. The really neat thing about Google+ is that you can create circles so that you can pick and choose what audience sees certain posts! Talk about organizing your social media. This means you can add photographer's to a "Photographers" circle and vendors, such as Colorvale Photoshop Actions, to a circle called "Photography Blogs & Vendors"
You are now a Google+ Member! Let's check it out.This is the main page. When you first join, you'll see some random 'What's hot & recommended' posts until you start following other members. This is essentially your "Google+ Newsfeed". To the left, you will see a menu. Let's take a further look:
- Home: This will take you back to this first screen you see, pictured above.
- Profile: This will show your profile page
- People: Allows you to browse other users that Google+ recommends for you & even the ability to search for other users based on certain criteria. Tip: Follow other users that peak your interest! Everyone is building their network right now, chances are, they just may follow you back!
- Communities: (My personal favorite) Are you into Macro Photography? Black & White Photography? Parenting? Cute animals? I mean, EVERY subject you an think of probably has a community. You can join a community (similar to Facebook Groups) & be inspired by other photographers, have the ability to share your work, network, or enjoy reading other posts on topics you love. Don't forget to join our community! Photographers: Editing with Actions Q&A & CC
- Hangouts: This is super cool! It's sort of like having Skype built into your platform. You can chat and have video chats with those in your circles.
- Pages: We will create your business page here in a moment.
- Local: Allows you to search for businesses & people in your area.
- Settings: Take a peek in here - you can customize how you receive notifications & privacy.
How To Set Up Your Photography Google+ Business PageClick Pages in the menu as we were looking at above. You can see the blue 'Create Page' icon. Next, choose a category. We suggest choosing Local Business or Place, because this will allow Google to recognize you within Google Maps. Clicking Local Business or Place will take you to a screen with a map asking you to search for your business. If you have not registered your business with Google, you will type in your business and when the results come up click: No, this is not my business. Let me create my business. Fill in the fields. I don't want people to come knockin' on my door! If you do not want your address to be visible, simply check the box that reads, 'I deliver goods and services to customers at their location' and complete those fields. Be sure to uncheck the box, 'I also serve customers at my business address.' Once you've completed this screen, you've created your business page!
Customize Your PageYou will want to do this for both your personal & business pages. To navigate between the two, when logged into your account, click the round profile image at the top right of the screen. You will see both pages listed and you can click the page you want to view. This is what you should see: Once you're on the page you want to customize, mouseover the cover photo - similar to Facebook's Timeline Cover - and click Change Cover to upload and update your cover photo. Under the cover photo, you can see a series of links: About, Posts, Photos, Videos, & Reviews. Begin with About to add more information about your page. Make sure to use keywords that may be used in a Google Search for your business, such as: "Michigan Lifestyle Family & Wedding Photographer"
To get a vanity URL such as google.com/+ColorvaleActions your page must be at least 30 days old and have at least 10 Followers.Congratulations! You now have your Google+ Personal & Business Pages ready to use! Stay tuned - our next blog post on how to navigate Google+ and how to best use this Social Media platform for your business is on its way. IMPORTANT NOTE: When networking it is important that you "Follow" people and they "Follow" you! Clicking the +1 is just like giving a thumbs up, it doesn't not create a networking circle. It's great to do and you should do this, but only after you "Follow" them.