Google’s new social network, Google+, is woefully lacking in customization options. One feature, however, the Scrapbook photo album — the row of five images across the top of the business page — is something merchants can utilize to showcase products and build brand identity.
This article, the second in a two-part series, lists examples from ten larger companies that could provide you with some creative spark. Part one — “How to Use Google+ Scrapbook Photo Album to Showcase Your Products” — discussed how to set up Scrapbook and upload, delete and edit images contained in it.
During the holiday season, department store chain Macy’s made use of its red and white color scheme for its “Believe” marketing campaign.
Auto manufacturer BMW used Scrapbook for its new BMW X6 model by showing profiles of the car from different angles.
Rather than use different photos, Pepsi took a single image and sliced it into five separate ones, creating an eye-catching banner effect. Merchants can easily mimic this treatment by using an online app called GPlusPic which automatically slices an image into five cropped segments.
Lowe’s, the home-improvement retailer, follows Pepsi’s lead, but goes one better. Rather than limiting the sliced single image effect to the photo row, it includes the logo, as well. GPlusPic, the app mentioned above, also facilitates this treatment.
Wireless provider AT&T takes a more traditional approach and incorporates images of cell phones in its Scrapbook album.
Radio Shack takes a hybrid approach that combines the sliced single image effect used by Pepsi and groups it with photos of different wireless phones and circuit boards configured in an offset, puzzle-like manner that compels the visitor to stop and take a closer look.
Fashion retailer H&M showcases different clothing styles from its product catalog on Scrapbook.
Online retailer Zappos uses Scrapbook differently than most. Rather than including photos, it uses a series of simple images to showcase the company’s five major product categories: Shoes, Clothing, Handbags, Beauty, and At Home. The images match Zappos’ blue color scheme and serve an attractive, but purely aesthetic function.
Restaurant.com incorporates its tagline — “Eat.Drink.Save Money” — into the series of photo images.
Travel site Kayak.com uses a similar tactic to Zappos. Kayak features its main categories — Flight, Hotels, Cars, Mobile, and MyTrips — but in a subdued, monochromatic way that mirrors the background color of the company logo. This treatment is unique in that it uses the opposite of what one would expect, photos of exotic destinations, to draw attention to its services.
Photos Include Descriptions and Comments
Each of these sites presents a different slant on how Scrapbook photos can enhance the look of the business page, giving it a more customized appearance.
Keep in mind that each of these photos can be clicked on to open in lightbox format. When I did that, on some of the brand pages photos appeared larger in scale and dimension.
There is a dialogue box located to the right of the images in the lightbox that allows a description and comments, which could be used to provide product information, special offers and links to the corresponding page on the merchant’s website. Oddly, none of the brands included on this list used those options.
Ways Merchants Can Use Scrapbook
Taking a cue from these above examples, there are a number of ways merchants can take advantage of Scrapbook.
- Post frequently updated product images;
- Use GPlusPic to create a banner effect, which could serve branding or promotional purposes;
- Present images that list product categories;
- Focus on aesthetics to design an image (or images) that provides a splash of color to complement the company logo;
- List logos of brands the merchant carries in his or her product catalog;
- Personalize the page with photos of the merchant and/or employees;
There are likely many more ways to use Scrapbook. View it not only as a means to customize your Google+ page, but also as a marketing tool to introduce and engage visitors with your brand.