“Learn about digital marketing, because nowadays it’s more important that being a good photographer.” – Andre Vicente
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Every photographer has to pause at some point and ask themselves, “Am I doing enough to promote my work?”. In truth, Andre Vicente gave invaluable advice for his fellow photographers – digital marketing is and should be an integral part of your business.
New social media platforms seem to pop up all the time – new features, new tools and strategies. It can get overwhelming. Social media for photographers is a little different from other fields, and you actually have a competitive advantage because you already have amazing content.
Even though there’s many ways to go about curating content and adapting it to different platforms, it’s better to focus on a few social media networks and really excel in a few instead of branching out to every possible social media platform and compromising in quality.
Your primary focus is to promote your photography and reach out to more people, which will hopefully bring you new clients. One common mistake with photographers is posting the same content on all the social media networks. You need to understand how all the platforms differentiate, and work towards achieving different goals on individual social media networks.
Facebook for photographers
If there’s one platform that is an absolute must for all photographers, it’s Facebook. It’s the perfect platform for mainly community building but also a great way for clients to get to know you and your work.
You need to keep your profile up to date and be active on the platform by joining other photography groups. Work towards building a profile and a business Page that is accurate and reflective of you as a professional.
The new Facebook algorithm prioritizes engagement. This means that your content should resonate with the people you know and it will have higher chances of being visible to other groups of people.
Instagram for photographers
The one platform where you can count on consistent engagement is Instagram. As it is a very visual platform, every photographer should be hanging out here. As you may very well know, many brands and companies have switched to business profiles which might also be fitting for you if you’re promoting a photography business. You can find out more about making the switch here.
Like Facebook, Instagram allows you to run ads which could be crucial to targeting people in your city and acquiring new customers this way. Also, you can upload DSLR images and really focus on the highest quality content to share with your followers and potential clients.
It’s easier to build up a following on Instagram with the use of hashtags and other features. It does take time and dedication to grow your following and find clients through the app, but you can be sure that it’s one of the most effective platforms in doing so. Many of our photographers also mention that they find their models through Instagram, which is another great bonus for photographers.
Twitter for photographers
Twitter is completely different from other social media platforms as it is very fast paced, and a ‘brief thoughts’ kind of format. You can include images, but think of Twitter as a platform to just connect to your followers, close ones and other professionals.
It’s a great platform for all the little updates about your business, shout outs and the like. Twitter also allows for advertising, which is worth experimenting with. Overall, it’s a decent tool for networking and connecting with like minded individuals.
If clients are interested in your work, you can be sure that the first places they look is the 3 networks we’ve mentioned so far. Keep your Twitter up to date but remember that it requires a very different approach if you want to increase engagement and branch out here.
Pinterest for photographers
Pinterest is perfect for niche photographers – wedding, interiors and events. Interestingly, 80% of Pinterest users are women and majority turn to Pinterest for inspiration for events. It is therefore a great platform for brand building. The main purpose is to inspire users.
Pinterest, like Instagram, is very visual. However, a different format is preferred – vertical photos which have proven to work better than horizontal ones. You can create several boards for different genres that you specialize in and increase your chances of being discovered by the platform’s target audience.
Pinterest should inspire a different kind of creativity. It might not be enough to just post images that link back to your website or blog. Pinterest images should send a very direct message so pairing images with text in a creative composition might work better. You can use tools like Crello to quickly and easily modify images and add text.
LinkedIn for photographers
We’re now getting to the ‘strictly business’ part of this article. Much can be said about LinkedIn as truly the platform for professional networking. What you can do is polish your CV to perfection to include the history of your career and use it sparingly to promote projects and reach out to people.
LinkedIn has a more mature audience that’s interested in building meaningful relationships. Use this to your advantage. Clients also often use the platform to find talent so if you have an excellent page that is discoverable, you can expect possible job offers. You can contact and target relevant industries if you want to make the most of LinkedIn for professional purposes.
Make sure your work is part of the page on LinkedIn. If someone stumbles on your page, they’re going to see the CV part right away, but they will want to see more of your work so see how you can integrate that as well.
Google+ for photographers
What you might not know about Google+ is that it’s actually really effective for search engine optimization. It’s often overlooked by photographers, but turns out that everything you post gets picked up by Google. What this means is that people looking for keywords you include in posts will show up in Google search.
This gives you a chance to be discovered for some basic searches which is another platform you should put more thought into. Google+ also has groups you can join that’s just for photographers.
Many photographers perhaps struggle with the question “What’s the best platform for me”? There is no definitive answer because it all depends on your line of work and the goals you have for different social media platforms. Whichever ones you choose to focus on, really narrow in on the benefits of each one and treat them as separate platforms instead of posting the same images and little content everywhere.
You may have noticed that there was no mention of platforms like Tumblr, Snapchat, Behance and a handful of others. It’s not to say that those platforms aren’t effective, it’s more about the platforms that can give you a competitive advantage and actually make a difference to your business.
Which platforms have helped you promote your business and acquire more clients? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.