The Unwritten Rules of Facebook for Creatives
Do you ever come across someone and think “what were they thinking, why would they even do that?” Well, I will bet money you’ve scrolled through your newsfeed or Facebook groups and said this at least once. There are three main sections you should probably pay close attention to while using Facebook.
1. Friendships: One of the things that receives the most complaints on Facebook is page invites. Statistics fly around bashing the option to invite people to like your page. If you try to add someone and they accept your friend request, most likely they either know you and your work, or they went through your profile and thought you had enough mutual friends to add you. This means that if they saw your info section upon doing their stalking, they most likely went to your page and looked at your work. If they liked what they saw, they probably liked your page. If they didn’t like your page, don’t send them a page invite a mere minutes or days after they accepted your friend request. By being friends with you, they will see your work pop up in their feed and naturally they might like your page. But if you’re me, I currently like 12 pages. That’s right, 12. Because having my photographer friends like my page does not bring me new business. That’s right, I said it. Inviting your friends to like your page does not bring you new business.
2. Newsfeed: Lately a couple new trends have been going around with business pages in regards to tagging and likes. It’s a new practice of tagging yourself in your business page’s photos a couple days after they’re posted so you can have it pop up in people’s feeds again. Theoretically, this is a very smart move since it allows content to reach more people and keeps whatever you posted relevant. What people end up doing is every few days they go through and tag themselves in every photo at the same time. What does this do? Well, instead of creating unique and interesting content, it floods your friends with posts, which most people will get annoyed with. You now run the risk of someone clicking on the drop down and asking Facebook not to show it to them anymore. The same thing is happening with likes. If you go to your business page and change the option to using it as yourself instead of your business page you can like your own posts. This allows the photo to either pop up in newsfeeds or on the ticker in real time. Great idea in theory, bad idea in the masses. Now, should you decide that these are great ideas for using Facebook to its best potential, set up a schedule. You should be posting once or twice a day and it should be novel, new, engaging and interesting. Set up a task list to go back and follow these awesome workflow steps.
3. Groups: The biggest thing among photographers on Facebook is that we spend a lot of time in groups. We’re either getting a new perspective on a situation, criticism and for some, just flat out complaining. When you’re in a Facebook group for awhile, you understand the dynamic, but people who come in new might not know what is going on. It’s important that you check it out when you’re initially added. There are ridiculous fashion groups that are filled with people just posting links to their pages and no actual interactions going on, but then there are groups that are filled with constructive criticism and insight. When you’re added to a group, scroll through the posts and if you are new, say hi! How you say hi is also a really important factor. I was in a new group the other day since I am moving to San Diego, so naturally I posted “Hey guys, my name is Sarah from Val and Sarah and I’m on the East Coast and I’m moving to San Diego next month. I just wanted to say hi, if anyone needs a second shooter or wants to grab coffee just drop me a line!” On the other hand, someone else was new and they posted a link to their website as well as all their pricing and coming at it from an angle trying to sell their services. The first thing that’s wrong with that is you are in a group with a bunch of other photographers who most likely won’t need to hire you for their own wedding. Secondly, you’re not being personal and in order to be welcomed into a new environment, you need to be genuine and respectful of everyone. You’re not there to make money; you’re there to make contacts and possibly friends. Not everyone will be welcoming to strangers, but the nicer you are, the more likely you are to be accepted.
I am a straight shooter, I’ll tell it like it is and if you like it, you like it, if you don’t, I’m sure you’ll complain about it in the comments. But one thing is, you might not know about these things and that’s perfectly acceptable; now that you do know, knock it off. Facebook has transformed into more of a market full of businesses and less of personal life, please make sure you’re respectful of both sides.