You’ve seen it. The Instagram post with enough hashtags attached that you can smell the anguished desire to be noticed. By anyone. Anywhere. Please and thank you? The post lacked just one more: #desperation.
Social Media, like baseball, traffic, and dating, has RULES. Here’s how to follow them.
In general, we suggest five to ten hashtags as a happy medium between engaging your Instagram followers and annoying them. But experiment for yourself. And keep the tags relevant.
Link All Your Social Media Together
The idea here is leverage. Do you have a Twitter account? Let your followers know on Twitter that you have updated your blog. Do you have a Facebook account? Update it when you have a new Instagram post to share. On your website, have links to your Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter accounts. You get the idea.
Be Reasonable With The Watermarks
We all want to protect our work, but there is nothing worse than a huge “Do Not Copy” on images. What client wants to take the time to figure out what’s going on behind that ugly watermark? Keep your logo discrete, and make sure it doesn’t interfere with the beauty of your image.
The Best Time To Post On Platforms
Each medium is unique. And, therefore, so is how each is used by its members. Know the traffic patterns of each, and you’ll have your best chance of interacting with as many people as possible. Pinterest, for example? Weekenders. Facebook? End of the work week. And specifically 1-4pm. With a peak at 3pm. Instagram? Any day of the week. 7-9am and 4-6pm ideally.
Automate, Automate, Automate
All this socializing takes time. And time is money. Make more money by using an automation service like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer, Social Oomph, or HubSpot.
Your Personal And Your Professional Accounts
While it might seem tempting to think that your followers are interested in what you had for breakfast because I mean that acai bowl was sooooo good, let us be clear: they are not. Your Instagram account is a gallery of your work. It should be curated with the idea that it represents your brand to potential clients. Don’t muddy up your feed with images that don’t reflect your business. Leave the meal shots for your personal feed. Unless, of course, you’re a food photographer.
Youtube! It's Not Just For Cat Videos
Well, of course, it’s awesome for that, but did you know YouTube could also be valuable for your business? It is not only the second largest search engine in the world, but could help influence your search engine rankings since YouTube is owned by Google. Create videos of your products, wall galleries in clients’ homes, and peeks behind the scenes. If you’re a newborn photographer, give a lesson on the perfect infant wrap to show your expertise. Be creative. Be YOU.
It is so important to show potential clients that you are engaged and busy. Drop out from the platforms for months at a time, and they might think business has dried up. This is truly a case when absence will not make the heart grow fonder.
Post, Watch, and Learn
All those stats, charts, and summaries that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter offer? Those are there for you to learn what works and what bombed. Watch those returns come in and adjust your future postings.
Don't Give Up
We’re not going to lie to you. Building an audience will take time. But success on social media is like anything in life. Work hard, be patient, then work some more, and you will succeed. Follow these 10 Golden Rules and we promise it’ll happen for you, too. And with that we’ll add the following appropriately placed hashtag to our strategy: #winning.
Note to photographers: Plan, organize, and act in a way that will ensure success and have you reaching the right people at the right time. The Photographer's Marketing & PR Guide & Calendar will educate and guide you on marketing and social media and provide you with essential worksheets to kick-start your marketing right away!
From a very early age I loved taking pictures and looking at them in magazines and books, but the art of photography captured my heart when I was a teenager, on my first overseas trip to Wales. From that point, I began shooting with a little film SLR and having my friend model for me. In college I took some digital photography and visual communication courses as part of my communication studies major, and decided to pursue a career in photography. I became a legal business and took my first paid client at age 20, and it's been quite a journey and adventure over the past nine years.