This is the Queen of Social Media speaking. You may look up from your curtseys and bows now, subjects, and listen to the profound pronouncements your Queen is about to make. Social Media is my realm. Seriously, years ago, in my previous incarnation as an employee of a large, American corporation, I had to do personality test and it turned out that I am a “communicator”. Well, really??? Not that this chatterbox hadn’t known this herself… I love interacting with others, communicating, socialising, discussing, negotiating, informing, distracting…
Anyhow, social media is somewhat my expertise. I write about social media in my daily work and I use it extensively in my private life. (And may I take the opportunity and apologize to my FB friends here – I know, I am a bit too talkative…) But when it comes to photography, Facebook had increasingly become a mishmash of my private “snaps” and my more serious attempts at photography. Therefore, I figured, the time had come to separate the
pleasure private from the duty professional and I have started a Facebook page for my photographic persona. I just don’t want my more serious photographic endeavours like my fashion shoot from Tuesday to sit beside some jokey snapshot of myself beside a wax sculpture of Qui-Gon Jinn.
And so I am shamelessly plugging my FB-page here. What’s the point of all my SM knowledge, if I don’t use it to my own advantage? However, I am not only a communicator but also a “multiplyer” – that means I enjoy sharing knowledge, passing on what I know to others, and creating a pool of knowledge. So here are my top five tips on Social Media for Photographers:
1. Choose your platform wisely
Twitter, Facebook, Flickr or Blog? Social Media for photographers takes many shapes and forms. Ask yourself what your primary goal is – do you want communicate about your photography business? Do you want to comments? Do you mainly want to show your images? Or do you want to share thoughts and insights about photography? All four platforms have their particular strengths and weaknesses. For feedback on photographs, Flickr (or any other photography community) is ideal as you can post your images in groups and receive proper feedback from other photographers. If you really want to share more than just photos, a blog might be a better platform as you can add your ideas and thoughts in it. And now that Twitter has enabled photo-upload, the short messaging service is nearly as good as Facebook at creating a platform where you can both post your images and also share thoughts, promotions or insights into your business.
2. Post regularly
There is nothing more frustrating than subscribing to a page which is updated irregularly. Readers like to know that there is a constant presence of the administrator of the fanpage, so post at regular intervals. Your subscribers will come to look forward to your postings. However…
3. Don’t overdo it
Post regularly but do not spam your readers. Two or three posts per day max! Everything else is too much and will make your subscribers resent the amount of info that is pushed their way.
4. Illustrate what you are posting
If you are a photographer, you are a visual person and you like being stimulated by images that explain or illustrate a text. A good image draws the attention of your readers. It also often says more than a thousand words.
5. Establish dialogue
In order to grow your business or your page stats you need to make readers engage with you. Ask real questions, throw in a competition or two, and ask for comments. Likewise, always reply to comments. And do so asap.
That was SM for photographers in a nutshell – I could elaborate on each and every point, but I’d be violating rule 3 if I did that in this post. There is enough here already. Let me know what you think about this – or if you have other experiences with SM. I would be interested to know.