With the marketing and social marketplace changing on what seems like a daily basis, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and think you have to be active on every platform imaginable. It’s great to have profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Flickr, Instagram, 500px, LinkedIn, MySpace (wait, MySpace?!?)… You get the idea. There are a ton of networks out there that can help achieve your marketing goals. But you should only be active on those networks that positively impact you and your business.
A Case Study: Google Plus
Back in July, I decided to resurrect my defunct Google Plus account. I was curious as to whether I could take advantage of the community and be seen by users that wouldn’t otherwise see my work.
I posted regularly, both my articles from Photofocus and some of my personal photography work. I reached out to another colleague, Lauri Novak, about trying to help me expand my Google Plus presence. She pushed my posts to her following, commented on what I had on my profile — she essentially was my best friend ever on Google Plus. It was my hope that with Lauri’s help, my base of followers would grow and become more and more active as time went on. Six months later, though, I’m re-evaluating my decision to put time into the Google Plus platform. Most of the comments I’ve received (especially as of late) have been spam, and while Lauri engages with my posts regularly, that’s often where the engagement ends.
What Went Wrong?
In choosing to use Google Plus, I forgot one very important rule about marketing — go where your audience is. As a corporate photographer, my ideal audience includes local businesspeople and community influencers. In my area, Google Plus is never talked about, and most of the big companies in town do not have a presence there (and if they do, they aren’t active). When you choose to put the time into a new marketing platform or tool, it’s easy to get excited about the possibilities. But as exciting as it is to be on the edge and join the “latest thing,” it’s more important to make sure you’re catering to your potential and current client base.
When to Give Up, and What’s Next
In my case, I decided to give up after six months. While I still might occasionally post to Google Plus, I won’t put in a lot of time into continuing to develop my presence on that platform. Instead, I’ll focus on what is working. While I was evaluating Google Plus, I also was starting to increase my content on Twitter. And that’s been much more positive and useful, with several different engagements on my tweets. My following has grown, and with every new engagement, I’m pushed out to a potential new client. This, in addition to my continued Facebook and Instagram growth, seem to be my top three networks that I’ll be focusing on for 2018.
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