When running a photography business, social media plays a critical role in gaining clients and building relationships with other photographers. Engagement is key in business and social media makes it a much easier process, especially with the current state of the world.
However, running a successful social media platform is not as easy as it seems. It is time-consuming and challenging to make your small corner of the Internet known. You can spend hours creating content and post every single day, only to see your follower count and number of likes not climbing at all. This can be incredibly disheartening.
But today, I want to help you get your social media to a place where it is not only rising steadily and receiving the engagement you want, but also help ensure you are not spending hours and hours building your platforms The last thing you want is to be sucked into Instagram or Facebook or Pinterest for hours, thinking it will help your account grow, when in reality, it can take less than an hour each day to successfully grow your platforms!
The key to success with social media is posting consistently. However, it can be hard to remember to hop on Instagram at 10 am everyday and post. One simple way to ensure you are posting frequently and consistently is by using a social media management system like Hootsuite or Later. These softwares allow you to schedule posts in advance on any social media platform. This means you can dedicate a day or two to finding photos to post, writing captions, and scheduling them rather than wasting time doing this every day and getting burnt out.
When it comes to deciding how often to post and what times, it depends on the platform. Check out these articles that go into detail about HOW OFTEN you should post and WHEN to the various social media platforms.
Engaging with other photographers is the best way to grow your social media and also build trust and relationships with other professionals in your industry. I recommend spending around 30 minutes every day (except the weekends to give yourself some time off!) liking, commenting, and following other photographers. Talk about how much you admire their photos in a DM or comment, and give them a follow. Not only will they appreciate that, but they will most likely give you a follow or a like back.
Building up your own following list also ensures you have inspiring content to draw inspiration from in your feed. This is a huge part of creating a successful social media account because we are always in need of fresh ideas!
The worst thing you can do is think you need to be on every social media platform. Don’t spread yourself too thin! Focus on two-three platforms that are the best for photographers and put your time and energy into them. Photographers do very well on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, so think about being active on maybe two of those platforms.
The consequence of spreading yourself too thin is you not posting at all! You will forget to consistently schedule posts to go up because you will not have only run out of content ideas, but the inspiration and motivation to post. When in doubt, start with one social media account and you can always grow from there.
I am not saying every post has to have an in-depth caption, but try not to post just for the sake of posting. Post content you are proud of and that is of value to other people. This can mean many different things. It can mean posting a beautiful picture you spent lots of time editing and are proud of, an announcement of something exciting, or a post with tips and tricks for your audience. Avoid snapping a quick, half-blurry photo of the sky and not including a caption of any sort because it will turn away your followers. Instantly, your account will look less professional and give off the illusion that you don’t care about how it looks. Which you should!
This can be a little controversial but follow trains are a great way to follow creative people you may have never found otherwise on social media. One way you can find follow trains is by joining Facebook groups like the UNSCRIPTED photography group. Occasionally, they do follow trains that are a lot of fun to participate in! There are so many more photography Facebook groups out there, so I recommend doing a search for them and joining in. Not only are they good for follow trains, but it is helpful to be part of a community of like-minded people.
Social media accounts do the best when it sounds like an individual is talking and not a company. When someone follows a social media account, they want to be able to connect with a person and not a company who is only trying to sell their products to them right away. I run Focal’s Instagram, and I make it my priority to use my own voice despite running a company’s Instagram. It makes a big difference!
It’s important to recognize that social media is part of running a business in 2020. Just remember to stay organized, keep to a schedule, and post things you are proud of, and you will do great!