How do you feel about social media, my fellow photog? I know some of you may think social media is a good-for-nothing frivolous waste of time.
However, friends, I want you to know that social media is actually industry GOLD and possibly even more valuable than SEO (yes, I actually said that out loud).
After all, your clients and prospects live on social media. So, as the savvy connected photographer that you are, you need to make sure you show up where your clients are. Right?
If you’ve been burned out by fruitless efforts on social media or you just shy away because you don’t know where to start, follow my social media guide for photographers, below, and I’ll show YOU how to shine online!
Let’s crank it out, shall we?
Necessary social accounts for photographers
Doesn’t it seem like new social media platforms are popping up all the time?! From Facebook to Anchor, how are you supposed to make it all work…and work well together?
I have a little news for you. If you spread yourself too thin (trying to go beast-mode on all social platforms) you will most likely burnout AND be quickly rendered ineffective. You need to focus.
I want you to start with the two big players and one left fielder. Facebook and Instagram are your MVPs. The majority of your demographic lives here. They do life here. The parents are there; the students are there; the grandparents are even there for goodness sakes (isn’t that scary??).
Those two platforms are where I want you to start. Narrowing it down to two main online stops allows you to be strategic and gain momentum. Your tribe will know where to find you and you will know where to find them. Period.
I know you’ve heard that Facebook is done, over, and basically a death sentence to small businesses that can’t pay-to-play. I have news for you, though. Listen up. Facebook is alive and well and it’s only getting stronger with Facebook Live.
Celebrities are streaming conversations with fans, couples are streaming weddings, moms are broadcasting births… Facebook Live gives you an amazing opportunity to connect with your clients and prospects in a way that lets them see your heart and your style, like never before.
Consider ways you can use Facebook Live to build relationships and earn trust as an industry expert.
Fill your Facebook page with strong content and quality ad campaigns that allow you to leverage your clients in a way where you have a strong ROI. Before you boost a post have a plan to measure the engagement, traffic, and sales from your investment.
Instagram gives you an amazing (and industry related) platform to not only showcase your work, but also to show-off clients and engage with them – as well as prospects – on a regular basis. You can offer photo and video content on Instagram and that’s what your clients want to see. That’s how they will get to know your work well.
If you leverage Instagram for your photography business, you have an opportunity to reach seniors (who will likely later be your brides), brides (who will likely later be your families), and families, who will tell their friends about you!
What do I post?
Think before you post! Always ask yourself if what you’re about to post will add value to your clients’ lives. Here’s a post about the importance of printing:
The most important thing you can do for your business is to build relationships. And, as we know, successful relationships can’t be one-sided! If you’re only focused on what you are doing and how you are succeeding, your clients will not see how having a relationship with you will be beneficial and they will walk away.
Client relationships are crucial for success, and marketing with only self-serving efforts is what I like to refer to as, “a big fat no-no.”
Not sure how to add value?
No problem. Consider tips and tricks that your clients would like to know, but may need a little help from you on.
Depending on your target market, this could be things like make-up application, how to dress for a photo shoot, how to coordinate colors for a photo shoot, posing guidance, the best place in town to buy clothes, etc. Here are a couple examples:
When you give these little bonus insights, you add to the relationship and your clients will love you for it!
How do I build engagement?
Now that you’ve posted highly-value content for your followers, how do you get engagement? This is a crucial step to your social media success Posted content is only as good as clicks, comments and shares that follow…. so how do we get our clients to actually talk to us?
Think about these things when you work to build engagement…
Your clients and prospects will see through highly curated content and stage acts. People will respond to genuine and thoughtful posts. Do that…be genuine; be thoughtful; make it personal.
Focus on teaching and training. Your clients do not study the Facebook algorithms. They aren’t hashtag pros. You need to educate and empower them in order to build engagement.
During your session, let them know what’s going to happen after. Saying something like, “You’ll see a sneak peak from me later tonight; so make sure you’re following my page @_______! then be sure to let me know what you think and tag the post so your friends and family can see it, too!”
If your clients aren’t engaging with their sneak peeks, shoot them a quick text or email saying, “oh my gosh! Have you seen your sneak peek?!?! I love it!! Go check it out and comment below to let me know what you think!”
Be sure to respond to comments that are left, as well. No one wants to talk to a wall, be sure you are treating your followers the way you wan to be treated [in real life].
Always, always, always, include a call to action. Ask clients and followers to share the post, tag a friend, comment with their favorite thing about the post, etc. You can also invite them in with open-ended questions. Tell your clients and followers what you want…and they will do it!!!
Here’s an example of an image that I posted that worked really well and that follows a lot of the guidelines mentioned above:
If you look at this photo, it’s nothing spectacular. I had 5 minutes for ALL the bridal portraits, the location was crummy, the light fluctuated between cloudy and full sun… and, oh yes. I was wearing heels and a bridesmaid dress while shooting. Not my best work. Awe.some.
But here’s the thing. The mother of the bride posted the photo as her timeline and everyone kept asking, “how did you get that photo?!”
After listening to my audience’s questions, studying the Facebook algorithm, seeing the potential and knowing how to lead with value… I knew what I had to do and pounced on the opportunity.
I commented on the mamma’s photo and told everyone that I’d post a behind the scenes photo (which I thankfully had) over on my Immerse Photography page on Facebook the next day, and I encouraged everyone to follow along so they could see it.
The next day, I did just that. I posted the behind the scenes photo next to the final copy and told everyone exactly what we had done to make it happen.
I used words that would evoke a strong emotional response from my clients and had all the key elements of a strong social post. And you know what happened?
I reached 500 more people than I had fans on my page! That’s right – I reached more people than were actually following me! And, the best part? It was completely organic… meaning I didn’t spend a penny.
So now that I know the basics…. what next? Remember social media marketing is always changing and evolving. Stay on the forefront of these trends so you can stay in front of your clients. Become a part of my Spark Society community to get free goodies and the latest tips and tricks. Here are some related articles: