So Google Plus is a year old, and for me personally it’s been a wild ride. I have been able to meet a ton of new people from all walks of life, and some of those people have even become regular readers of ‘Lilith Dark’. It’s been a completely positive experience, and the community is awesome.
However, I’ve noticed that more than a few of my comic creating friends have not had the same experience that I have. Many are of the mindset that G+ is a “ghost town”, and that no one is there. Well, that’s simply not the case. You’re just doing it wrong.
For us independent comic creators, social media is largely how we get the word out about our work. Many of us use Facebook, but that’s pretty much for people we already know, and those fan pages aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, especially with some of the recent changes to how Facebook Page posts are served to those who have “liked” the page. Don’t even get me started on the whole “Promote” thing.
Many of us have found that Twitter is actually a great place to meet new people who might be interested in our work, and there’s quite a few people who’s work interests us! In my opinion, as far as marketing your comic goes, Twitter beats Facebook hands down. The whole network is set up so that you can interact with anyone, whether they follow you back or not. It’s an amazing network, and I’m a huge fan. I’ve met a ton of great people that have become actual in-real-life friends.
Twitter does have it’s limitations though. For one, the 140 character limit makes it tough to have a real conversation without sounding like caveman. Also, there’s still no real way to share images. I know some of you will argue that Twitter does have image uploading, but seriously, it stinks. I don’t see the image in my stream, so it isn’t a good solution. Google Plus is pretty much everything Twitter is, but without the 140 character limit, and images are right there in the stream! I’m an artist, I don’t want you to see my bitly link, I want you to see my art!
The biggest difference between Google Plus and Twitter in my eyes, is the fact that Twitter breeds a one way conversation, and G+ breeds an actual two way conversation. On Twitter, you can post what ever you’re doing, or a link, or a link to an image, and maybe someone will see it and maybe they’ll even retweet it. That’s about it. On G+, you post something, and people are encouraged to interact in some way, either by clicking the link, posting a comment, or by +1′ing (Google Plus’ version of Like). You can have a real conversation with other real people who have real opinions about whatever you’ve decided to post. G+ is very much like an old school forum that way, and it’s great.
So why aren’t your G+ posts getting any interaction? G+ is really simple if you do it right. Ask yourself these questions:
1. Have I circled (followed) enough people that share my interests?
This is not Facebook. You will need to follow strangers, just like Twitter. If you only circle 50 people who don’t post anything, then yeah your stream will be empty. If you don’t want to follow people you’ve never met and meet new people, then you will fail at G+. There are tons of carefully curated shared circles that you can follow right away, and your stream will light up with great stuff immediately.
2. Have I ever commented on anyone else’s posts?
Google Plus is designed to encourage TWO-WAY interaction. If you aren’t willing or interested in commenting on other people’s posts, then you will fail at G+. It’s that simple. It’s a new network, with new people. They don’t care about your comic because they have no idea who you are. Introduce yourself, be cool to others, and over time your audience will grow.
3. Are my only posts just ads for my comic?
Again, this is a new network with new people. They aren’t going to click your link because they don’t know who you are, and they don’t care. Accept it. Unless you’re famous, nobody knows you. With that in mind, be sure to share some content that you find interesting, or funny, or offer some advice on a topic that you’re knowledgeable about. would you go to a party and walk up to a group of people you’ve never met and hand them all comics that you’ve drawn and then walk away? Of course not, that’s weird. Well G+ is a party, and you’re the weird guy handing out comics. If this is all you’re doing, then you will fail at G+.
Tl;dr- Follow lots of people who share your interests, comment on other people’s posts, and post content that’s interesting and not just links to your comic. If you do those things, you will be well on your way to winning at G+.