A Photographers Guide to Leveraging Social Media

What are Social Media best practices that focus on developing brand image and awareness for photographers? Here are 5 things to help you define your goals:

  1. Decide what social media applications are best for youInstagram would be a good start and many photographers use this platform as their primary marketing platform. Localized photography communities like igersboston even host community events and photo contests. Shooting video? Start a YouTube channel and cultivate an audience on that platform. Give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be a photographer using Periscope. Into playing it safe? Start of with a company Facebook page and encourage your friends to follow your page. Some of the highest searched items on Pinterest include travel and  weddings so if you’re a portrait or wedding photographer  posting photos to Pinterest is a great way to gain followers.The photography community on twitter is a great place to stay up to date on industry trends and connect with influencers and advocates.
  2. Understand #hashtags. Don’t be that photographer who uses #checkoutthispic. Strategic hashtag placement is key to increasing the visibility of your posts. Once you hashtag a word with twitter, Instagram or Google+ all account users can see it. This allows users who are not following you to see your tweets and content that you put out there. Instagram autofill feature indicates how many posts have been tagged with each hashtag.
  3. Timeliness and Frequency. This is simple, but true. One of the most important way to cultivate a social following and build awareness for your brand is to engage your community through consistent and timely posts. Use tools like Hootsuite to manage multiple accounts and schedule posts.
  4. Get analytical. Exploring social media analytics is a great way to better understand your audience as well as set growth goals. Use analytics tools like iconosqaure or socialbro to gain insight into which posts or topics are the most effective or for the best time to post (hint late afternoon or early evening is often best on weekdays).  Do some research on twitter analytics to see what hashtags are trending.
  5. Follow the 80/20 rule. Posting nothing but your own photographs is the conversational equivalent of a lecture that goes “look at this, now look at this…”. Instead, engage the photography community  and create a dialogue by making 80% of your posts about industry trends and topics. Follow your industry influencers and retweet/repost their content and comment on it.  Leave brand promoting content to the remaining 20%.
  6. Engage. It’s called social media for a reason. Focus on content that  industry influencers would be interested in and engage them. Promptly follow up to questions or comments that you receive helps build brand advocates. Cultivate content that encourages engagement, like how-to’s, behind the scenes videos or lighting diagrams.
  7. Stay Consistent. Odds are that you will utilize more than one social media application as part of your social media marketing strategy. Maintain a uniform brand identity throughout all of your social channels. Assign certain types of content to certain channels and don’t over promote certain content on all channels at once.

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