They said "print is dead!" They also said the Internet…
This week we’re sharing our top four strategies to engage people on Facebook and ultimately help get more potential clients through the door. These tips are from our The Photographer’s Guide to Facebook which you can download here.
Being active on Facebook doesn’t solely mean pushing content to your audience—what you’re trying to do is build a community, or a conversation, around your photography brand or what inspires you. With that in mind, think about how you can generate con- versations that will last. Conversations can help produce more likes, shares, and of course, comments, which all help increase your Facebook exposure. This tip is one of four and comes from our The Photographer’s Guide to Facebook, which you can download here.
Tip #3: Be Social
1. Respond to comments, react to your audience and actively engage whenever you can.
Also visit other pages and engage with their own content through likes, comments, and shares. For example, check out this post from the photography blog, Petapixel, asking “which type of photographer are you?” The question asks you to engage with the link they’ve posted and respond. When you read through blogs or share your own posts, think about what questions you can ask in connection to an article that would open the floor and encourage responses. Also see this great example from wildlife photographer Elliot Neep.
2. Use hashtags.
A more recent feature, Facebook hashtags operate in a similar way to Twitter. By adding hashtags that are relevant to your Facebook posts (ie: #photography, #photojournalism, or the hashtag of a specific photo event you attended), this will move your content into a larger conversation that others can look for in the Facebook search bar. Here’s a short beginner’s guide to optimizing hashtags on Facebook.
3. Tag people or vendors you’ve worked with.
A great way to keep people interested in your page is by making them literally a part of it. By tagging your clients in session images, or a vendor you worked with, you’ll give the friends of your clients a chance to see your post (friends of friends can usually see the image you posted of them once it has been tagged) even though they may not follow your page. Because of this, images that are tagged are far more likely to be shared. Not sure your client wants to be tagged? Send them an email first and ask. Award-winning wedding photographer Lisa Devlin has mastered tagging her clients, and also vendors like floral shops, make-up artists, shoe stores, parks, and locations, which all dramatically increase engagement.
Asking questions or feedback from your community is a great way to encourage activity with your content. Most people like to help and give opinions, so open-ended questions are an opportunity to let them do that. For example, is there a portfolio review you want to ask if your community thinks is worth signing up for? Is a photographer battling a copyright lawsuit and you want to ask people their thoughts on the issue? Are you curious to know what people are shooting over the weekend? In the same vein, you can also offer your opinion about these same topics.
If your opinion is different than most, your post may attract even more attention. Whenever you do pose a question, make sure you keep tabs on comments so you can respond in a timely fashion. Nature photographer and PhotoShelter member Mike Cavaroc says, “It’s best to respond promptly whenever someone communicates with you on Facebook. This gives the follower a sense that they’re communicating with someone who’s actively listening. People want to know that there’s a real human behind the screen, and they’re not talking to a brick wall.”
The advantage to real dialogue on Facebook is that you may also make some excellent connections that can translate offline. You may even connect with your favorite established or emerging photographers by keeping tabs on 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.
Download The Photographer’s Guide to Facebook for more detailed tips and tricks today!