Category Archives: Social Media Marketing For Photographers

Why Photographers Should Embrace Google+

Google+ is a social media platform allowing users to interact and connect with people around the world. Much like Facebook, users can publish and share digital content. Unlike Facebook, the focus of Google+ isn’t about creating a network made of family, co-workers and friends. Google+ has designed a solution for individuals that want to find the like-minded. It’s a site about sharing interests, passions and hobbies.

google+ for photographers

One can only imagine how beneficial this arena would be to a photographer. While there are plenty of online opportunities where images are shared, Google+ has become a major meeting place for exposure and expansion of one’s craft. While there are sufficient sites for showcasing a photographer’s work, most are static and not moving with the advancements of the web. Tumblr and Pinterest are two solid examples of platforms that have utilized the web to stay current and innovative.

Google+, while not aiming at any specific target audience, has managed to revitalize the online photography community with its open platform, the simplicity of displaying images and its “Hangout” niche. To prove how Google+ has energized the online photography community, it only took a mere three months to generate a picture book with 200 pages of visuals from 53 countries and four different continents. The electronic version of the book contains 521 pages. It includes works from some of the most well known photographers in the business.

What distinguishes Google+ from a popular social media outlet like Facebook is that users can index content, making it searchable on the Internet. Facebook itself is actually a closed network. Any content and information are kept inside Facebook, making the maximum reach for your content purely on Facebook. This means that while Facebook is certainly a great place to showcase your work, Google+ is the greater opportunity for exposure of your work.

Hangouts

Hangouts are truly the gem in the Google+ repertoire. This consists of letting up to 10 people engage in a video conference. The participants can be anywhere in the world. Hangouts can be for such diverse activities as discussing and collaborating on a project or watching videos as a group, all while sharing the same screen. And for free.

google+ hangouts for photographers

Google has actually enhanced this great feature’s potential by adding “On Air.” The user can broadcast a live Hangout on Google+ while recording the Hangout. After completion, the recording is promptly uploaded to your YouTube channel. It can now be edited and republished anywhere on the Internet. It’s like having a mini-production company. Photographers have taken advantage of this with their Google+ photography shows.

Circles

On Facebook, the equivalent of Circles might be Friends. But there is a very important distinction. On Facebook, the two parties must agree to follow each other. Google+ Circles consists of the people that are following you or vice versa without the obligation of reciprocating. A user can also break groups into Circles. There can be Circles for family, friends, colleagues, fans and any combination thereof. This is an excellent opportunity for filtering. A photographer could send a batch of images to a group of customers or holiday photos to family only. This is a great feature, being able to use a single profile for multiple purposes by utilizing filters.

Events

Events on Google+ have all the services and products that Google offers its users. An event can be created in a few mouse clicks. The Google Calendar is integrated so any event that’s planned and any invitees that accept will see it automatically pop up in their calendar. They will even receive reminders.

google+ party mode

Google+ Events also has “Party Mode.” If enabled on a mobile device, images taken during the Event are automatically uploaded to the Event page. It’s an excellent tool for endeavors like a photography workshop or marketing one’s film work.

Utilizing Google+ Photography Community

From novice to professional, Google+ has intrigued photographers with its clean interface and the fact that uploaded images look great on the site. Offering many and often better ways to engage, interact and connect with fellow photographers, this specific Google+ community has grown significantly in the last two years. Aspiring photographers and anyone trying to start up a business definitely need to give Google+ a serious look.

Conclusion

Considering how quickly the Google+ photography community was able to put together an entire book (which may be the first in a series), it’s obvious Google+ has become far more than a place to hangout. It’s becoming a stable environment for photogs to network and promote their work.

The best part of utilizing Google+ is taking advantage of Google itself. Remember, it owns one of the biggest and most popular search engines in the world. Google indexes the majority of information making a tremendous amount of it searchable based on any keywords a user may include. If “New York” and “Photographer” appear in your bio, your page will show up with other New York based photographers. And don’t forget, Google searches can be location specific. Information about where you live or where you are working will help others connect with your posts.

Google+ has too much potential to not at least be explored. With Circles, a user has extreme control over who sees their published content as well as what content thet see. Events offer the opportunity to demonstrate and share skill and passion. There is room for personal interaction, inspiration and education for everyone ready to share their zeal for photography.

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The Comprehensive Social Media Guide for Professional Photographers

Social media is an excellent tool for professional photographers to expand and grow their businesses. Not only can you promote brand recognition and boost your online presence, but you can actually generate leads and increase your client base. It is a thriving industry that is certainly not going away any time soon, so if you’re not already on these social networks don’t worry – we’ve got a guide to each different social medium to help you get started.

Facebook logoFacebook

With over a billion monthly active users, Facebook is undeniably one of the most important and most frequented social network in the world. Facebook is a great tool for photographers to connect with their existing customers and reach out to potential new ones. You can upload photos, share status updates, inform your followers about promotions and travel plans and engage with users from all over the world. Its user-friendly platform and massive user base allows photographers and studios of all sizes to take advantage of the outreach and advertising opportunities easily and cheaply. Learn more about The Dos and Don’ts on Facebook as a Photographer.

 

Twitter logoTwitter

Twitter has nearly a quarter of a billion monthly active users sending 500 million Tweets per day. Clearly, this idea-sharing network has an amazing amount of potential reach worldwide. Each Tweet is concise and to the point due to the fact that you are limited to 140 characters per Tweet. Twitter also implements the use of hashtags to broaden reach and promote social discussion about relevant trends. It’s a great way to engage with consumers via active discussion and dialogue. There’s no doubt that Twitter is a valuable online marketing resource, and you can read more about How to Get Your Photography Business Noticed on Twitter.

 

LinkedIn logoLinkedIn

Similar to Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is the social network for professionals, reaching 250 million members in over 200 countries globally. While Facebook and Twitter are valuable resources, they are a more casual and informal method of reaching your customers. LinkedIn is a great place to really develop your professional online presence by connecting with other likeminded professionals on a global scale. You can join groups to share interesting and relevant content, start discussions and learn about your fellow professional photographers. Read more about  How LinkedIn Can Grow Your Photography Business.

 

Pinterest logoPinterest

Pinterest is a slightly different form of social media in that it is a visual tool for collecting and organizing photos of things that you like. For a professional photographer, it’s a fantastic way to post your work and generate interest in your photographs, style and composition. Pinterest is commonly used for wedding planning, so if you’re a wedding photographer this is the perfect place for you to get your work in front of a huge audience of potential clients. See more about Pinterest Marketing: What’s In It For Professional Photographers.

 

Instagram logoInstagram

Instagram is a photo-sharing tool that has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. With 200 million monthly active users sharing 60 million photos per day and the recent Facebook acquisition for $1 Billion, there is no question that Instagram is an important place to have an active presence. Instagram also uses hashtags, meaning your photos can potentially reach significantly more people than your follower count may indicate. We understand that as a professional photographer you may have your reservations about utilizing an app that allows for filters and essentially lowers the amount of skill needed to create an image with beautiful colors, and we cover the pros and cons in our post Is Instagram Bad For Photography?.

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Is Instagram Bad For Photography?

Cell phones are everywhere these days; they have become the backbone of human communication. As most of these devices are equipped with cameras, people are now able to take pictures of their surroundings easily. The result has been a renewed interest in photography as people document their lives in pictures and share them on the Internet.

What Instagram Does

Instagram is one of the social media tools that has helped make photography and sharing pictures easier. It also allows amateur photographers to take pictures and to alter how they look with the use of filters. These filters may be used to add effects like borders and lens flares in order to give an image the feel of older analog photographs. It has democratized photojournalism and art so that all an individual needs is a camera to be able to share his viewpoint. This is not welcome news in some quarters.

instagram logo

Photo Credit: Instagram

Criticism of Instagram

Some of Instagram’s critics claim that the addition of filters actually distorts photographs and takes away from the stories that they tell. They are also quick to point out that using filters on bad, amateurish pictures does not automatically turn them into good ones. Some also see the widespread fondness for filters as an unnecessary step back into the time before digital photography. Other critics feel that access to cheap filtering technology cheapens photography in the same way that some journalists see the ease of publishing online as lessening professional journalism. In many cases, the filters replicate analog effects that used to take expertise and hours of work to implement. These filters allow effects to be applied with a single click.

instagram filters collage

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Another argument is that the work of serious photographers is devalued simply by the volume of pictures posted on the Internet every day. Photographs were once rarities because up until recently, it took multiple steps to create a picture. In the present era, people can have thousands of pictures documenting even the most mundane aspects of their lives.

Benefits of Instagram for Amateur Photographers

While it may be true that filters do not improve picture quality, Instagram’s critics should note that they might help nonprofessional photographers to pay attention to important elements like lighting and composition. Additionally, the fact is that each person’s circumstance is unique; by taking pictures, they are documenting events that have never been documented before at any point in history. It should be noted that even the most mundane pictures are documenting parts of people’s lives; things that may be important to them. They are special because they capture moments that will never occur again. It can be argued that tools like Instagram have allowed photography to reach a far greater range of people than it would have otherwise. These tools offer platforms for creativity and expression, allowing millions of people to tell their own stories and to share their own perspectives. The fact is that Instagram can (if used properly) make amateur photographs more polished and professional looking. Digital photography allows numerous pictures to be taken and the best ones selected. Tools like Instagram allow them to be edited and made even better.

instagram food pictures

Photo Credit: Fine Dining Lovers

Instagram’s Benefits for Professional Photographers

Serious photographers should note that while Instagram may be popular with amateurs, it also provides an excellent tool for sharing work that is of a higher quality. A professional photographer can use it to build an audience and have their work seen. It offers a platform for pros to experiment and have fun with photography as well as for them to publish quality pictures. While it is not a platform for selling images, it does allow photographers to promote their businesses and many have been successful in using it to get their names out to the world.

Instagram’s Rights to Sell its Users’ Pictures

Instagram’s latest terms of service appears to give the them the right to sell their users’ photographs at will. When the TOS was updated its current form, it sparked a panic with many users believing that this was exactly what they intended to do. However, it has since been shown that this is far from likely. Many of the more drastic scenarios (such as the company grabbing pictures of users’ children to make ads) would probably be illegal. Users should note that Instagram does not have the right to sell their pictures, nor do they have the right to modify them. They do have the right to copy them, but they have always had that.

Few would argue that Instagram users are setting out to create brilliant works of art or award-winning photojournalistic pieces. Instead of viewing this social media service as a threat to professional photography, it may be viewed as a way to capture significant life moments. As it trains the eyes of amateur photographers, it will improve their skills; in turn, this can spur professionals on to creating even better pictures.

 

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The Do’s and Dont’s on Facebook as a Photographer

Facebook for photographers

Photo Source: Independent Skies

Facebook is a wonderful way for photographers to connect with the public, whether its customers who are already enthusiastic fans, or whether it is to spread the word to those who may not already know about your photographic services. No matter what your motive is for putting your photography business on the social media site, there are some things that you should be aware of before you start posting your work.

Make Your Page Professional

If your Facebook page is going to be the main way that you advertise your photography service online, it must look as professional as possible. To get an idea of what a professional page should look like, you can always look up your favorite celebrities, companies and brands to see how they can created their pages. That way, you will get an idea of what your customers may like or dislike with your own page.

Don’t Combine Your Personal and Professional Pages

Even if you have a personal Facebook page and have been promoting your business from there for some time, it is important not to make the pages one and the same. With your professional page, you will want to keep it strictly public information, so it’s best not to share anything personal on it. With your personal page, you will want to point your friends and family to the business page rather than sharing photos here and there that would be a better fit on your public page.

Spread the Word

While it may be easy to start with your friends and family, you will eventually want to branch out to find more people to like your Facebook page. To do that, you will want to make sure that everyone you meet knows about your Facebook page. You can include the URL to it on your business cards, advertisements and in your biography if it appears on any photography-related websites.

Don’t Spam Your Friends and Family

They can be a great help when you are just getting started, but constantly spamming your friends and family to get them to share your page can get annoying. Be respectful, and if they are not interested in sharing your page with their friends, find someone else who is interested in doing so.

Upload Your Best Work

Just like your clients may not want every single shot that you took of them, your Facebook fans will probably not want to see ten pictures of the exact same pose with little variety. For each session that you want to post to your wall or add to your photo album, choose only the best shots to include. On average, this can range from five to ten good photos, depending on how long and how varied the session had been.

Don’t Upload Anything You Don’t Own

While this may seem like an obvious tip, it is not wise to upload any photos in which you do not hold the copyright. So, if you admire a photo by another photographer or are interested in sharing that photo with your fans, it is much easier and will get you in less hot water to include a link to the original photo rather than uploading it onto your own page.

Encourage Customers to Tag Their Photos

If your customers are already fans of your Facebook page, don’t forget to tell them they can tag themselves in your photos. It benefits you and your customer both, because it gives them a way to share the new photos with friends and family while giving you the word-of-mouth exposure that all business owners want.

Don’t Forget to Ask Permission

It is true that the photos you take belong to you. You hold the copyright. However, it is always good business practice to ask your clients permission to post some of your work from their session on your Facebook page. You may also want to include it in any photo waivers you may have your clients sign. If someone says they don’t want their photos included on your page, it does more for your brand to honor their wishes than to go against them just to show a great photo.

Add Watermarks for Protection

If you are concerned about theft with your photos, it is not in your best interest to just keep them off of your profile page. Instead, you can add a watermark to the photo in a place that cannot be easily cropped out if people want to use your photos without permission. You can also encourage people to acquire your permission by making that information readily available on your Facebook page.

For photographers, Facebook is an essential advertising tool. Your page can serve as your virtual portfolio to show potential clients your range of work and the options that you can provide when they are looking to have their photo taken.

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How to Get Your Photography Business Noticed on Twitter

As a photographer, you spend your working life behind a lens taking gorgeous pictures that you develop and sell. But, sometimes it seems that the selling side of that equation is the most difficult part. You may have heard that Twitter can be a greatly valuable online marketing source, but how can you use it? How can you market your photography 140 characters at a time? Keep reading for answers to these and other questions pertaining to using Twitter to further your photography business.

Why Should You Have a Twitter Account?

If you’re looking at social media outlets from the perspective of a photographer, you’re likely drawn to places like Pinterest and Facebook, and rightly so. Twitter, on the other hand, might not have jumped on your radar as an extremely valuable tool, but it is. So why should you have a twitter account? Here are a few reasons that Twitter is a great idea for your photography business.

  • Extra! Extra!- You can easily update your followers regarding art show dates, new uploads to your online shop, what you’re working on, contests you might be having, and a number of other things. In short, easy to read snippets, your followers can be kept in the loop of what you’re doing, and this can result in sales, new followers, or both.
  • Bragging Post – Were you just honored with an amazing award from a magazine? Twitter is a fast and easy way to update your followers about it. This not only helps earn you credibility, but it automatically piques the interest of your followers.
  • Human Nature – You’re not just a business owner and photographer, you’re a living, breathing human being with a soul, a personality, and a sense of humor. Getting that across on your website or in a professional interview might be difficult, but on Twitter, you can start to relate to your audience one witty 140-character tweet at a time.

While there are other reasons that Twitter is a good idea for marketing your photography business, these are the top three. Putting yourself out there as a person and showing people that you’re an active and engaged part of the online community makes you approachable, and that’s everything for a small business owner.

You’re Here, Now What? How to Get Noticed

So, Twitter can do all of these amazing things for your photography business, but how do you get noticed so all of these things can happen? Getting noticed on Twitter is sometimes a difficult thing, but if you know which cards to play you can often gain a lot of attention in a relatively short amount of time. Getting noticed on Twitter has a lot to do with knowing what not to do. These tips can help.

  • Don’t Get Follow Happy – Some new twerps (that’s Twitter slang for people on Twitter) want to follow everyone and their mother from day one to get more followers in return. But, it’s not necessarily about having people in general follow you, it’s about having the right people follow you. Be selective.
  • Don’t Stalk Your Competition – It can be tempting to jump on Twitter, follow every celebrity photographer in the book, and start stalking their Twitter feed. While you should follow your competition, don’t get too wrapped up in cyber-stalking their tweets. Not only does it take valuable time away from your business, but you start comparing your very unique business to others, and that can be dangerous. Learn, yes, but don’t spend too much time dwelling on it.
  • Don’t Forget Professionalism – You’re going to want to be personable on Twitter, yes, but this isn’t your private page, so don’t start telling the details of your love life on your professional Twitter feed. Make sure that most of what you post is related to your business, and that the posts that aren’t related to photography are mild and aimed at making you relate-able.

Follow us | Twitter for photographers

Photo Credit: Rusheygreengp.org

Follow Me! Getting People to Follow You

Getting people to follow you is a matter of knowing who to follow. Try doing a search for hashtags like #photography, #iloveart, and so on. Anyone talking about how much they love photography and art is right in your wheelhouse. Follow your customers, vendors, and those who seem genuinely interested in what you have to offer. People who love photography will share photography and that helps you.

 How to Use Hashtags On Twitter: #Importantstuff:

Hashtags have been the brunt of a lot of jokes recently, but they’re quite effective when it comes to marketing. Were you featured in Well-Known Photography Magazine? Then make sure you note it when you post about it by saying something like “Thanks #WellKnownPhotographyMagazine for honoring me for the #AwardName.”

hashtags for photographers

Photo Credit: lightspacetime.com

Hashtags are not as complicated as they seem to be. Essentially, they’re just a way to flag keywords. Any keyword, business name, person, or topic that is relevant to your business and post should get a hashtag in front of it. And make sure you note which hashtags are trending, as well. Using Twitter to your advantage can help you make new friends, gain new customers, and keep up to date on industry news. With practice, it’s extremely easy to get used to, and pretty soon you’ll start growing your business 140 characters at a time.

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