Social Media is your new best friend!
Navigating social media can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re not super proficient with technology or if your time is limited, but I really believe it’s worth the effort.
There are several different programs and apps to use, but my three favorites are Facebook, Instagram and Periscope.
Periscope is a relatively new app that works hand-in-hand with Twitter, so if you already have a username (I’m @wrzook if you want to come visit!), you’re pretty much ready to go. Periscope allows you to stream videos of any length on any topic while interacting with your audience. If someone follows you, they’ll receive a notification when you’re going on air. Periscope is really new to me and I’m still figuring it out, but I think I’ll be using it a lot for behind-the-scenes videos (editing photos, scouting locations, etc) and maybe eventually some question-and-answer sessions. Watchers can type in questions or comments and even “heart” your video (which is similar to a like on FB or a heart on IG).
Recommendations: Use titles that are interesting and make people want to watch. Include your location or a brief description on what you’re doing. Try to avoid “um” or other distracting words when talking. Think for a minute or two before hitting “start.” And be prepared for the occasional creepy comment — I’ve heard Periscope will be working on those and you do have the option to turn off comments and block users.
Facebook has its advantages, but truthfully, I think it’s going downhill as far as attracting your audience and reaching new clients. I still try to post at least twice a week, but more often than not I’m linking to my website or blog or even Instagram or another social media place.
Recommendations: Keep in mind the time of day (When are people more likely to be browsing ? — probably before work and after supper). Share! Share on your personal page, share with the client in the photo, share with a good friend nearby who doesn’t mind being tagged. The more likes or comments a post gets, the more likely it is to get more viewers.
(I’m here on Facebook!)
Instagram is probably my favorite social media outlet. Especially if you’re a photographer, there’s nothing better than an app that completely revolves around beautiful and interesting images. With the click of a couple of buttons, photos on your camera roll can be shared with dozens, hundreds or thousands of people! I definitely recommend combining your personal and professional accounts if you have two already — Check out someone like Hope Taylor, who has the most gorgeous Instagram feed. Even her personal posts are laid out nicely, have great lighting and fit her brand and style. A photo of the bride and groom you just photographed is just as important as your morning coffee and cuddly cat when it comes to a client understanding who you are.
Recommendations: Use hashtags! (#) If you can, use hashtags relating to venues, colors, the type of shoot, your name and definitely your state/city/region. I use #nepa or #nepaphotographer for almost all of my Instagram posts because I’m in Northeast PA. Also, you can use dropbox or email your edited professional photos and still use them on IG. Just make sure they look nice in the square shape! (I’m here on Instagram)
Have fun with it! I’ve met some great people along the way and I’ve enjoyed some of the things I’ve seen and learned. I’m sure you will, too!