Thursday, 20 December 2012

Five Reasons For Photographers To Use Social Media

Social media has been growing in strength over the past ten years. More businesses have incorporated this into their marketing strategy. So if you’re still on the fence here are my top 5 reasons to use social media for photographers.

1. Visibility

Social media gives you online visibility that you need to have in this global marketplace. You have access to potential customers from your local town right through to the other side of the globe. Prior to the internet and social media it was pretty much a monopoly, large corporations would spends huge amounts on advertising and smaller companies wouldn’t be able to compete. Now smaller companies, just like you, have the opportunity to showcase your photography products and services globally... And the best part is it’s virtually free!

2. Loyal community

Many people think Social Media is all about popularity… aka, the higher the number of fans on Facebook or the more followers you have on twitter the greater the rewards. While we all like being popular, to get really effective results you want to build a loyal community of followers who like having a conversation with you. Let’s take two businesses and compare them. Business A has 50 loyal fans that support their photography business. These fans share Business A’s content, responds to their messages & tells their friends. Business B has 500 fans with no loyal fans. Business B is going to have to work a lot harder to get their message socialized. Where as if you own business A you’ll grow a lot faster just with the help of your loyal fans. So don’t get caught up in the hype. Social Media plays by the same rules as anything else… “quality and not quantity” rules the roost.

3. Opportunities

A key point in your success is how you communicate with people. The idea is to participate in conversation and build relationships. If you have a look at Sony on Twitter, Sony doesn’t just post tweets about themselves they ask questions in a fun way. They also actively ask the community to participate by submitting photos and they use twitter as a customer service platform. By actively participating in conversations you want to build relationships so that people remember you . This then has a knock on effect and opportunities begin to present themselves which leads to enquiries, partnerships, sales or even freelance work.

I am just as guilty as many others that I see… I sometimes forget Social Media is about being social. In sales you are always told to be selling and closing… Not the case with Social Media… its about gaining trust first. People will only buy your products and services if they trust you and have gotten to know you.

4. Feedback

If you’re a photographer who’s new to the game, social media can be a great way to get feedback on your photos. For example on Facebook, Flickr and 500px you could ask people to comment on your images to let you know what’s right and what’s wrong with your images.

Take it one step further and you’ve got access to many experienced photographers or you can even speak to high profile industry experts who aren’t easily accessible through other channels.

5. You Can’t Afford Not Too

Every type of business can now be found using Social Media, in today’s digital age you need to be a part of the social media community. Unfortunately if you choose not to embrace Social Media fully you’re simply handing your potential customers to your competitor. You need to put yourself out there to reap the benefits of social media… but if you do it… be committed. Doing this part time will not serve your business well…

There are many more benefits to using “Social Media”… and as the days go on I will try to address them all… these were just the “Top Five” reasons to jump on board.
If you want ot learn more about maximizing social media, please register for my Social Media Seminar in 2013 here,