Why social media is worth the effort for photographers

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Joined: 17 Jul 2012
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Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:23 pm    Post subject: Why social media is worth the effort for photographers Reply with quote

I'm sure that most people reading this will already be using social media in some form, twitter, facebook or linked in, so this article is designed to reflect on what can really be achieved with photographerís social media strategies, so you can re-evaluate how it is working for you.

Social media is often something that people can do themselves, which means you donít have to pay for it. But remember your time has a value and, if like many photographers you are self-employed, you have to be mindful of how effectively you spend your time, because chances are you donít have much to spare!

What can social media do for you?

Marketing experts agree that social media is a powerful tool and, if used well, can help you achieve the following:

1. Build brand awareness (yes, you and your particular skill or specialism is a brand)

2. Connect you with new customers

3. Drive traffic to your website/portfolio site

Social media works more effectively when itís combined with the marketing activities that photographers have been doing for years, such as sending out printed mailings, networking and getting in front of people with your portfolio. So make sure you balance your time with activity in these areas too.

Work out your strategy

Anyone with an ambition to use social media effectively as a new business or marketing tool needs to have a strategy in place first, to be clear about what they are trying to achieve. So lets look at some successful strategy ideas, which may be relevant for you:

1. Help people get to know more about you

Social media can be a great way to let people know more about you and understand your particular experience & specialisms, It can explain how you work or approach projects for example. It can tell people where you are based, where you are available to work and give insights into how you might work with them, and what you would be able to bring to a project. It gives people an insight into your personality, they feel like they know a bit more about you on a personal level which in turn strengthens their opinion about you. For clients who are also using social media, it can be a great way to keep in touch with them and keep them informed about what you are up to. For people to remember you, you need to stay top of mind, and regular postings or tweets are a great way to keep reminding people that you are there.

2. Join the conversation

Social media works best when it is a two way street. It is a great way to share ideas and information, to get feedback and opinion about ideas, images, projects etc.., and you can stay informed in real time about whatís happening in the areas of your interest, and by adding your own contributions, show you are involved and aware of whatís going on.

3. Promote yourself

You can use social media to promote yourself, and it is perfectly acceptable to mix personal and business messages. The watchword here though is balance. Social media is about sharing - contributing to and participating in two way conversations Ė promotional messages are really only a one way deal, so getting the balance of promotional messages to personal messages right is important, and the emphasis should always be on the personal messages. You need to use social media to get conversations going or to drive traffic to your website, and then find the right time to turn the chat into something more business specific.

4. Improve your SEO & site traffic

If you share, you will be shared. The more active you are, the more you will see your SEO and site traffic increase. The major search engines index tweets and display them on the first page of search results, and social media experts agree that social media participation is an increasingly important factor when defining search results. Donít underestimate the power of this. When we share content about our members we can see traffic spikes within seconds Ė literally! And we know itís from the social networks we are active on, because Google analytics shows us the source.

Making it work for you

1. Donít do everything!

Pick a couple of channels and dedicate regular time to working those. Start with ones that you enjoy or find easy at first, you need to really stick with this and that will make it easier. Trying to do too much at once can be overwhelming, time consuming and unproductive. Once you have got into a routine with a couple of channels, you can always start to add a few more.

2. Decide on a strategy

What do you want to get out of each of the channels that you use? Different social media channels have different strengths, so match your strategy to the social media channel you choose. Again, to start off with, stay in your comfort zone. Twitter is quick and easy (but addictive!), and can be a great way to have conversations with other photographers for example if you are looking to network, canvas opinion or stay up to date with whatís going on in the photography scene.

3. Donít forget to write!

It is easy for photographers to rely on their images when they are sharing content on social media. Writing isnít always a photographerís favourite pastime, but people are often very interested in knowing more about photographers and their work, so writing is important. Remember that your business prospects arenít photographers, so they will respond well to any insight or explanation you can give to your images.
Gabrielle O'Hare
Co-founder & Director of eposure.com
Promoting commercial photographers & the use of great photography by business
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Just Getting Warmed Up

Joined: 22 Jun 2006
Posts: 10
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:25 pm    Post subject: Nice list to start with but Reply with quote

Social media also must be treated like a "HOW" not just a " what". Follow me on this one please.
Remember when only a few people in the office needed to know how to use MS Word software? Everyone else did their job and lived a normal life without knowing how to create a doc in Word.

Jump forward to today. If you knew how to use Word, Outlook was an easy to step into. Then came Flash, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, indesign and blogs..... and even forums! Each layer of new technology was easier to understand because you learned WORD.
Think about it, Social media is the new "Word software". Friending, blocking, following, posting, timeline, podcast, vlogs, tweeting, circles, etc... A new language right?
It is not going away, so the better you know the language the better off you will be when the NEXT shift comes along. You do not have to be a PRO doing it, you just have to understand HOW it works.

Marketing has flattened out. the rules still apply and even more so now. But getting your message into the pipeline is much easier than it was 15 years ago.

Build your bonfire now! Think of your followers and links are you fuel. I joined Linkedin when it first launched. there were about 150 of us on it. I linked to most, but then left it for a very long time. If you are in that small group you know we get emails from the linkedin creators that nobody else gets. it is kinda fun, but anyway. the larger of a presence you have online while things are not "perfect" the faster it will grow when someone invents the "Match"( the addon, the app) that lights it onfire, you will want to have the largest group in place BEFORE that happens. not afterwards.
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Just Getting Warmed Up

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Photography business is one of the most popular business and also there are many competition that we can see in the market.So advertisement is the key to get a success for a photography.Social media is a great way to promote an any type of business.
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Joined: 16 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm always surprised at the number of immediate click-throughs I see when posting to Twitter. Makes me wonder about the effort I put into a traditional website! Obviously they can work together.
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Advertising is the major key source for getting popularity and brand recognition, without this people can't know the any type of information. So for the photographers this will adds the great value and boots up their business. Social media providing the great advertisement and traffic for our business.
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 10:27 am    Post subject: Why social media is worth the effort for photographers Reply with quote

Truly said, social media is a platform which not only helps to promote any brand or service to different types of customers but, it also helps to convey the message directly to the target audiences. Especially photographs helps more in promoting the business rather than any content. People don't have enough time to read any long content but a good photo or ad immediately affects people's mind rather than any content.
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