I had once heard that you could compare photography like going to the doctor. If you had allergies would you go to a general practice doctor or an allergy specialist? The same goes with photography, wouldn’t you rather go to someone who specializes? Once you have defined your photography niche, you will have a much better understanding of your target audience (clients) which will help you define your social media strategy. Most importantly, knowing your target audience will help you determine which social media outlets you should be using on a regular basis.
Weddings & Bridal Portraits – This is probably the most diverse photography niche in that your audience could be anywhere from their early 20’s to ….. With such a range of ages, you almost have to use all of the major social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest).
Family, Children and Newborn Portraits – This client group is a bit more defined and while it never hurts to use multiple social media outlets, you will get the biggest bang for your buck by focusing on Facebook.
High School Senior Portraits – You actually have to target two very different target groups when dealing with high school seniors. First, you have the seniors themselves who are typically very social. Today’s teens are constantly checking their social media, texting or talking to their friends. If you have ever been on Twitter you would realize that quickly. But I did find out that most of the teens I have photographed don’t use or have Facebook accounts. Apparently Facebook is for ‘old’ people and they prefer using Twitter and Instagram. Then you have parents. Just like Family, Children and Newborn (above), parents of high school seniors are most likely to use Facebook as their main source of social media.
Once you have defined your niche and which social media outlets would best suit your target audience, let’s take a look at how we can use social media to reach your target audience.
SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLETS
Facebook – the general practice of social media
Even though Facebook is constantly going through changes, I still believe it is one of the most powerful social media outlets out there today. This is where the moms and dads of the world live on social media. You won’t find many teens here, but there are a few.
I love that you can tag clients in the images, or they can tag themselves and share with their friends and family. That makes it an easy way to gain new fans and potential clients. If you use vendors such as a clothing store, props, makeup artists, venue, a location, you can also tag them as well. It’s an opportunity to build relationships.
For my client images, I post one image on Facebook as a sneak peek one day prior to their ordering appointment. I find this gets them excited about their appointment, but they don’t have time to overanalyze the image for too long either. If you post too many images, what will they have to look forward to when you see them the next day?
I also like to post a question to get my page noticed by my clients. I also make sure to like or respond to their comments to know that I read them. After a clients ordering appointment I will blog about their photo session and will post only photos they purchased after they have placed their order and also post this link on Facebook. It’s a great way to drive traffic to your website to see more images.
As a photographer I love Instagram. I have two Instagram accounts: one is my personal private account and the other is my public photography account. I decided to keep my private life and my work separate. I figure not every person is a cat lover and wants to see my cat in strange places or dressed up in a bunny costume. If you do love cats, by all means you can follow my personal account!
Just like Facebook, I post one image on Instagram, which is the same image I post on Facebook the day prior to the order appointment. You can tag your client, write something personal and use relevant hash-tags. When I post sneak peeks on Instagram, I almost immediately get a text from them asking if they could post the image on their own Instagram account. My answer, YES! Just please tag me in the photo. Now that is easy free marketing!
If a parent or my assistant aka hubby is with me I will ask them to take behind the scene photos. Photojournalism is a great way to show what it’s like working with you.
Twitter is for the young folk, so if you aren’t marketing to teens or vendors, this may not be the best use of your time. To be honest, I don’t’ read tweets often. I mean really, who wants to read every little tweet anyways? However, I try to tweet or re-tweet once a day. I also read my clients (High School Seniors) status and favorite or reply to status (if I think it’s relevant). It’s my way of making the effort to interact with them and to know that I am listening and care about what’s going on their life.
I will also post status updates when I have worked with a client to tell them how much fun I had working with them. If you have given them a great experience they are going to re-tweet. Again more easy free marketing! I have linked my Instagram account to Twitter, to drive clients back to Instagram in hopes to gain new followers.
I don’t use Pinterest to try and gain new clients, but do use it for client inspiration. If my clients knows their ‘theme’, boho chic, glamour, rustic, urban, trendy, etc. I email them the relevant Pinterest board for inspiration.
There is so many great social media outlet’s, I’d love to know which ones you use? What have you found that works and doesn’t work? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
- Social Media Strategy | Tips From a Raleigh Photographer - May 29, 2015