If you run a photography business, you have probably become aware of the fact that social media is one of the best ways to market. But, what you might not know is which social media outlet is right for you. Below is an explanation of five social media outlets that are excellent options, the pros and cons of each as it pertains to a photography business, and a conclusion on which to weed out and which to use consistently.
Facebook is growing every day, and has blossomed from a place to share photos and updates to a marketing giant. However, paying for ads is not the only thing you can do on Facebook to help grow your business.
Instead of paying for ads, use Facebook itself to your advantage. Facebook has this great feature called “Pages”, and you can update your page and your personal Facebook from the same dashboard, just by toggling the account in the Settings menu. Aside from efficiency, pages are a great way to personalize your business and draw people in. However, keeping social media outlets in mind from a photography perspective is important, so here are the pros and cons of using Facebook for a photography business.
Pros: Facebook is extremely photo-oriented, even now, and even via pages, so having a Facebook page for your photography business is a great idea. Not only that, but you’re drawing in a group of followers who will be able to keep up with updates and discuss your photography, share it with friends, and help you gain more followers. Also, facebook has the largest community in the social media world, which can bring greater results for your photography business.
Cons: Pages are a little difficult to get going in terms of followers, and until you get to a certain number of followers your page will be considered “community supported” and won’t show you the analytics associated with it. However, if you already have clients, or you have a lot of Facebook friends, just invite them all to like your page and this issue is quickly resolved. People love pretty pictures.
Twitter is a great social media outlet for quick updates, like where you’ll be shooting next, or where your next art show is. However, it’s quite limiting in its scope. For instance, you can’t really add pictures that are easily accessible. You can only type 140 characters at a time. So, it depends entirely on your business and how you want to market. #photographylife
Pros: Allows you to update quickly on your location and disperse short pieces of information, and it’s relatively simple and easy to manage. Twitter also has a large user base, which inturn enables you to find customers and fellow photographers.
Cons: It’s very limiting in its scope and doesn’t provide you a whole lot of options as far as imagery goes.
Google Plus is something that many people have yet to fully grasp as a social media outlet, which makes it perfect for those starting out. Google+ is not so much a social media site as it is a social media layer that goes across everything you do on the internet, particularly if you use Chrome as your browser, and makes just about everything share-able. Since it’s just starting to boom, it’s a great time to get on the band wagon and start building your following, and since you can share photos much like you can on Facebook, it’s a good option for photographers.
Pros: The timing is right, it’s great for photo sharing, it makes almost every online activity a share-able event, and is great for having a cohesive social media presence online. Google+ also has some search benefits because its tied into the google search engine, which means any content (blogs or photos) that is posted from your site is indexed to google extremely fast after posted. Lastly, Google+ has a large and interactive photographer community; which makes it perfect for getting feedback and networking with other pro photographers.
Cons: It’s a little tricky to understand at first, and it hasn’t quite boomed in the way that Facebook has (people aren’t saying “Google+ me!” yet), but it’s still a good option.
Pinterest and photography just go hand in hand. They’re like a lock and key, a tree and a bird, and just about any other harmonious analogy you can come up with. Pinterest is essentially a share-able collage. “I’m so pinning this!” can be heard across the web, and pins can also be shared on Facebook and a number of other sites. Make beautiful, themed boards – or collections – of your photography and watch people pin away. People can pin your photos as part of their collections, too, which then get pinned by others and…well, you get the idea. Pinterest is beautiful and every photographer should be on the site promoting their work. However, be sure you promote other people’s items, too, so you don’t look like an obnoxious self-promoter. If you have a picture of the woods, combine it with woodland chic clothing items you like and make a collage. People will share you because you shared them, and so on.
Pros: Just about everything is geared towards photography on Pinterest.
Cons: Photographers may get many shares and likes on their photos through pinterest, which is great for branding, but getting in front of the right people and converting these users into customers can be a very difficult task.
LinkedIn is essentially an online resume. It’s good to have, because professionals and clients can find you, and it’s easy to maintain, but it’s not necessarily the most creative social media outlet in the world, either.
Pros: It’s a good corporate addition to your social media marketing efforts and networking with other pros and potential event and venue vendors.
Cons: It can be a little too “corporate” at times for engaging your artistic fan base.
The Best Option
For photographers, these social media outlets can be ranked from “most appealing and effective” to “least appealing and effective” as followed:
The only reason LinkedIn is above Twitter is because having a corporate base is important for gaining clients and networking with other professionals, but to start gaining a photography-loving, artistic fan base that’s more likely to purchase your work, Facebook and Pinterest are where it’s at. If you are seeking to be hired as a freelancer by corporations, then LinkedIn moves up the list. In essence, it depends on your business, but by organizing your social media marketing efforts from most visual to least visual, you can get a great head start and get people talking about you.
Regardless of the ranking of these social media platforms, they all are extremely valuable tools to help promote your business and reach new clientele and help build relationships with other photographers.