Google+ vs. Facebook
I will be traveling for the next 2 weeks so my blog posts will be intermittent throughout the duration.
I have been furiously digesting information related to beginning and maintaining an online business presence both for myself as a photographer and for a series of articles I'm writing related to starting a photography business for Landscape Photography Magazine. Much of the process of setting up a legal identity, writing a business plan, and developing products has remained fairly static over the years subsequent to the rise of the internet and social media, while marketing those products as well as your business as a whole has changed and continues to change almost on a daily basis. My third article in the series will spotlight my findings and give some guidance about how to setup an online presence and navigate through the plethora of social media which have become important marketing tools.
Google+ and Facebook are the largest online social media interfaces, and though much popular opinion suggests they serve the same purpose, I interact with completely different groups of people on each site. From my point of view, Facebook is a connecting point for people I know, used to know and want to reconnect with, and who I want to have conversations with on a regular basis. It's become an extended family. Though some of my "friends" are casual acquaintances who live within my local area, I enjoy the banter and stories shared which can be understood in the context of community and be of a personal nature. I do have a Facebook Page for my photography, but have yet to delve into the marketing opportunities Facebook keeps reminding me of every time I post a blog or photograph. I struggle with blanketing this community of friends, family, and followers with cheesy ads.
Google+, on the other hand is a totally different set of faces. I have linked with a few Facebook "friends" there, but most of my contacts on G+ are people I've never physically met and who live all over the world. Though I initially joined to share my photography and find communities of photographers, I have been pleasantly surprised with the number of other groups gathered there who share ideas, links, stories, and photos and who engage with all the different people I am. In addition to photography groups focusing on nature, landscapes, and macro that categorize postings by gear, processing, genre, among other easily accessible information, I've also joined groups targeting ideas in science, psychology, art, marketing, search engine optimization, e-book publication, and philosophy.
For me, Facebook is like sitting down to a large spaghetti dinner at the community hall with neighbors, family, close friends, and people I haven't seen since high school and sharing past lives and current dreams.
G+ is like traveling overseas, meeting someone in a cafe who invites you home for a meal, and finding through conversation common interests and connections.
You probably won't find your grandmother on G+ and you may not have extended search features and reach on Facebook, but regardless of the platform, you'll get fed.
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