Social Media Strategies to Improve your Photography Business

Most photographers get into the field to pursue their passion; it’s when they start to plan the business aspects that they hit the road bumps. Most experiences photographers will tell you that you can’t expect to get booked simply because you have good pictures.

The only way to become relevant in your niche is to consistently stay in front of your audience. Social media plays a huge part in this – it gives you exposure to your target audience, peers in the industry, and experts at the same time. It is thus an invaluable resource for getting new opportunities and growing your business.

WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA?

Social media is a platform that allows you to share, interact, and engage with your followers. Generally, the social media platforms used are free, however there is always a hidden catch – eventually you’ll have to pay money for these platforms to connect with even more of target audience.

Social media includes Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Snapchat, YouTube, Tumblr, etc.

WHY USE SOCIAL MEDIA?

There is a saying in the marketing world… meet your audience where they are. Your audience is hanging out on social media, which means a photographer needs to have a social media presence.

So, what’s the big social media secret to success?

Well, the goal of social media is to engage clients. To achieve this, you should consider two things: the content you share and the way you share it. The point is to get your audience talking, acting, and encouraging others to do the same. The more engagement you get – the more likely it is that you will convert your followers to clients.

Social Media Builds Brand Perception

The purpose of social media is to create, build, and nurture lasting and meaningful relationships with real people, some of whom will naturally become your clients.

Photography is Part of Brand Personality

Your logo, the colours you use on your website and blog, and the language you use in your marketing, are all important elements of your brand. But, so are things like your approach, philosophy about photography, and the experience you give your clients.

IMPROVE YOUR VISIBILITY ON SOCIAL MEDIA

TIP #01

Create and Maintain your Portfolio

The type of photos you take define the sort of photography business you are into. For all the genres of photography that you do, display a small collection of your best shots.

These are the shots that will be the face of your business, the shots that people will see when they visit your website or business page on any social media channel. Update your collection once you have better photos to replace the older ones.

TIP #02

Start Small, Start Right

Find the right platform that’ll serve the right purpose for your business.

• Give it a simple name

• Add all relevant contact information as well as your business location and all other related information.

• Share your page with close friends, with the goal of reaching over a hundred or more followers, so you can bring Instagram into the picture.

TIP #03

iMAGES

When taking pictures, the photographer should always consider the particular platform on which it is posted to create an image that suits it.

Make an Impact with your Photos: your images are your work. They speak for you, so you have to know how to use them to your advantage.

TIP #04

cONTENT

Your content should add value. Show a bit of your process and give small tips to encourage engagement and growth online. This will make it more likely for your audience to relate with your post, as well as increase your ranking on social algorithms.

Blogging is another way to build your online presence and get eyes on your portfolio. You can write blogs giving advice, updating your followers about new projects you’re working on, or an event you enjoyed shooting at.

Remember, a brand can deliver human experiences – so, speaking through human experiences produce great stories that resonate with people, which then makes your content relevant.  

TIP #05

Have a YouTube Channel

Having a YouTube channel works if you make occasional tutorials, and also if you make time-lapse or hyper-lapse videos. They are a great way to get more viewers and earn from YouTube too. 

TIP #06

Consistency

The key to any form of online marketing is consistency.

Be Consistent to Stay Relevant: unlike the real world, social media tends to move at a much quicker pace. Without consistency, you are driving your audience into the hands of more regular competitors.

Post Often, But Not Too Much: Ideally, you should be posting at least two to three times a week – be it pictures, content, or both.

Brand Identity: Everything should be tailored to match the look and feel of your brand. 

TIP #07

Make your Content Discoverable

Ensure your website has links to all your accounts, on all various active platforms. Also, in each of your social media accounts, add links to your site and other social media accounts. Share content from one platform in other and encourage your viewers and followers to share and engage as much as possible.

Know your Audience: Producing content that you know your audience would like is very important, that makes it appealing and relevant in their lives.

Get the Format Correct: Correct format also has the ability to capture a particular mood, which is very important in digital storytelling. Photographers want their viewers to see a photo like this and be moved to the scene.

TIP #08

Attention to detail

The best way to take a better photo for your social media is to simply capture your business vibe.

Bring your Audience Behind the Scenes: Let people into your world by snapping behind-the-scenes shots of your everyday business routine.

Set the Scene for the Main Action: All your photos should be taken with a clean background to really make your social media stand out and look professional. With this, the subject of the photo will pop more, and your social feeds and website will look more clean and professional. 

TIP #09

Be Active Everywhere

Maintain all those online accounts by being active – by engaging with each platform and having a notable online presence. You can do this alone, or you can always have someone else help you manage your business online, once it has grown. 

TIP #10

Use Social Media Tools

There are a lot of social media management tools available now that can make your life easier when it comes to managing multiple social media profiles. Most of these tools let you create posts and publish them on multiple platforms in one go. 

TIP #11

Show Value

Stories that demonstrate meaning and have a sense of giving back sticks with people.

Inspire and Add Value: People love being associated with a brand that tell inspirational stories that resonate with them because they believe it is bettering their moral fibre. The brand should focus on the lifestyle your products promise with an emphasis on the morals of your brand.

Sell a Lifestyle Along with your Product: Instagram is the perfect place to showcase high-quality images of your product and that lifestyle that comes with it. Each image should make your audience fall in love with your product or the lifestyle it brings them.

THE DO’S AND DON’TS

1.    DO consider the social media the image is posted on, DON’T create one image for all platforms.

2.    DO tell a story through your photo, DON’T post something that doesn’t add value to the audience or resonate with them.

3.    DO post in consistent times with respect to the brand identity feel, DON’T post too frequent or irregular.

4.    DO focus on few elements in each photo and study your background in order to make the subject pop, DON’T clutter your image with many irrelevant elements to the main subject.

5.    DO consider your audience in each photograph taken, DON’T post anything that your audience wouldn’t relate to.

6.    DO use natural lighting in photos, DON’T use flash and overly harsh exposures.

7.    DO shoot in an authentic environment, DON’T go for staged locations.

8.    DO show motion, movement and natural reactions in photos, DON’T shoot staged, rigid photos that do not reflect life. 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PLATFORM

When you first get into social media, it may seem like you have infinite options to put out all your great ideas. A little more time goes by, and you’ll realize the work that goes into managing each account and how frustrating it can get.

Focusing your attention on one to three social media accounts, and putting your best into it, tend to be more effective. Choosing the right platform could make or break your business and some serious thought needs to be put into it.  

FACEBOOK

Facebook has become a viral medium of communication. To best utilize Facebook to help establish a better photographic business you should create a page for your photography studio. By doing this you’re not only showing your work, but you can also establish working links via messages. Facebook pages also include analytics that can help you determine how effective and engaging your activity is.

Ads can you run on your Facebook page:

  • ·         Advertising discounts on photo shoots, in sale of products, events
  • ·         Post pictures of your latest session
  • ·         Add links to your website or blog
  • ·         Host competitions
  • ·         Make a “behind-the-scenes”
  • ·         Share news or content that you are inspiring

In addition to engaging people through your page, you can also pay to boost a post or advertise on Facebook. These can help you target users outside your network and reach those who may not have seen your page.

Best Time to Post

The best times to post publications on Facebook are from Wednesday to Saturday, within hours between 1-4 pm, given that is the range of hours where you can attract more audience.

Pro Tip: another important aspect of customer care is messages on your page. If you can get a consistent rate in which you answer emails in a maximum period of 5 minutes, Facebook will add a badge to your profile signifying your quick response. 

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is a space to display a virtual portfolio where you can easily share photos, add effects, and even make compositions thanks to applications like Layout.

The essential aspects that you must learn with Instagram are primarily how to capture your desired target audience and focusing your efforts to share content which is able to attract that specific audience. Using hashtags can help you be selective; however, the following hashtags are running the photographic community in general:

  • ·         Photography
  • ·         Photographer
  • ·         Adobe
  • ·         Nikon
  • ·         Canon
  • ·         Camera
  • ·         Outdoors
  • ·         Edit
  • ·         Postproduction
  • ·         Photoshop
  • ·         PS
  • ·         LR
  • ·         Lightroom

As you can see, they are very generic hashtags, and use of these can help you increase the volume of spectators following your profile.

Best Time to Post

Make a strategy of committing to one or two posts per day during peak hours: 7-9 am and 4-6 pm. As a mobile platform, you can use pictures you capture with your Smartphones, photographs downloaded to the Smartphone, or directly resort to applications like Latergramme to schedule posts from your PC and publish them at your convenience from virtually anywhere.

Pro Tip: Using tolls such as Hashtagify, you can make searches more relevant, searching hashtags from keywords, with which you become a more select audience. Another useful strategy is to follow large audience profiles, tagging on your publications to those profiles or using them as hashtags.

PINTEREST

Instagram is a space to display a virtual portfolio where you can easily share photos, add effects, and even make compositions thanks to applications like Layout.

The essential aspects that you must learn with Instagram are primarily how to capture your desired target audience and focusing your efforts to share content which is able to attract that specific audience. Using hashtags can help you be selective; however, the following hashtags are running the photographic community in general:

  • ·         Photography
  • ·         Photographer
  • ·         Adobe
  • ·         Nikon
  • ·         Canon
  • ·         Camera
  • ·         Outdoors
  • ·         Edit
  • ·         Postproduction
  • ·         Photoshop
  • ·         PS
  • ·         LR
  • ·         Lightroom

As you can see, they are very generic hashtags, and use of these can help you increase the volume of spectators following your profile.

Best Time to Post

Make a strategy of committing to one or two posts per day during peak hours: 7-9 am and 4-6 pm. As a mobile platform, you can use pictures you capture with your Smartphones, photographs downloaded to the Smartphone, or directly resort to applications like Latergramme to schedule posts from your PC and publish them at your convenience from virtually anywhere.

Pro Tip: Using tolls such as Hashtagify, you can make searches more relevant, searching hashtags from keywords, with which you become a more select audience. Another useful strategy is to follow large audience profiles, tagging on your publications to those profiles or using them as hashtags.

OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS:

TWITTER

This is not a platform designed for photographers, however, you could use it as a place to share photos with links to your website.

500PX

Use as a virtual portfolio, and upload only your best images, leaving a link to your website or mail contact information to be able to attract potential customers, since you cannot interact with other users through messages. 

YOUTUBE

May work for your photography business if you have an active blog where you write tutorials or product reviews.

TUMBLR

Can be used as an alternative to contemporary blogs, but in general won’t contribute much in regards to attracting potential customers. 

PRACTICAL SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES

NUMBER 01

ASK QUESTIONS

Ask questions to your audience to engage them. Empower your followers by asking them questions, to give them the opportunity to share their experiences, their opinions, and their perspectives.

NUMBER 02

MAKE IT PERSONAL

Whatever strategy you pursue in social media, make sure it is authentic and real to yourself. Use your natural voice and share personal photos.

NUMBER 03

SHARE WHAT YOU LIKE

This allows you to build a following of people who think the same as you and share the same or similar life perspectives.

NUMBER 04

FOLLOW YOUR GUT

You will never know what is best, so just follow your gut. To be more authentic to yourself, put more trust in your own gut and intuition than data, page views, followers, and like numbers.

NUMBER 05

LESS IS MORE

The less frequently you post, the more traffic you will get. Also, the less you publish, the less “noise” there will be, and more “signal”.

NUMBER 06

1000 TRUE FANS

You don’t need a million followers. All you need is 1000 true fans to successfully monetize your photography, or to gain more critical acclaim for your photos. A true fan will attend your workshops, attend your seminars, purchase your products, books, or prints, or enjoy your work, and spread the work about you.

NUMBER 07

DON'T OBSESS OVER NUMBERS

Don’t judge your success as a photographer by the number of exhibitions you’ve had or the number of books you’ve published. Be confident in your own progress and development of your own style.

IN CONCLUSION

The important thing to know about every platform on which you interact is to show you personal style, which will help customers to identify with your work philosophy. Hiring the service of a graphic designer to design templates for your profiles on Facebook and Pinterest is a good idea to get a professional look to your profile for a small fee.

The quickest and easiest way to improve your social marketing game is to look at how others are doing it. What you want to do is build on the successful framework and make it your own.

Also, stay engaged on a regular basis. Social media is as much about customer service as it is about promoting yourself.

Regardless of what social media site you choose and how many of them you use – just let your personality and passion for photography show.

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