4 Steps to Growing Your Photography Business on Social MediaPhotography Business
If you are a professional photographer and aren’t online, then you are missing significant opportunities for business. In the age of the internet, social media is one of the best ways to showcase your portfolio and build your client base. All it takes are a few simple steps.
Choose Your Platforms Wisely
Which platforms you choose is up to you, but it’s practically impossible to use them all. Instagram is the number one platform you need to use as a professional photographer. Instagram is the ultimate image-based social media, and it’s where all the photographers and photography fans are located. More and more people are approaching photographers for potential jobs via Instagram, so if you only choose one platform, get an account on Instagram.
For those in wedding and family photography—the industries where clients will want to share their photos with family and friends—Facebook is also a must. Being able to share quick look/preview albums with clients via Facebook and having them share the images with their social network is the purest form of advertising. Also, if you don’t have a business website, you should at least have a business page on Facebook that you update on a regular basis. And having a business page is a must if you intend to run ads on Facebook or Instagram.
Other platforms are not as necessary. If you are someone who is clever with words as well as pictures, Twitter may be a great platform for you to showcase your personality. Pinterest is a wonderful platform for images, but posts do the best if the photos are in the form of inspiration lists or posts. For instance, wedding dress, decoration, or hairstyle inspiration, a list of places to travel to before you die, and other such lists. Other platforms are not as popular or photography oriented.
Post in a Timely Manner
Once you’ve chosen your platforms, the next step is posting at the right time. There is no exact science to posting on social media, but there are a lot of studies that attempt to pinpoint the perfect intervals and times to post on each platform. There isn’t enough difference in interactions based on posting times to stress about the timing of your posts. Whether a person sees your post has more to do with how many people they are following and how often they use the platform rather than any magical timing. The number one rule is to post when people in your target audience are awake.
Choosing the correct posting intervals is more critical because of the algorithms that platforms to use to vary the content users see in their feeds. If you post too often, you have the chance of annoying fans who see all of your posts or having your posts suppressed from people who follow many different accounts and don’t interact with you. For platforms like Twitter which are ephemeral and fast-moving, posting up to 15 times of day is ideal. But for the majority of platforms, one post a day is best (two at most).
You can use tools that allow you to schedule posts in advance and post at specific times without interrupting your day. There are many scheduling tools (both free and paid) that can make your social media life easier and match the posting methods that best suit your work style.
Interact With Others
Social media is just that—social. One of the best ways to gain new followers is to interact with others on the platforms. Follow photographers you love, but more importantly follow people in your target client base. Think of it as online networking, but it should come from the heart. Like, share, and comment on pictures and posts that you enjoy. Say specific things about the posts and pictures that point out your favourite aspects.
Don’t forget to interact with your fans and followers. Respond to and like fan comments on a regular basis. By commenting and interacting with others’ content and comments, you are building social capital and potential real-life relationships. Interacting with other photographers could lead to partnerships on future jobs. Interacting with your target clients could lead to future jobs. Take every interaction seriously. You never know where it will lead. And focus on quality, rather than quantity.
Just creating accounts and pages on social media and sharing beautiful images isn’t enough. The first step to gaining followers is simple. Share your social media handles and pages with family, friends, and clients. Let them know how they can follow you—this will feed your fan and follower numbers.
Another vital tool to use in the quest to gain followers is hashtags. Hashtags were created as a way to search posts by subject matter. If you don’t use them on your posts, you are missing the chance to have your posts seen by people who follow their favourite hashtags but don’t follow you. For instance, if you shoot landscapes, you should use #landscape and other words related to the composition of your image. Instagram allows users to add up to 30 hashtags to on each post, but most people only use about half of that, so choose wisely.
The ultimate way to reach people outside of your fan base is to run ads. Facebook and Instagram ads are inexpensive and can be tailored to meet your budget. Even better? You can target your ads to highly specialised groups based on geography, age, interest, and other demographics.
Your portfolio is your best advertisement, so focus most of your ads on showcasing your work, not your business deals. Work on gaining interactions with your target audience as well as sales. Promote some of your best images on Instagram to get them in front of new audiences. On Facebook, you may want to share blog posts with information on how people can improve their own photography or posts with inspiration for wedding shoots. Facebook is also the ideal platform to promote deals on new-born sessions, wedding, engagement, or corporate packages, and other photography deals you offer.
Creating a social media plan for your photography business will help you keep track of your goals on the platforms and your progress toward those goals. These steps may seem overwhelming at first, but once you get started, you’ll find that they are quite simple.
Social media is a great place to showcase your images and gain new clients, but when you meet with those potential clients in person, you’ll want to show your portfolio off in the best light possible. That’s where we come in. Contact us to learn more about our professional albums and how we can help you make a lasting impression on new clients.