Miss Lori has 7 suggestions for creating an engaging Google+ PhotoEssay

Are you using Google+? I don’t mean are you just on it, I mean are you actually using it? I must admit I wasn’t really either, despite my friend Chris Brogan’s constant urging. I wasn’t until I started working with Collective Bias throughout their Social Fabric Network. Joining SF added a new word to my vocabulary, Shoppertunity. To complete a Shoppertunity I am required to create Google + photoessays to document my shopping experiences. The instructions were pretty straightforward: Pictures of brands, products, environments etc. It sounded easy, but I I knew that I would never satisfied with just pictures, I would want what I always want, a story; a real, interesting and engaging story that my audience would feel compelled to read though to the end. But how do you do that about a shopping event? The same way you do about any event, by brining the audience inside your experience, making them a confidant. That close friend you whisper in the ear of while at a cocktail party. Include your audience in your asides, the little extras you notice, the jokes that aren’t obvious to the casual observer. Let them hear your inside voice and they will know and trust your authenticity. Tall order? I promise it’s not. Here’s a few simple suggestions to get you on your way.

1. Take your pictures with your story in mind. It’s not about the camera you use.. You can use your phone, it’s about what is in your minds’ eye when you take the pictures. This means that you don’t just take a picture because it is pretty, you take it because:

  • The picture has the right branding in the background or foreground.
  • The picture is going to help your audience understand the message you are trying to deliver to them.
  • The picture includes people. People who will want to tag themselves, or people who your audience will want to see and get to know better.
  • The picture will give your audience deeper insight into how you think and engage.
  • The picture is inviting, funny or just plain unexpected.

2. When framing your pictures try to catch people with a little light in their eyes.  Don’t be afraid to arrange or rearrange items in the background to create a scene that compliments your story. Take photos from different angles and levels to keep your story interesting. No reason to be conventional, we are talking social media! You want to provide a variety of perspectives. And don’t forget to get a picture or two of yourself. Why you shouldn’t be showcased in your own story?

 

3. Upload your pictures to your computer first to review the order of your story. If it doesn’t unfold naturally in the order that you took the pictures, rename the files with numbers or letters to represent the order that you need for your story. Why? Because it’s a lot easier to do the arranging before you upload your photos to Google+ than after.

4. Now it’s time to upload your pictures to your photos section on google+. You can drag and drop or you can select all of your photos directly from your computer. I find it is easier to upload the mother load of photos at one time than one by one.

 

5. Once you have uploaded the pictures it’s time to start adding the captions. Remember this is a story, so it requires a beginning, a middle, and an end. If you have been following my instructions you have already given a lot of thought to your story already, so adding the captions should be very easy. It’s not about being a fanciful wordsmith, it’s about keeping your audience engaged. You know how to do that, you’re on social media after all. The captions don’t have to be in tweetable amounts, but they shouldn’t be too epic either, just enough to push the action forward and keep your audience wanting to move ahead to the next photo. You also want to make sure that you include hashtags and disclosures if warranted. And I encourage you to close with something related to you or your personal brand. I always use my tag line “SMILE On!”

6. Now that uploading and captions are all complete the last task is tagging. The more you tag the better. If you are producing this for a brand make sure you investigate their Google+ id so that you can include them in the story. Brands just like children like to see themselves, (their products), in pictures. It’s equally important to identify fellow social media influencers, because they will help aggregate your story, pushing it further than you can yourself. (Simple rules of social engagement.)

 

7. Lastly, it’s time to share your story. Be sure you make it public. A story is only useful when it can be seen and read by the masses.

This process isn’t just for Shoppertunities, it works for all of your event stories. Just stay true to yourself, for brand and your audience and you will be fine.

Are you ready to get started? You can do it, I know you can. But don’t hesitate to ask me for more advice, I’m ready and willing. That’s what friends are for, right?

SMILE On!

ML

This is a * Level 8 post: Although not specifically compensated for this post, Miss Lori has an ongoing relationship with a company connected with a product, service or location mentioned in this post that Miss Lori feels may have influenced her decision to post about it.

Miss Lori can be found Musing from her Minivan at MissLori.TV , Wearetherealdeal.com , YoungChicagonista ,ChicagoMomsBlog , and ChicagoMoms.com. You can also see her Activating to Be Great at Miss Lori’s CAMPUS on YoutubeFacebookTwitter TOUT and LinkedIn. Miss Lori participates in the Clever Girls Collective, Social RevUp and Collective Bias Social Fabric networks. She is also a Nintendo Enthusiast. A Tropicana Tropimomma, and a FitFluential Ambassador.

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Comments

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  2. What great tips! You know I never thought about the whole tagging thing. I usually just avoid tagging because I never understood the relevance. You always have such great and helpful articles! Thanks!!

  3. Great tips! Thanks for the insight!

  4. Hey Mimi,

    Thanks for reading the post. I don’t include hashtags in every caption, just where I think it is appropriate to the story. I include my disclosure in the introduction to the post when I share it officially, and in the last, or next to last photo caption of my Google+ story. I totally agree with staying away from the “spammy” look. Keep up the good work!

    SMILE!

    ML

  5. I try to keep my story going as if we’re just walking through my day or trip. Do you put hashtags in every single caption? Do you make a statement in each photo that it’s a paid shop? I want my captions to be natural and it seems if I do that it’s more “spammy”? I’m not sure I’m saying that right. What do you think?