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Social media marketing is a great way to draw people to your photography business and get them to interact with you in a meaningful way, in other words, increase your business. Let’s talk about how to use social media for your photography business and look at some photography business tips.
It’s More Than the Number of Followers
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Many social media tips for photographers highlight meaningful interaction, because that’s what you really want out of your social media marketing. Meaningful interaction means something that leads to some form of positive result for your photography business.
That could be a click through to a website where you have images for sale or it could mean setting up an appointment for you to provide the client with your offerings or services.
It could also mean following you, favoriting a post or account, subscribing to a blog or vlog, or something else similar that could result in a future sale or future bookings.
What happens a lot when we start out on a new (to us) social media platform or starting on social media altogether, is that we look at other accounts, posts, or videos and see a large number of followers, likes, or subscriptions and we feel like successful social media marketing is beyond our grasp.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with that thought, but just like in real life, you want more than simply a crowd. You want that crowd to do something that benefits your business. So, the first of our photography marketing tips for social media is not to get disheartened by an initial small number of followers. Look at the quality of the interaction.
But You DO Need Some Numbers
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When thinking about how to use social media for your photography business, you will have to find a way to gather likes, followers, and subscriptions. The best way to gain these numbers is organically.
What does that mean, organically? In regards to photography marketing tips, it primarily means to let the numbers grow in a natural manner. To be completely frank: don’t buy followers.
There are all sorts of outfits online that try to sell us a guaranteed number of Facebook likes or Instagram followers, but those methods don’t actually help you do or get business, they simply inflate the number of likes or followers.
There are multiple methods these outfits use to get you the numbers, but the numbers rarely satisfy the first tip concerning meaningful interaction. That’s because the people (or bots) aren’t actually desiring to see you or your stuff, they’re just satisfying some requirements in a marketing ploy.
In some cases, we’ve seen gaming websites offer bonus points, levels, or playing time by following this site and that site, clicking like so many times, and so on. After they meet the requirements and get their little bonus, they never come back to you. They really never wanted to see you in the first place.
There are other models used to capture those “guaranteed” numbers besides what we detailed above, but the bottom line in all of them is that they have no real benefit to you, they're merely empty numbers. Save your money to spend on real social media marketing.
Interact Meaningfully Yourself
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While you want the other people to meaningfully interact with you and your brand, one of the most important methods for how to use social media for your photography business is to interact yourself on the social media platform.
Partly this means that whenever someone comments on your stuff, you should reply in a positive way. If they’re bagging on you, putting you down, being mean, you can block them, remove content, whatever controls are on the platform. But if they’re acting like most people, in other words, being nice and normal or asking questions, engage with them. All of them.
Another way to interact yourself in a meaningful way on social media is to look for other people and businesses to like, follow, and comment on. This puts your presence out there, plus it helps with pesky, all powerful, no one fully understands them, algorithms. In plain words, the more you interact with other accounts, the more people will see yours.
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Most of the social media outlets have some form of optional methods, usually costing something somehow, to get you seen by more people. Some sites will spot you some ad bucks to start out with, others will charge you real money from the get go.
One thing to be aware of is that there are lots of experienced users who have seen their views go down after using the paid promotions a few times if they stop using them. It’s those hard to understand (if they even really exist as speculated) algorithms again they seculate.
But why stop? Unlike those fake guarantees of the sites mentioned in the first of our social media tips for photographers, the paid promotions from the platforms themselves actually work. And… you can usually specify or target a time range of when to be seen and even a certain subset of users for more meaningful (there’s that word again) interaction.
Keep at It
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Once you start on a social media, keep on using it. If it provides nothing for you and you want to try a different platform, go for it, try out multiple sites to see which one or more works best for your business model.
The sponsored or paid promotions do work, at least to get you seen, so include social media marketing in your advertising budget. Unless you don't want to be seen and you don't want other people to buy your stuff or book a session with you.
Social media is a fact of life in this digital world. Used properly, it is a great way to advertise for new or continuing business. Plus, many photographers find the community feel of the medium to be enjoyable.
Check back with us for more ideas of how to use social media for your photography business.