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Google+’s Photo Spheres Will Change Your Law Firm Marketing

There aren’t a lot of lawyers on Google+, even though there should be. When I’m not blogging here, playing with The Droid Tots, or trying to make money as a lawyer, I’m chatting with others on Google+.

Google Plus Screenshot

Google+ is one of those social media sites, so if you’re not into the social media scene, you’re probably not going to like Google+.

For those who are interested, Google+ offers video chats, called Hangounts, direct messaging/chats, and a place to store photos. There are a number of different “Communities” that may interest you and clog your feed page. You can find your Google+ feed here, or by clicking your +Name in the upper left hand corner of your Google account.

Google+ Name

But Google+ offers something more interesting, and maybe even useful, than just as a social media site. In particular, Google+ offers “auto awesome” pictures and photo spheres.

Photo Spheres are a new element offered in the Android 4.3 camera app. Thankfully, you don’t need Android 4.3 (though it’s awesome) to run the new camera. You can download and install the app.

Photo spheres are those painstakingly-created, fully-immersive, 360 degree photos we’re used to seeing from real estate agents trying to hock a less-than-perfect (or gem) home. Those pictures used to take time, money, and software to create.

Fortunately, the Android 4.3 camera app has a photo spheres feature that allows you to whip out a semi-quick picture. You can check out some photo spheres I took on The Great Adventure 2013 here and here.

Photo spheres enhance the world around us, which is what I believe is Google’s ultimate goal. Thus, Google’s also provided a method for uploading photo spheres to Google Maps.Note too, Google+ is not required, but it helps.

I got to thinking about a law firm marketing possibility after playing with a few Maps uploads of my own photo spheres.

I decided to use a photo spheres to showcase our office environment. For instance, I took this photo sphere of our new office:

New Office Panorama

The photo sphere gives a detailed look at the inside of our office, and hopefully offers a comforting engagement to prospective clients. Of course, you could also give your clients the virtual tour by going through every inch of your office, similar to Google Street View.

I’m quite certain that the more content, especially picture and image content, you submit, the more “Google relevant” your law practice will be. Of course, I suspect there’ll still be those attorneys who just don’t get marketing, and will “photo-brag” their achievements.

As you can see from my examples, photo spheres take work to be really good. So, practice. Here’s a few tips to take better photo sphere shots:

  • Keep taking shots (start over if you have to)
  • Slow down
  • Grab uniform coverage across the sphere
  • Watch out for plain walls or surfaces that will create difficulty interpreting
  • Be patient
  • Be cautious of “oversharing” (photo spheres use GPS to pin-point locations, so be cautious about where you’re sharing

When you link your photo sphere with Google Maps, you’re really elevating your law firm’s subtle and non-pushy marketing tactics.

If you’re interested in getting more Google+ involved, check out these fun communities:

Get this app on Google Play

6 Responses to Google+’s Photo Spheres Will Change Your Law Firm Marketing

  1. Paul McGuire says:

    I think you are still better off taking a few well-composed shots with your phone. Every attempt I’ve made to do a photo sphere it just looked painfully bad. Then again I’ve always hated the fisheye look. Since the camera on your phone is good enough to mostly make you ditch other cameras, you will get much more out of it if you use it like an ordinary camera. Then again maybe that is just my inner photographer talking.

    • I can partially agree with that statement, but I’m loving the photo sphere function even more after joining the Google+ group.

      Basically, I’ve learned that the best photo spheres are tripod based, which is probably the reason most people have problems with theirs. The trick is to keep your phone in the same axis, and on the same plane, for the entire picture-taking process.

      • shonangreg says:

        I think the closer the objects in the frame, the more important it is to have minimal deviation from rotating around a central point. The CCD or CMOS should actually be the center, right, if you want to do it perfectly? I don’t think any tripod will keep the center once you start rotating the camera up and down, though. It is easier to do that by hand.

  2. Forrest Ward says:

    Look into Google Business Photos, which is Google’s premium virtual tour service, a professional photographer will come out and do all the work for a reasonable fee, and then Google hosts it free on Google Search, Google Maps, and other Google Products. Photo Sphere is great for personal use, but Google Business Photos is the some of the most visually effective marketing available today.

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