As a Photographer, I totally get how our art revolves around the power of Social. Social Interaction to help clients connect with their truest, highest selves on set. Social savvy to navigate the sea of social media to reach your tribe of clients (who’ll go on to spew word-of-mouth endorsements of how awesome you are with the shutters.) Then, Bang! You gain more rep, the clients pour in steadily like recurring decimals. (Think of it like a bottle of ketchup!)
Social media is the way of the world now. Everywhere you turn, we are reminded of how it has interfaced with every facet. Photography is forsurely not an exception. Unlike in times past where photographers had to go to insane lengths to compete for gigs and spots in media showcases, anyone with a camera and solid-enough skills can earn a large following—and living—on social media!
Social media is fun to use, even addictive on some level. The endless scrollings, content binging, a flurry of double-taps every so often. (unless you’re Kanye West who was looking at the ‘gram and didn’t even like ‘likes’) For you the photographer who is going to be creating the content, it is a whole different game of pokers. There are steps to take if you’re looking to attain the ‘peak virality’ your photography business craves.
Here, we’re going to scoop out how building a social media presence for your photography business is a net positive in the long run!
How Does Social Media Help Your Business?
— Connects you to a larger audience
There really is no cap on your audience demography when leveraging social media. Unlike showcasing your work in a physical gallery where your audience would be restricted to only as many people can troop in, with social media, there’re no limits in the number of people, demography, and geographical boundaries, especially with the right platform.
As a photographer in Hilton Head, South Carolina for example, it’s not uncommon to find people from across the country, Europe, Asia, and Africa in your audience pool. This opens you up to a whole new world of possibilities. So, instead of just serving your same old clients in Bluffton, Hilton Head, Charleston, or Savannah week in, week out, you get to serve potential clients all over the world with the many perks that come with it.
— Lets you receive feedback from your diverse audience, in real-time
Not only does having a more diverse audience open you up to more commercial opportunities, but it also helps you to get more reliable feedback without waiting days or weeks to get the shares, likes and comments flowing in.
All these metrics help you to quickly get a feel of how your audience perceives your craft. Besides, these varying locations helps you ensure that the feedback is credible too. Sure, every one of us has had our friends, family and townspeople approve our work because they love us, but have you ever felt what it’s like to get a nice comment from strangers far away in Europe and Asia?
— Social media is a great place to find (and build) a community
Social media does help you find an audience. It also helps you form and access communities of like-minded shutterbugs online to give your business a bit of exposure.
Remember, It doesn’t matter whether or not you consider yourself a photography mastermind, it’s always great to find community with professionals better than you. You can always share experiences and sharpen your skills with all the tips, guidance, and opportunities, or even just find comfort in relating with them.
— The magic of targeted ads
Targeted ads are a very underappreciated element of the social media evolution. For traditional TV and print ads, you’d part with a few bucks to have your craft advertised to the general audience with little guarantee of any return on the investment. On the other hand, social media companies will allow you to choose the audience you’d beam your ads towards — your target demography.
To put this in perspective, a study found the average conversion rate of TV ads to be about 0.7%. On the other hand, Facebook ads have an average conversion rate of 9.21%. That could only mean one thing—a shitload of ROI on Ad Spend! 🙂
How to Leverage Social Media for Your Photography Business
This brings us to – Now that you know how social media can help your business, what can you do to not only build the huge following that you need but also properly utilize that platform?
— Develop the skills you need to compete
For all its social media is highly competitive. If you’re to get a large following, you need to have the skills to compete with other photographers for your fair share of digital eyeballs. So, run an honest assessment of your skills.
There’s no shame in admitting if you need further photographer education, not only will it increase your chances on social media, but it’ll also greatly improve your craft. Oh, and your audience will love you for your honesty and authenticity—a net positive for you in the long run!
— Two words. SHOW UP 🙂
To hack social media, you need to show some consistency. It’s easy to fade to the background of the social media scene if all you do is to post a few pictures occasionally. As much as you want to focus on churning out quality content, quantity matters too! If you’re in doubt, a quick skim through this piece of ours will show you why quantity matters and rid you of your confusion. 🙂
Experts advise that you develop a routine for posting on social media—per a content calendar. For instance, if analytics indicate that your content receives the most engagement during the evenings, then you should time your posts accordingly.
— Develop a clear, unmistakable brand identity (and provide value)
Another way to quickly build a following on social media is to build a clear-cut brand. Yeap. We already know that you’re a photographer. But what kinda photographer are you and this brings us to the perennial question of ‘how do you stand out from hundreds of others?’ It could range from something so infinitesimal in the grand scheme of things, like how you edit your pictures—or the stories you tell in your captions! The key take-away here’s to ‘Show up, then Stand out!’
You also want to provide value in the process. And your value creation has a lot to do with your target persona. But ultimately, there’re sure-fire ideas that’ll sell to any target audience under the sun: Inspiration, educational/growth content & connection. Without a shred of a doubt, if you can provide any of these value-laden acts of service to your audience, then you’re hacking social media right for your photography business. Also don’t forget to chip in with some behind-the-scene glimpses into your value/content creation process to humanize your social media page.
— Engage! Engage!! Engage!!!
Finally, do not forget to engage your audience. Like and respond to comments. Not only does this further endears you to your audience, but it can influence the algorithms to show your post to even more people, driving your engagement metrics to soar even higher.
Social media is a wonderful marketing tool that could help your business grow in leaps and bounds. But we won’t sell you dream, telling you that it’s as easy as pie. It can take a bit of practice to make it leeeean but once you do, you will really rock your time leveraging Social Media, dripping your social media marketing out like a team of social experts.
The competition for audience is pretty fierce. That is why we’re here to help. Here at Lisa Staff Photography, we’ve been able to apply the tips in this post to great success, helping many photographers and small businesses like yours tell their stories and increase their brand reach, leveraging social media.
We have many upcoming courses on styled shoots and other aspects of photographer education. To gain access to these offers and lots more other perks, sign up here.