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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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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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Which Social Media Platform is Best For Your Photography Business?

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-for-photographers

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-social-media-for-photographers

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-for-photographers

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-logo-for-photographers

 

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:

  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+

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.

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NEW Caption Wednesday

In theme with FOTO Friday, DigiLabs Pro has started a new weekly affair on our facebook fan page.  Each Wednesday we’ll post a picture and ask our facebook fans to provide a plausible comment for the image.  This week we started the fun with this great pet portrait!

We were so excited to see all the participants and loved your responses but the clear winner was Heidi Litchfield with ‘Does this leash make me look fat?’ See all the comments here.  Hope you can get into the fun next week!

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