Newsweek's Senior International Photo Editor, Jamie Wellford, has been at…
In 2010, we wrote the Social Media Guide for Photographers and urged you to get on board with social media. Today we know that we don’t need to tell you that it’s time to get on your social media game – but it’s no secret that platforms like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter are constantly changing, and at times it can be hard to keep up.
The Photographer’s Social Media Handbook Part I and Part II is here to help you sort through those changes. This 2-part handbook addresses key tactics and strategies to help you, the photographer, optimize each platform, with focus on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
As if you needed any more convincing, here’s a sneak preview of what’s inside the handbook:
5 Ways Social Media Can Help Your Photography Business
1. Brand Building
Sharing relevant content via social media can help you become well-known within your specialty or enable you to establish credibility on a specific topic related to your photography. This can provide an essential foundation for photographers aiming to generate interest and awareness of their work.
2. Managing Relationships
Many of your current clients, partners, and colleagues are already engaging in social media, which is why you want to be where the conversation is occurring and provide multiple “touch points” – convenient ways to interact with you on their terms. Social networks like Twitter can be helpful for client support, as connecting online may provide opportunities for you to become aware of and help solve the challenges your clients are communicating via social media.
More broadly, social media can provide an ideal channel for updating clients on recent shoots and creative projects, sharing details of achievements and successes, or driving more personal connections in your professional relationships by taking an interest in others’ updates.
3. Direct Sales Generation
While directly offering products and services for sale seems like the most logical use of social media, this is a tactic that must be handled with, well…tact. Social media is intended to be a two way dialogue, and regularly screaming “Hire me! Buy my photos!” will turn people off fast. However, there is also a recognition and acceptance that social media is for both business and personal uses, so some level of promotion is acceptable.
If you first build trust and credibility by participating and listening, adding value, stimulating conversation, and genuinely helping others, those people will appreciate some self-promotion too – especially if they have an affinity for the brand you’ve created. The common rule of thumb? It is acceptable for 10% of your messages to be self-promotion. That’s 1 out of every 10 posts. Try it – it’s a humbling exercise for an entrepreneur.
4. SEO Rankings
Because social networks foster a culture of sharing, your followers are likely on the lookout for relevant links to share with their own community. This social sharing increases the likelihood that more people will see, share, and potentially link to your compelling content. Social networks also afford a way to momentarily arrive on the first page of search results. Because the major search engines now index tweets and display them within the first page of search results – your tweets containing (carefully selected) keywords can get top billing, albeit for a brief moment in time.
In the past year or so, most SEO experts agree that social media participation is of increasing importance to your overall SEO success, meaning that search engines increasingly account for social media influence and engagement when determining their own rankings.
5. Inspiration & Feedback
When you start building a strong network of peers and other thought leaders, you’ll be amazed at what you can pick up, even without asking for it. Whether you choose to interact via Google+, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn or a healthy mix of each, you’ll suddenly have access to new ideas for pushing your own creativity.
You’ll be influenced by the work of others. You’ll have rich conversations about improving technique. You can even solicit opinion and support on the full spectrum of issues – from pricing your photography to negotiating sticky client issues to creating a rapport with a new model, etc. You’ll connect with your favorite established and emerging photographers across multiple social venues and pay attention to their posts to see how they’re evolving both their businesses and techniques. If you feel comfortable engaging in a dialogue about these issues, share your opinion and ask for theirs.
Want more? Download the 2012 Photographer’s Social Media Handbook (Parts I & II) for FREE by clicking here: