Photography is an art form and people can connect on an emotional level to pictures. A good photo shows the photographer’s technical skills but a great photo tells a compelling story. It draws people in and transports them to another world. But the best picture in the world can’t tell its story if no one sees it, right? That’s where we come in.
Social media is deceptive. It seems like anyone can make an account, upload content and get famous. The truth is a little different. Say, you’re an amateur photographer looking to blow up on Instagram. You have some creative photography marketing ideas but aren’t comfortable networking. Unfortunately, your digital presence won’t be successful unless you’re willing to interact with various people.
Networking is one of the most important tools in your social media kit. There are plenty of other ways to establish your digital brand. Before we dive into the best social media marketing strategies, let’s take a look at which platforms would be best suited to your brand.
Which Platform Should You Be On?
There’s a wide array of social media platforms to choose from. Off the top of your head, you’ll know about Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. These apps have transitioned from being networking spaces to becoming information hubs. Most people get their daily news updates from the big three platforms.
Digital platforms offer a range of users. The best part of this is that like minded people can find each other and talk about their interests. There’s a Facebook group for almost any subject. You can find people connecting over pet pictures and asking how to calculate CSAT. The options are endless and you can be in on the action. The point is to get them to talk about your work and encourage them to share it.
You’ll find a diversity of options if you explore. There are specialist social media platforms like Behance, 500px, Flickr, Pinterest, Vero, Steller and Reddit. The list doesn’t stop there. Our guide will help you figure out which one of these platforms would be the best to showcase your visual talent.
The top social media platforms for photography marketing are:
Instagram is all about visuals. Users post aesthetically curated feeds that show them living their best life. The point is to show off your best moments in high definition and everyone has the space to do so.
You can browse your Instagram timeline and come across pictures of food, videos of models and celebrities, even ads for project collaboration software and AI powered writing assistants, all at once. Instagram doesn’t discriminate. Anyone who wants to build a brand can. And photography is well suited here.
Behance is an artist’s dream. It allows creators to upload content in a portfolio setting so people can browse through. Adobe owns the social network so if you use Lightroom to edit your pictures, you can upload them straight away.
Behance was created to give exposure to content creators. One of the best outcomes you can get from this platform is access to jobs. Think of it like a photographer’s LinkedIn. You can set up your full-time or freelance profile and interested users can instantly connect.
Platforms like Behance have gone through intense testing like functional testing, agile testing, and app store a/b testing, which gives them a user interface that is easy to use and enhances your social media experience as a photographer.
This digital platform was made for photographers. It doesn’t offer other creative categories. Unlike other social media sites, 500px offers paid plans that you can use to gain maximum exposure.
You can start off with their free plan but that allows for 7 images. If you pay, you can upload unlimited pictures and efficiently promote your photography software, workshop or brand. 500px requires considerable investment but once you commit, you’re guaranteed successful results.
Feel free to pick from the options given above. You can start with one and work your way to creating a multi-brand brand. It’s all about what works for you.
Although not a social media platform, it certainly is a digital platform you want to be on as a photographer. By creating an account with Cherrydeck, you become searchable on their specialized photographer search, and you have access to multiple tools that help you showcase and market your portfolio easily.
On the same note, they offer feature opportunities on their blog, website and Instagram page that will get you exposure, credibility and traction. Moreover, through a community of over 60K+ professional and upcoming photographers, they create visual content for brands. Thus, connecting you with dream clients.
You can create an account here and contribute to your social media marketing.
Social Media Marketing Strategies for Photographers
Each platform offers a unique set of features. Before you take the plunge, you’ll want to understand how to market your brand effectively. The principle doesn’t just apply to photographers. You could develop the best video conferencing software out there or create the most comfortable shoes, but it wouldn’t matter unless you marketed it well.
Here are some creative marketing techniques and steps for a successful business for photographers:
1. Timing is Everything
You may have had people telling you to post every day or even multiple times in one day. There’s a general misconception that brands grow when they post frequently. In reality, you need to study and understand your audience to know when to post.
A quick look at your Insights page will give you this important information. Instagram provides detailed insights into audience behavior, demographics and some psychographics. It also tells you when people are most likely to view your content. Make a note of these times and post share-worthy content accordingly.
2. Optimize your Networking
Social media sites encourage networking. There’s a way to optimize your networks so you don’t end up wasting energy on useless leads. You don’t need to engage with random followers or brands that don’t match your niche.
Content creators tend to prioritize building relationships with their peers. This is useful, but not likely to result in query generation. You’re better off connecting with influencers or businesses that are relevant to your content.
Think about how affiliate marketing networks grow. For example, an MLM selling supplements will engage with fitness trainers, health enthusiasts and athletes. Similarly, you should reach out and connect to people that might one day give you business.
3. Think Licensing
Have you seen the photos available on sites like Shutterstock and Unsplash? They’re high-quality pictures that are used by millions. Consider signing up with one of these services to license your photography.
Shutterstock is a paid platform with a pricy subscription fee. It’s also one of the most preferred photography databases especially by corporate clients. Their users keep on growing. Shutterstock saw a 22% increase in subscribers in a year, from 2020 to 2021. The numbers keep going up.
Generic photography might seem trivial to an artistically inclined photographer but it sells. Sites like Shutterstock offer lucrative opportunities and a stable user base which you should take advantage of.
4. In the Box Thinking
You might be scratching your head at this title. It’s preferable to think creatively but that’s not what we’re referring to. You can be as creative as you want, but understand and establish your niche.
There are some photographers who can get away with doing it all, but they’ve made themselves into industry giants. They’ve worked for years to establish themselves. Some have had a stroke of luck.
Getting fame on social media requires an aspect of ‘realness.’ People want to know about you. Connect with people by being authentic and sharing your true passions. You’ll notice that there are like minded people around who will share your random interests, like software development or bird watching etc.
Get real and create your space. Make sure it’s unique. People will notice.
5. Curate the Feed
Social media sites are about aesthetics. Users browse endlessly through timelines and feeds, hoping to see dynamic visuals. Make your online presence into a carefully curated work of art so when people land on it, they stay. Creating good social media photos is an art.
A good way to do this is crafting a color palette. Photographs contain different colors but you can give them the same look with filters. Or you can choose the classic monochrome theme.
Themed feeds attract users and showcase your aesthetic sense. They encourage queries and leads, too. Create the feed you’d want to scroll through and you’re good to go.
6. No Space for Spam
Social networks tell you to interact with different accounts to stay relevant. An example of this is if you see an advert for electronic signature software for photographers and leave a comment that makes others in the business want to check out your profile.
Oftentimes this can work. You can leave comments under different pictures and start conversations. This is the most genuine way to connect on social networks. That being said, you have to be careful not to leave spam comments.
An example of a spam comment would be typing something generic like “good one” or “wow!” under multiple pictures. Platforms like Instagram pick up on this activity and temporarily ban the user from commenting.
7. Target, Don’t Generalize
Some social networks function like search engines. Instagram’s hashtag feature allows users to search for anything. You can look up posts on anything, from Dialpad video calling, to vintage furniture.
You can use these interests to create a target profile for your audience. This way, you can market your content to people who care and want to engage. For example, if you specialize in wedding photography you should create an audience that searches for weddings, wedding dresses, and similar tags.
Market Yourself, By Yourself
Authenticity works. Genuine connection sells. When you set out to utilize social media marketing for your photography, remember that you’re the brand. Your unique voice will attract users to your page and your skills will help them stay. Cultivate your niche, create a specific audience profile and get creative.
If you liked reading on our social media marketing insights for photographers, make sure you check out the Cherrydeck blog for more.
Jenna Bunnell – Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Dialpad
Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad video calling, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Bunnell has also written for MacSecurity and Brightpearl Check out her LinkedIn profile.