5 Social Media Marketing Tips for Digital Photographers

5 Social Media Marketing Tips for Digital Photographers

Most photographers get into the field to pursue their passion; it's when they start to plan the business aspects that they hit the road bumps. Most experienced photographers will tell you that you can't expect to get booked simply because you have good pictures. The only way to become relevant in your niche is to consistently stay in front of your audience. Social media plays a huge part in this – it gives you exposure to your target audience, peers in the industry, and experts at the same time. It is thus an invaluable resource for getting new opportunities and growing your business. Here are 5 tips to help you get the best out of social media.

Photography Social Media

Choosing The Right Platform

When you first get into social media, it seems like you have infinite options to put out all your great ideas. A little more time goes by, and you realize the work that goes into managing each account and how frustrating it can get. At this point, it is best to revisit your options and see what is actually working. It makes no sense to blindly pursue every avenue without getting anything in return. Focusing your attention on one to three social media accounts, and putting your best into it, tends to be more effective. Most photographers use Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram as they focus more on visual content, and have a larger audience. Facebook is by far the most popular, as you can manage both your personal account and your photography page with ease. Choosing the right platform could make or break your business and some serious thought needs to be put into it.

 

Images

Once you've chosen the right platform, you have to learn to edit and post your images to suit that particular platform. Your images are your work - they speak for you, so you have to know how to use them to your advantage. The photographs you post on social media are used to draw attention and make an impact on your audience in the hope that they take action. There are small differences in framing, composition, angles, and lighting for social media compared to other mediums. If you look at Framing and Composition for example – the general 'Rule of Thirds' may not work on social media. It works for your Facebook cover photo, but it won't work on Instagram where the ideal image is not wide. It also won't work for profile pictures and on most other social media platforms as the images are ideally more narrow. Similarly, there are other changes that photographers need to adapt to, on different platforms, to make their photos appealing. Tools like CameraBag can help make your pictures more suitable for social media. 

Content

For photographers, it is no longer enough to post good images and expect results.You have to give your audience something that either benefits them in some way or solves a problem. Having a blog that explains a bit of your process and gives small tips gets you a lot of brownie points. If you are an experienced photographer – longer posts giving insights or sharing your experiences in the field helps you grow exponentially. Not only will this make it more likely for your audience to share your post, it will also increase your SEO ranking. Tools like Buzzsumo are great for getting ideas and topics to write about. Another good way to capture your audiences' attention is to host contests/giveaways with gift cards or merchandise as prizes. Overall, good content is key to becoming more visible in your industry and gaining new opportunities.

Consistency

The key to any form of online marketing is consistency. Unlike the real world, social media tends to move at a much quicker pace. Without consistency, you are driving your audience into the hands of more regular competitors. Ideally, you should be posting at least two to three times a week – be it pictures, content, or both. The more you post, the harder it is for your audience to scroll past without noticing you. Just remember not to be too pushy as it can turn people off. Consistency is hard to maintain especially if you're a photographer that “wears many hats," or someone who works in various other departments on a regular basis. Content curation can solve this concern – you can share others' content, seem knowledgeable about your niche and stay relevant by using content curation tools like DrumUp. These tools give you content suggestions, let you schedule posts ahead of time and help you improve engagement drastically.

Audience Engagement

A photographers' success, like most businesses, is almost entirely dependent on their audience. Reply to as many comments and messages as possible - ask for opinions, reply to feedback, and give pointers. Engaging with your audience makes you more human to them – meaning they're more likely to comment and share praise, feedback, or tips. More importantly, they will share your work amongst their circles and refer you to prospective clients. An audience that actively comments and shares your work could propel you to new heights. Popular social media platforms have millions of members and standing out in such a large crowd requires a lot of effort. As a general rule, remember to post pictures that are your best – mediocre work isn't going to get you anywhere. Always remember to brand your images so people know where to find you in case they have open opportunities. It's also a good safety measure against duplication and wrongful distribution. Use the above tips wisely, build a good profile, be thoughtful about what you post, and persevere past your excuses – it's the only way to succeed.

Bio: Jessica Davis works in Social Media and Content Marketing for Godot Media

 

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7 Comments

Darek Novak's picture

It is so many social media platform we try to be present today. I think one of most important thing is chose less but post regular instead be everywhere as it's hard to keep running all of them at high level?

Jeff McCollough's picture

Did you even try with the logos of social media platforms?A few of them have nothing to do with social media.

Nomad Photographers's picture

Good tips and advice. As a blogger for our photography business (http://www.thenomadphotographers.com) I can assure it's very difficult to keep up with the pace and get things started !

Chris Adval's picture

I don't get this " As a general rule, remember to post pictures that are your best – mediocre work isn't going to get you anywhere." I get you should say this, but how do we truly apply this if we see our own work that we release publicly to the world, as amazing. Granted some work may be a bit stronger than the other. And sometimes images work for X audiences than Y audiences better. What is a practical way to only show "the best"? I know keeping 10-15 images in a portfolio can make your best work stand out more than if it was 20-30+ images in the portfolio. But social media isn't a portfolio. So yea, share the best images at the time of what you're working on, keeping it minimal, maybe share 1-3 images from a shoot/experience, whatever in my opinion. Depending which markets you're in this can dictate how many images you should show, like for journalism, maybe some more may work to complete a story telling on instragram than just 1. I know its not practical to poll your friends/colleagues before releasing any image for the rest of the future.

Anonymous's picture

Thank you. Great advice. I started my photography business a little over a year ago. After reviewing a number of social media options I decided to with Facebook. While the response to my photos was very positive I did not get the traction that I wanted for the time invested in building the page. Late last year I closed my FB page and at the start of this year started an Instagram account. The reception there has been better than I expected. I am also seeing the very things described in this article and working to adapt. Work in progress. Thanks again.

Eva Henson's picture

If you want to share your images to all available social networks and photography services, you can try http://www.pixbuf.com - It is a social media tool specially designed for photographers.

I'm using it and with one click, you can share your photos to 500px, Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others...

This was a very helpful article, thank you! I am still confused though regarding the execution. What I mean is, for example, if I have images of a recent photo shoot that I would like to promote, do I post all of the same images to Flickr, Instagram and Facebook? What is the point of that? Isn't it redundant? On the other hand, I shoot a few different genres. Does it make more sense that I pick a particular genre and post only that one for consistency to one particular social media page? I have been wondering about this for a long time!
I'm thinking my portraits and lifestyle on Facebook, nature and travel on Flickr and food/product on Instagram? Does anyone else have this question?
Thank you for any input to my inquiry!