Social Media Advice | The Busy Photographer’s Guide To Social Media And Standing Out In A World That Won’t Shut Up
Social Media Advice | If you still think that Facebook and Instagram are social networks for high-school students, you’re up for a rude awakening! From its humble beginning as a network for college students only, Facebook has become one of the most important marketing tools for any business, big or small, thanks to its incredible user base – more precisely, more than 1.5 billion monthly active users as of September 30, 2015. However, Facebook is far from being the only social network you can use to grow your photography business.
In fact, choosing the right networks can feel overwhelming at times due to the sheer number of available options. Many photographers feel like the best course of action is not taking any action, because they’re afraid they will end up investing a lot of time and achieving very little. However, if you’re taking your business seriously, you can’t afford to ignore social media. There’s good news – once you set everything up, you’ll need only 15-20 minutes a day to maintain a strong presence. Here’s everything you need to know!
Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin | Social Media Advice
You might have private accounts on Facebook, Google+, even MySpace if that’s your thing (hey, we’re not judging!), but if you’re considering setting up accounts for your photography business, you’ll need to figure out who your ideal client is and where they spend their time. There’s no point in setting up an account on a network and spending your valuable time creating content if your potential clients don’t use it.
For example, if you’re targeting other business owners, you’ll want to focus on Twitter and Google+, as well as LinkedIn. However, we are talking about accounts for your photography business here, after all, which is why you’ll want to check out some of the more visual networks such as Instagram and Pinterest, where you can showcase your work and get more exposure for your brand.
Have A Solid Strategy | Social Media Advice
Building a social media presence is a marathon, not a sprint, and you’ll cross the finish line a lot faster if you have an actual game plan. Don’t post just when you feel like posting an update or when you want to instagram your lunch. Figure our when’s the best time to post and come up with a plan – for example, the best times to post on Facebook are 1–4 p.m. late into the week and on weekends, and the optimal times to tweet are 12–3 p.m., with a peak best time at 5 p.m. During the workweek is the best, though some niches might have more active audiences on the weekend.
Saturdays, on the other hand, are your best bet for reaching Pinterest users if that’s your target audience — and later at night, while Instagram audiences are engaged throughout the entire week, although Mondays get a little more attention. To make sure you reach your target audience effortlessly, you’ll want to look into scheduled posts and different platforms that enable you to create a publishing schedule, so you don’t have to do it manually.
But Leave Some Space For Winging It | Social Media Advice
Even when you come up with a social media strategy and set up a publishing schedule, your work is far from being done. You’ll need to make sure you’re staying on top of your game – remember, it’s called social media for a reason; it’s a two-way street, so don’t bombard your followers with generic sales message. Instead, engage them, reply to their mentions, messages and comments right away, and keep an eye out for dissatisfied clients. Respond to their complaints as soon as possible, especially if they’re public. Social media is as much about customer service as it is about promoting yourself.
Let Your Creativity Show | Social Media Advice
Photography is your thing – and you probably have it down to a T. However, if you’re hoping to stand out online, you’ll either need to find a way to “break the internet,” or create unique, interesting and creative content you can share with your imagery. For example, if you still haven’t set up a blog on your website, you’ll want to start thinking about it right now. Having a regularly updated blog will allow you to share tips and tricks your potential clients might be interested in, as well as funny situations behind the camera. This unique content will help you stand out from the sea of other photographers sharing the same generic content over and over again.
#Hashtags Are Vital | Social Media Advice
Pretty much every major social network, including Facebook as of recently, has enabled hashtags, a popular way of filtering topics that doubles as a powerful marketing tool. However, let us state the oh-so-obvious here: don’t overdo it. We’ve all seen those posts with 50 hashtags, some of which are completely unrelated to the content, and we’ve all rolled our eyes. Just don’t do it. Determine which hashtags your potential clients are using, find a way to use them organically and keep them relevant if you don’t want to frustrate your fans, friends, and followers.
Social media isn’t rocket science, no matter how complicated it may seem at first. And it doesn’t matter if you choose to use one social media site or a number of them, just let your personality and passion for photography show, engage your potential clients and the rest will follow.