Social Media for Photographers Series
For the past several weeks in our Social Media for Photographers series, we have discussed how to create a social media plan, what type of content you should be sharing on your photography business pages, and how to use four of the more popular social media platforms as a business.
To a photographer whose passion lies more in the creative side and less in the business and marketing, social media marketing might seem intimidating and time-consuming. Today’s blog post is intended to help you seamlessly add social media posting into your workflow by prioritizing the platforms that serve you best and utilizing tools available to save you time.
If you have been reading our series, you understand the importance and the potential of social media for a professional photographer’s business. Yet this vast potential does not mean you have to jump in with both feet and no plan to the detriment of your other responsibilities as a photographer (remember that post on having a social media plan a while back?).
It is perfectly acceptable—and in many cases preferable—to take things slow and to add new social media platforms and strategies to your workflow as you become competent with existing ones. We have some general recommendations for the order in which you should tackle social media for your business when pacing yourself, to be sure you’re prioritizing the options that will be most profitable for you.
1. Set up your Facebook page.
Facebook is currently one of the best options for photographers to market and advertise to potential clients. If you haven’t yet, read our posts “How to Facebook Like the Pro That You Are” and “Advertising & Analyzing on Facebook” and establish your Facebook presence. Cultivate content and begin posting once per day, at least on weekdays.
With the scheduling tool we’ll discuss later in this post, you can queue several posts at once when you have free time. Ideally, you’ll be checking Facebook once or twice per day to respond to any comments or messages from your followers. You’ll want to respond within 24 hours during the work week to make a positive impression. Once you’re comfortably posting and checking your Facebook page daily, you can move on to #2.
2. Start ‘gramming.
Unless your niche is portraits of the elderly, your target market is on Instagram. You’re already using Facebook to market; next, begin to brand your photography business on Instagram. Posting one or two images will likely only take a couple of minutes each day. You’ll just need to remember to snap photos for your account regularly!
As we mention in the blog post here, the best images for branding are behind-the-scenes—snap casual shots (or videos!) at photo shoots, while working at your desk, etc. You’re likely already taking photos that work well for Instagram; this shouldn’t add much time at all to your work day.
There is less of an expectation for instant response on Instagram, so checking your account and responding to comments and messages once per day (when you upload a photo) is acceptable.
3. Ease into other platforms.
We consider Facebook and Instagram the two most practical social media platforms for marketing professional photography. These should be your focus. Once you have a handle on both of those, you can begin to tackle Twitter and Pinterest at your own speed. The goal is to be spending 15 minutes or less on posting to social media and responding to your followers—these 15 minutes will be valuable for your overall business marketing strategy.
We did not discuss platforms like Google+ and LinkedIn in the Social Media for Photographers series, as our primary goal is to help you market to potential clients. Unless you work in commercial photography, head shots, or a similar professional photography experience, we would wager that more of your clients are on the four platforms we covered. However, if you find that you love social media marketing, more power to you! If you can maintain an active presence on these platforms as well, you’ll be reaching even further with your content.
It is likely that you have extraordinarily hectic days with little time for more than shooting and editing and slow days on which you have more time to devote to social media. On those slow days, you can pull together content that you believe will be valuable to your clients and schedule it to post (particularly to Facebook and Twitter) with the free tool Buffer.
Once you have linked your social media accounts, you can write the posts in Buffer and choose the day and time you’d like it to post. This will cut the time it takes you on social media each day down quite a bit!
One other tool we’d like to share with you is Canva. You can use Canva
to design eye-catching graphics in minutes. There are templates for each of the platforms we have covered, so you can quickly create perfectly-sized graphics to accompany your posts.
There are paid images and backgrounds available through Canva (for $1 each), but there are quite a few free options. If you are not a graphic designer, you will be grateful for these templates!
As we continue our Social Media for Photographers series, we hope you feel more confident and capable in your social media marketing for your professional photography business. As always, we welcome questions and topic suggestions–post them on our Facebook page and we would be happy to continue the conversation!