episode 39

Social Media for Photographers

Hey everyone! This is Jordan from Sleeklens.com, welcome to this week’s episode of the Sleeklens Photography Podcast. This episode is not going to be about photography tips, or anything like that, I’m actually going to talk a little bit on Social Media, and what it means in social media for photography.

Now there are tons of social media platforms out there, and just to name a few there’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. There’s Behance, there’s Flickr, there’s Pinterest. All kinds of social media networks and that’s great for reaching out, for people who want to get noticed, to get their stuff seen – even their blog saw – to get their photos seen, stuff like that. But it can be a little bit of a time-waster if you concentrate on the wrong one. It all depends on the needs you have for your photography business/career. So, in this episode, I’ll try to clear a little bit of that up and talk about photography and social media put together. Know which ones, and depending on which you want to accomplish, which ones you should concentrate and get your eyes on.

Facebook

Alright, let’s talk about the biggest social media network by far, and that would be Facebook. Almost everybody, and their old, old grandmother, has a Facebook account, and it just becomes a big social network to pass everything you can dream about back and forth. It’s doing videos now, it’s doing hashtag searches. It’s doing business profiles, personal groups. It’s doing all of these things and, overall, it’s a great place to advertise your business when you’re starting out.

You constantly get bombarded with details about your business, which can be a bit overwhelming, but’s what happens when you set up a business profile.

Now, if you are a Portrait Photographer, and you posted clips and photos that you took from previous sessions, people will then see these cool photos and they can share them to their friends saying: ‘hey! This person is great, if you need any family photos then contact him/her’. Given the latest updates Facebook still has this, but from what I’ve seen Facebook has grown more into community building rather than self-promotion for businesses these days.

There are people that use their personal profiles, or even those who built their business profiles so top-level that almost resembles a website. They treat it as a portfolio to showcase their skills, and that’s why they use it for. That’s so devastating for a business, to put so much faith in a social media network that people can only see what you put out there. There are even those who share their URLs in other social media networks or forums to link to their FB pages. That’s so much hurtful for a business in many, many ways, but especially for those who want to take a closer look in what you do, as Facebook is starting to die out a little bit. I’m not saying that it’s going to go away completely, but I think it’s going to die out as far as for the uses people are giving it these days.

Facebook is really good for community building. If you have a group, it’s really good for groups. It’s great for people who want to share content in groups but, as far as for promotions? It’s not as great, it’s not as good as it used to be some time ago for business promotion.

So, when it comes to photography… yeah, you can put photographs to share and get some likes on and on. It’s good if you want to build a community around you, to get a like cult-promotion, but if your aim is to truly expose your work to the world and grow your business, I’d rather choose another platform.

Instagram

Obviously, a big player of the social media networks. Facebook owns Instagram as well. It’s kinda weird to say ‘don’t concentrate on Facebook but concentrate on Instagram’, but when you’re looking at Instagram, it’s obvious what the main goal is as far as Instagram goes.

Instagram, the original Instagram (not talking about Instagram TV which released a couple of weeks ago) is all about photo sharing. So, if you are a photographer, if you are someone who takes pictures and that’s what you want people to see – and you don’t want to worry about the huge description of where the photo is taken, and camera settings and all stuff – you want people to see a photo, and analyse your photos right at the spot, Instagram is your number 1 social media for photographers.

It’s great for engagement because it mainly has one method for searching, and that’s using hashtags. The more hashtags you put in your photos when posting, the better results you’re going to get. Obviously, if you post a photo and you use a hashtag that’s kinda in the middle of being super popular and your photos are somewhat associated with the hashtag you’re obviously going to get better results. For example: #portraitphotographer tends to work better than just #photography if you’re a portrait photographer sharing a sample of your work. You can also use #peoplephotographer #childrenphotographer #petphotographer. You’re adding a description to the hashtag that you’re using; thus, you’re making it more unique than just getting lost in the feed that’s the hashtag of #photography.

I’ve done a little bit of experimenting with Instagram and I noticed that there are three main things that you should follow when it comes to using Instagram to get the most out of it.

  • You have to use hashtags. Use the maximum amount of hashtags – which is 30 per post – and keep them relevant to your photo.
  • Tagging people. Don’t be afraid to tag people – especially if you’re a portrait photographer – or even tag the city.
  • Post consistently. I try to post 1 photo a day, and that’s easy to do as every photographer has a good backlog. Do a nice edit for the photo and upload it.

As a photographer, I’d say concentrate 80% of your presence on Instagram as it does help a lot to promote your business.

Pinterest

A lot of people don’t actually think that Pinterest as being an important aspect when posting on social media. It’s a big player in social media, and as most people know, it’s mostly meant for building board of stuff we fancy – like recipes or home décor – but what a lot of people don’t know is if you’re a photographer who likes to do blogposts (which is great as you have fresh content on your website all the time) it’s really helpful. When you publish these blogposts you want a lot of people to see it, and for that Pinterest becomes an immense resource.

One thing that I would recommend for those of you who want to start posting more to Pinterest and linking back to your site is that when you post a photo, don’t just grab any random photo that’s maybe associated with your article. Take the photo into Photoshop and do a long vertical crop. Make it more vertical than horizontal. And if you’re tech-savvy then throw some text in with a cool layout on what the photo is about or what the blogpost is about. The vertical aspect, the reason why I want you to do a vertical photo is because, think about when you do research via Pinterest. What’s the thing that sticks more in your feed? It’s those vertical posts. It basically takes more screen space. So, when people are browsing through Pinterest, as they take more of the screen it’s more likely that they will click on the photo, hence visit the website you linked to.

Also, Pinterest has one kind of a leg up when it comes to compare it to Facebook. The Pinterest photos that you create, that you put on your Pinterest profile are actually seen by search engines. So, when you Google-search for something, for a keyword or keyphrase, the search engines can see those photos and see the post that you did.

Google Business

Don’t laugh at this. Google+ came as an experiment to create a Google-version of Facebook. But if you’re a businessperson and you want people to see your photos, to work with search optimization really hard, what you need to do is to create a business page and manage it, it will do wonders for your business.

I’ve said this multiple time when I talked about Google+, I try to treat my Google listings for my personal business almost as a secondary website. So, if I post a photo on my website, I’ll also post it to my Google Business page. Now, I’m not going to have a lot of engagement there, a lot of people liking my photos (though most people would leave reviews about my services) but one thing that I noticed is that I get more clients. For as I want to grab as many clients as possible, having that Google page is doing wonders for business.

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