Social Media for Photographers. Have you joined the conversation?


How much junk mail did you receive at home in the past week? Doesn’t it feel like an anachronism to kill trees to send information out that’s out-of-date by the time it reaches you? And while the trees are dying, other companies are encouraging you to follow them on Twitter or join their Facebook fan page. They are fostering social interaction with their brands, while building communities.

When you need something nowadays, do you find yourself flipping through a magazine waiting for an ad to inspire you?  Or do you Google for instant suggestions and comparisons?  Maybe you jump on Facebook and ask your friends for recommendations?
 
Marketing is changing everywhere in response to how we consume and share information, and the way you market your photography should be no different. Interruptive outbound marketing (like ads, direct mail, and even email) is losing ground to inbound marketing.  Inbound marketing focuses on optimizing your presence online so people can find you precisely when they’re looking for whatever it is you offer. Inbound marketing – making use of your website, your blog, SEO and social media – has become a powerful and efficient way to market a business – any business – including photography.


We’ve exhaustively explored SEO for photographers and have taught you how to measure and optimize your websites with Google Analytics.  We’ve seen plenty of live evidence that these free resources have helped photographers improve the way they market their businesses online.  So, the next online marketing area we’ve decided to tackle is social media. Now, we see plenty of photographers already participating in social media.  You’ve got a blog. You’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, and probably one or two more. Unfortunately, we see very few photographers using social media in a truly productive way. 

So today, we’re launching Social Media for Photographers, a free 55-page guide to how photographers can make better use of social media.

The goal of this guide is to help photographers grow their social media presence, set goals, and measure their efforts. Social media enables photographers to build a following, engage in dialogue, and find new opportunities to showcase and share their work. Ultimately, social media is about being part of (or controlling) the conversation and increasing your online presence. It’s about connecting directly with potential clients and multiplying the ways that others can find you online.  This comprehensive guide covers the ground rules every photographer should know about using social media, choosing where to participate, smart strategies to foster conversation, tips to increase social sharing and generate quality links, measurement, and tools that can help achieve maximum results.  We want to help photographers make better decisions so that you maximize the returns on your investment of that precious resource: your time. 
           
To make this guide, we spent months researching and interviewing the leaders in Internet marketing, and gathered insights from photographers who are succeeding in social media. Seeing how they do it will certainly give you some ideas for optimizing the way you use social media too.  We made a point not to focus too much on only brand name photographers, but rather everyday pros and aspiring photographers who were applying smart strategies to succeed, like:

  • John Landerhttp://asiaimages.blogspot.com/ – who specializes in images of Asia. Every time he completes a shoot, he posts slideshows on his main blog and any one of his six topical blogs. Guess who likes this? Google. 
  • Rosh Sillarshttp://www.newmediaphotographer.com/ – a commercial photographer who uses social media to market his photography and teach other photographers about using new media.
  • Jim Goldsteinhttp://www.jmg-galleries.com/blog/ – a landscape and nature photographer who has figured out how to turn his blog into a true two-way conversation that involves others.
  • Luceo Imageshttp://luceoimages.com/ – a collective of commercial and editorial photographers who use blogging, Twitter and Facebook to build a following and market each other.
  • Leah Fastenhttp://www.leahfasten.com/ – a Boston commercial photographer who uses LinkedIn to monitor clients’ movement from agency to agency, and keeps them aware of her work.
  • Craig Holmes  – http://archive.imagesofbirmingham.co.uk  – a UK based on-location photographer who specializes in stock images of Birmingham, yet maintains two separate websites and Twitter profiles for his fine art prints (http://gallery.crowdedgallery.com) and commission work.  

Social media is about the conversation.  You need to give people a way to engage with you on their terms. You need to put yourself out there in a way that can be found and shared.  Our new guide can help you get there.  Download Social Media for Photographers now!

And hey, PhotoShelter members – you’ve got a head start, because we’ve built social media tools into PhotoShelter that let you share on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. 

And when you get settled, follow us on Twitter @photoshelter and join the PhotoShelter Facebook fan page.

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This article was written by

Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter.

There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Romana at 1:16 pm

    This is a great ‘encyclopedia in small’ about social media & use in photography purposes. Even though i use all of the mentioned social media and i’m quite technology savy in that area, it is of a great value to have all the tools & techniques in one document. As there is always space for improvement and do more things, or do things better. thank you!

  2. Werbefotografie Jobst von Heintze at 3:43 am

    I received your new report yesterday evening and read it through cover to cover. Very inspiring and many interesting examples – thank you! Some remarks I would like to add for other international (non-US based) photographers, that proved useful for me over the last year: Links from international websites (e.g. .com) to somebodys own localized page (e.g. .de) might be useful to some degree, especially if you try to bring up a .com domain which is hosted outside the US for yourself (search engines localize the physical origin of the server and care less about the domain ending btw). But there seems to be the trend in search engines to localize the searcher at the time of the request first (e.g. as a Germany based user – from Berlin or Hamburg quite like they tell you in Analytics) and then present in the search results websites with the local origin and general local focus first. So what this means to international photographers? When planning your social media impact research some localized competition of some more US specific sites mentioned in the very good guide from photoshelter. If you’re doing business in europe it might be a good idea to focus on XING instead of LinkedIn. Same is true for communities: while facebook might be as well interesting internationally, take a look at more localized (and spezialized to your topic!) communities. Especially if you’re using G# Analytics the search engine market leader gains a quite deep insight in the origin of your visitor traffic and probably uses this knowledge to profile your website geo-spatially. If you plan this a little you can gain quite some effects from this – or loose some focus if the mass of your visitors comes from the other end of the world where you’re not doing business. (So please visit my website only if you’re from Europe to not mess up my targeted visitor profile ;)) And of course obvious but worth mentioning: always think about keywords in your target audiences native language – even if you’re on international websites. But again SEO is more about experimenting then anything else.

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