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General Photography DiscussionHow Strong Is Your Social Media Presence? Does It Play A Role In Your Business?

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Bobby Deal
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How Strong Is Your Social Media Presence? Does It Play A Role In Your Business?

Postby Bobby Deal » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:47 pm

Hi, so I am positive I under utilize much of my personal social media when it comes to business. So much is available to us as business people and artists that allows us to build truly huge Social Media Followings World Wide. I know that rule number 1 of marketing is to market until you no longer have to introduce yourself. I see other photographers successfully utilizing Social Media Followings to create some very significant real world opportunities. Where I struggle with building strong Social Media following is that it takes so darn much time to stay on top of it. I have considered hiring the duties out but a part of me says that is unfair to those who would follow me and want to hear what I am saying about the work, the industry and the art rather than hearing what a paid assistant has to say about it. As a result with the exception of my Facebook I struggle to find the time to utilize the tools made available to be by social media outlets such as Instagram, Tumblr, Pintrest, Twitter etc. For me it is a double edged sword, I know there is benefit in going all out in the building of a social media brand but I still believe I should spend more time doing the things I am good at rather than the things I am not so social media gets pushed to the back. There is no point it would seem in approaching Social Media Branding from a part time, half in position. It seems that the results can only be counted on by those who build big numbers. So with that in mind, how should we as artists and professionals balance the time commitment needed and should that balance be different for Professionals and Non Professionals?

Here is my current Instagram page http://instagram.com/realdealphoto as you can see my use of it is sporadic at best though I hope to find that balance and start building my presence. So what does everyone else think, should a person concentrate on building the huge numbers needed for social media success in one place only say just Instagram or is the best plan of attack a consistent effort across multiple outlets?

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Duck
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Re: How Strong Is Your Social Media Presence? Does It Play A Role In Your Business?

Postby Duck » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:36 pm

You are not kidding when you say it's a double edge sword requiring resources that are often thinly stretched to begin with. Yes, many of the photographer we admire and follow ourselves on social media seem to have mastered that elusive art of being everywhere. While it may seem like cheating I can honestly say that none of those giants of the industry do all the work themselves. They do have assistants that handle the monkee work. They may write their own blog post or update but then they hand it off to someone else to process and disseminate that material throughout all their sites. Having a good dependable personal assistant is worth their weight in gold.

Personally, I can't afford a personal assistant. Wish I could. So, like many of us small business owners, I have to pick and choose what is most important. Unfortunately the one thing that is the most valuable tool in today's business practice is the one thing that has to take a back seat.

There are tools out there, as I understand, that post to multiple sites by posting from one location. Social media management apps can be a big help in this respect. While I don't use them I have heard of SocialFlow, TwitterFeed and a couple others I can't think of right now. It's simply a game of visibility. You need to keep your name in front of your customer's noses. With the short life span of most social postings, that means producing some kind of message on a daily basis and some kind of content on at least a weekly basis. This constant stream of material keeps the visibility up there and you will be popping up on your customer's computer, cell phone or tablet quite often. Which leads to another potential business tactic, word of mouth.

Word of mouth is one of the best methods of attaining work. It gives credibility to you and your service because it is being recommended from one person to another in a very personal way, conversation. There's no disassociation like you would find on an impersonal computer screen, print ad, flyer or business card. But if someone can't remember you at the critical moment in a conversation it does no good. By being in front of people's faces it keeps your name on the tips of their tongues. So when it comes to recommending a photographer you want to be that person on the tip of everyone's tongues. That's why I love it when my customers Tweet or Facebook about me. It keeps me in front of people's noses. Now I just have to find the time and discipline to post more of my own social media stuff.
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Re: How Strong Is Your Social Media Presence? Does It Play A Role In Your Business?

Postby cyclohexane » Thu May 28, 2015 8:24 pm

I'm starting to believe that social media is not an effective way to build your brand in photography.

I've never been with the times in regards to social media (my dad had Facebook before I did), but some of my friends and the photographers I work with have established themselves and their brands on social media; some of them even have some pretty visible, successful social media presences. Hundreds or thousands of folks "like" their pages, follow them, and so on.

The kicker is... none of those folks are their clients or customers. Their social media presences are literally giant collections of ego-strokers. They all love the photographer until it's their turn to reach into their wallet for photography; all of a sudden, the photographer is out of their budget.

I'm coming to the opinion that the old ways are still the best. Face to face, and telephone, though I haven't got the faintest clue how to sell myself over the phone yet. Hell, everyone my age just texts.
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Duck
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Re: How Strong Is Your Social Media Presence? Does It Play A Role In Your Business?

Postby Duck » Thu May 28, 2015 10:25 pm

cyclohexane wrote:I'm starting to believe that social media is not an effective way to build your brand in photography.
...Hundreds or thousands of folks "like" their pages, follow them, and so on.
...The kicker is... none of those folks are their clients or customers. Their social media presences are literally giant collections of ego-strokers...


True, there are a lot of people on social media that do not turn into customers but as long as your name is attached to their account that means you are getting seen by their friends and their friend's friends. Some of them may turn into a paying customer. Remember that it really is a numbers game. More so today than ever before. So if there are a hundred non paying facebook followers on my page that means one hundred people spreading my brand to their friends.

Remember, social media is today's word of mouth. The more mouths that talk about my business the happier I am.
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