Love it or hate it, Social Media is here to stay and regardless of how you feel about it you are going to have to get used to it and learn how to use it if you want to market your business effectively. Beginning this month is going to be a series of articles on Social Media, why you need it, which ones are good to use, and how to use them.
You need to be where everyone else is
If you are trying to market your photography business by placing ads in the local paper, you might be finding that you are not getting anywhere. When people go searching for someone today they use Google, so you need to make sure that your name comes up there.
It is the same with social media. Everyone is on it, including your potential clients, and you need to be there too.
Use Social Media for business not social
Remember when you are using the different platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, etc., that you are there for business. You should always be professional and only show your best work. Everything you put on the site should be there to help showcase you and your work. When you are running a business, social media isn’t about making friends, it is about finding customers.
Keep personal and business separate
It would be easy to put personal things on your site, but if you are advertising your business then it is no place to show everyone what you had for dinner last night, unless your business is food photography. If you want to be able to do that then have separate sites, one for business and one for personal.
Follow people who you want to reach out to
It is easy to fall into the trap of following everyone, but you need to be careful. Take care with who you choose to follow and don’t do pity follows, or just follow someone because they followed you. People do look at how many followers you have and how many you follow. The numbers should be different. You need to make sure it looks like the people who are following you are doing
so because they like your work.
Consider the platform and what it is best for
There are so man
y different platforms for social media and it is hard to keep up with them all. You could spend all day on the computer or your phone if you tried to use them all. Take the time to look at them all and see which ones are best for you. What sites can you use and get the best benefits from?
How much time do you have?
If you are time poor, then consider just doing one platform. Be consistent with it and put your energies into that one. Once you have mastered it you might be able to consider using another one.
Concentrating on one is better than trying to spend your time on several sites and not doing a very good job on any of them.
Being consistent, both in the amount of times you post and in the work that you post. Get into a regular rhythm with how often you post. Some people might do it once a day, or once a week, but do it the same. If you post every day for a while and then one week do it just the once then you start to lose the engagement with your audience.
The work you show should also be consistent. If you are a portrait photographer, then always show portrait images. If you suddenly start putting up other work, landscapes for example, then it looks like you are not sure about what you are doing.
I recently heard a good example of this: if you are having a heart attack and get to the hospital and there are two doors, one for a general practitioner, the other for a heart specialist, which door will you enter? It is the same with photography, show people what you do and what you are good at. If you want to do portraits, just show those. Use other sites for other photography.
Often the platform you choose will become your portfolio. It will help showcase your work and be where many clients and be where many of your clients discover you. You need to consider what your potential customers are seeing and which social media platform will be the best for that.
Not all business
Perhaps, as I’ve said, it should be treated for business, but you also can’t just sell sell sell. People will unfollow you if you are always trying to sell your business. There has to be other things there as well.
For example, if you are using Facebook and have a fan page or business page, consider the mix of 75% to 25%, which means share other types of photography tips and tricks as well. Maybe share articles written by other photographers. Become the photographer that is capable of taking portraits, but also someone to follow because you show interesting posts as well that are connected to the business you are in.
Come up with a Social Media plan
Thinking about what to put up all the time can be time consuming and stressful. One of the best ways to deal with this is to have a plan. Think about a week’s worth of posts and when you should post them. What do you think your customers will like? What time of the day are they going to be using their own social media sites? These need to be considered when coming up with your plan.
Remember that we are in Australia, so the best times of the day are not going to be when American audiences are up, unless they are your customers.
Who is your audience? If you are a portrait photographer, your audience might be families or young couples getting married. Work out how to reach them. Don’t put up things that would not interest your audience or customers. If you are trying to attract families, then putting up fine art nudes might offend them and you will lose them.
We will take a look at the various platforms and which ones are the most popular.