Many of us are overwhelmed by the number of ‘must have’ social networks that keep cropping up on the Internet. Yes even I, the big social media proponent for artists, have been feeling this way. I am already managing two blogs, a strong Twitter profile, a Facebook Fan Page , YouTube channel, and Stumblupon account while juggling my art career and family.

So, I  actually felt a sense of trepidation last week when I joined the newest social network, Google Plus. 

But, I am happy to report that Google+ is just not another social network. G+ is also a blogging platform, micro-blogging site, email service, chat and video service, news feed, and more. It is graphically pleasing and easy to use.

Google calls it the “Google+ Project” and plans for it to reshape the company as it becomes the central part of Google’s whole identity. G+ has borrowed the best features from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to create a better and different social networking experience.

Here are my reasons why artists should join!

Google is in it to Win It!

Google is not some new little start-up. It is the wealthy search giant armed with valuable knowledge from two previously failed attempts. Google+ is competing for your time against Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But, only time will tell if ‘three’s a charm’. But, so far G+ is impressive and running full steam ahead and growing quickly. As of Tuesday, July 13, Google+ has added 11.5 million users and grew 22% in 24 hours.

Better Friend Management

The Google Circles are a true to life concept. Google+ allows us to create friendship circles like we make in real-life. Organize the people you interact with into groups, such as family, close friends or art buddies. Circles can be used to send out updates, images, links, or recent blog posts to a specific ‘circle’ of friends. This allows for better targeting marketing and networking with people. For instance, you can create a ‘ collectors circle’ and send them specific information about your art and upcoming events. I also created a circle with all the people who comment or reach out to me. Additionally, you can put people in multiple circles. The people you add to a circle get notified by Google that you’ve added them, but they will not know the name of your circle. There are also privacy settings that allow you to manage who sees or does not see your photos.

Target Your Message

This is one of my favorite features of G+.  The word ‘Public’ or ‘Limited’ is at the top right of each post. ‘Public’ (green button) posts can be seen by all of the Web, and ‘Limited’ only allows the content to be shared to a limited or selected circle or circles of friends. This is another great niche marketing opportunity. When you share a new update you will see this option is available. This feature helps you send out your message to the right people without spamming everyone.

google plus cirlces

Get a Head Start

You can wait and see what happens in a year, or you can join now a gain valuable networking opportunities.  I encourage you to join in and start networking with friends, business associates, and following influential people. Don’t be afraid to start experimenting and engaging, and watch to see what happens.

Great Profile and Branding Capabilities 

The easy to access Google+ profile is a huge improvement over both Facebook and Twitter. In the image below you can see my bio (I cropped it down bio for this post) as well as my important links and social media channels that are readily accessible. This is a great way to show who you are and what you do, make your mark and brand memorable and  show some personality.

Great Photograph Management and Labeling

Google+ allows you to share photos. When viewing photographs on Google + you can still ‘tag’ in it like on Facebook. Just make a small square around their faces, and type in their name in the box below. Once you label an image, G+ warns people that they have been labeled which gives them a direct opportunity to remove label.

I have been really impressed with the large image format that is available. This is a great art marketing opportunity for visual artists.

photo google+

Edit Your Update

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Google+ allows you to edit your update. This comes in handy when you return to your stream only to find a typo! This is a great improvement.

Consolidate into One Social Network

Some experts think that Google+ can replace Facebook and nearly every form of online communication. With its advance user interface, G+ can radically simplify your life for all your online social networking. Mike Elgan boldly states, “Don’t think of Google+ as yet another social site to deal with. Think of it as the only social site you have to deal with.”

***I still love Twitter and Facebook, but my gut tells me that Google+ is here to stay! There is much more to learn, but I hope this post was helpful. Let’s meet on Google+ http://gplus.to/lorimcnee ~Lori 🙂

You might like to read: http://www.masey.com.au/2011/07/10-tips-for-google-plus-newbies/

…and here are some more interesting articles:

Create a Niche Market for Your Art in a Sea of Artists

Learn the Two Biggest Mistakes Artists Make with Social Media

The #PowerArtists Series! (Learn how these artists use social media to help their careers)

Social Media’s Top Stars Share Their Tips on Twitter

Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Twitter Image and Following

5 Reasons Why Artists Need Social Media & Eye Opening Stats to Back it Up!

How to Reach Beyond Your Niche on Twitter

Social Media’s Top Stars Share Their Tips on Twitter

10 Tips to Bring Visitors  to Your Art Fair Booth or Open Studio

How to Make Your Art Portfolio Current & Competitive