Social Media Guide for Photographers
This is the best time to be a creative individual. What with the internet’s reach and all the tools that you have at your disposal. As a photographer looking to stay ahead of the pack, you’d need to have as many tools in your toolkit as possible.
Whatever you have in your toolkit, you’d need social networks. Point blank period.
We understand the importance of social media to photographers like you that is why we have come up with a social media guide that will help you make the most of your photography career.
We’ve asked Lisa, a professional wedding photographer in Ireland and France, to help us address the topic. Lisa has been kind to give us some intakes and share her own experience in this article.
Enjoy your read!
Why Is Social Media Important For A Photographer?
There are tons of reasons why photographers need social media. Let’s start by putting things in perspective for a bit. Millions of internet users throng mobile networking apps daily. You’d be amazed at the number of folks on social media even as you are reading this line.
So, what does it all mean for you as a photographer?
Simple. A global reach.
We live in a world where just about everyone has a social media account, even folks in the most remote parts of the world. So you can reach a large number of people once you are using the right platforms. It even gets better, these accounts are free so you can exploit all the great features that they offer for almost nothing.
Talking about features, you’d need a social media guide as a photographer to make the most of the range of features on these platforms. For instance, Instagram allows you to share your work with a large audience. Plus, you can also draw inspiration from the hordes of photographers who also make Instagram a creative hub.
Now nothing worth having is automatic. You’d need consistency, time, patience, and some know-how to make a killing from social media. That’s where a social media guide for photographers comes in handy.
With such a resource, you’d be armed with insights into how photographers have been able to build great photographer brands on social media platforms.
Before starting if you need help finding your niche, read this.
Lisa: “as a portrait and wedding photographer, I do 80% of my booking through social media. The importance of having your niche helps your potential clients to know if you are specialized in the service they are looking for. Remember, your portfolio is the only way to convince people you can respond to their needs. Also, if you are a multi-categorized photographer, you must choose which content brings you more clients. It is preferable to have different accounts depending on the niche: concert photography, fashion, weddings, newborn, food, product, couple, etc. …”
Social Media VS Online Search
Which is better for you: social media or an online search? Here is the thing. Majority of the folks who source for services and products online run online searches about the services and products before getting them. Not so many do the same on networking apps.
Interestingly both channels are intertwined and as a photographer, you’d need to understand that these platforms depend on the occurrence of current news stories. And so they could be used to build links that facilitate online searches.
This way folks can run online searches on them and they can easily discover photographer brands like yours especially when you offer something that they might be looking for. With an online search, you can generate traffic from people actively running searches about questions or phrases that are related to your brand.
You could actually use both channels to get yourself out there.
Lisa: “don’t mix the importance between your website, and social media. A website is a group of pages that represent your brand and the image you want to share while people visit your universe. And also all the information your clients need to know, so your website can answer all the potential questions they have. Social media is a way to share your universe by using visual content only, so it creates a bond between them to your website. They are all linked but useful in different ways. As a photographer, a ´ bride to be ´ from France can ask for my services by using the hashtag #frenchwedding and likes my work, but a groom based in Dublin can find me by using google: ´photographers around me ´“
Social Media Limits for Photographers
There are limitations to how you could use social media as a photographer because these online networks act locally on sponsored posts. They suggest accounts related to your location and the content you like or react to.
There is one thing you’d need to know about sponsored publications. Much as they generate loads of traffic, all that buzz is short-lived and rarely translates into long-term promotion benefits.
Another limit is that as a photographer, these apps offer you and your followers content that is similar to your preferences. This is why when you post content on these social networks, odds are that it gets to people on these networks who also happen to be within the photography industry.
You will also need to resist the temptation to keep chasing likes and followers on these networks. Getting the most followers can be a great idea, but all that energy should be directed at honing your craft as a photographer.
So, what to do?
Always remember that all the likes in the world do not boost your value as a photographer. With the right social media guide for photographers, you’d be able to find a way to balance your networking and self-promoting activity with your actual photography job. One quick tip would be for you to spend just enough time posting traffic-generating content and responding to your DMs.
Lisa: “as mentioned earlier, finding your niche is the most important before sharing on social media. You must tend to the quality instead of the quantity. It is always better to have 3000 followers who know who you are because they used your services or will soon, than having 10000 followers that give you likes only but no business.“
Photographer: Find your Social Media Aesthetic Voice
You have a signature photography style, right? Now is the time to get an aesthetic voice that is unique to your brand. More than anything a good guide will show you how to ensure that this voice stems from inside of you while resonating with users that come in contact with you.
So how do you find your social media aesthetic voice? You’d need to identify your brand’s culture and find all that you can about your target audience.
To do that, here are some things you might need to look into.
Lisa: “If a client is interested in your work, he will contact you via email or directly by phone. As they won’t see you before the day of the photo session, your voice will represent your brand and the service they are looking for. This is why you must have a social media aesthetic voice that is in harmony with the content you share online. If you show a fresh lifestyle and joyful pictures, be bubbly and friendly. But if your work shows a serious, luxury and mature style, of course, your voice won’t be too high-pitched and will be calm.“
Your Brand Culture
Identifying your photography brand’s culture goes a long way in finding your brand voice. Ask yourself these questions What sets you apart from other photographers in the business? What do you offer that others don’t?
Lisa: “remember to always check and look how your competitors are. Be inspired by your environment and take the best in everything“
Your Target Audience
Here is where you find out as much as you can about your target audience. What do they talk about? What kind of language do they respond to? What kind of content resonates with them? The answers to these questions will help you arrive at a unique voice that works for you.
Lisa: “always try to put yourself in a potential client position, it helps create your content and target your audience. I am getting married next year, and I am looking for a photographer: use wedding hashtags, write articles about weddings, promote your work on wedding groups…“
Getting the Conversation Right
Now that you know your target audience, getting your conversation right would require you to create digital content that is natural, professional, and authentic. If you seek inspiration, look at what Lisa does on her Instagram account and her Website.
Lisa: “don’t forget that sometimes the content convinces people to finally contact you! Be creative and use topics that are interesting for your targets.“
Photographer: What to Post on Social Media?
So, what should photographers post on social media? We recommend that you bear the following things in mind:
- Forging a strong connection with your readers using your content is very important
- Your posts need to be interesting and relatable to your readers
- Your posts should sell you as an authority in your field
- Your posts should ultimately lead compel your readers to buy from you.
With these ideas in mind, here is the part of the guide where we delve into the kind of content that could promote your photographer’s brand on online social networks.
These are the kinds of posts that create a connection with your readers. The idea is to make the reader feel that you share similar values and that you get them. When pulled off right, connection contents have the potential to set you apart from other photographers. The trick is to find a way to share things about yourself that are bound to resonate with someone somewhere.
Lisa: “sometimes I like to exchange with my followers. It is a nice way to explain to them there is a human being behind my account, and it shows them I am interested to learn more about their life. By doing that, I can create a bond and finally use that trust to prove they can book me“
Engagement posts are often used to collect vital information. They could also be used to generate comments for your content which in turn increases your online visibility.
Lisa: “as a photographer, most of my engagement posts are giveaways of pictures of myself at work, by using a caption where I ask a direct question to my followers“
As the name suggests, an authority post is used to establish your proficiency in something say, for instance, photography. The idea is to get the trust of your potential clients to the point that they see you as the best option to hire when they need a photographer.
This is the kind of social media post photographers often exploit because it focuses on the services that you offer and how clients can get in touch with you. The promotion post is essentially a marketing tactic so you want to find a balance between educating and engaging the post’s readers.
Whatever you do, always find a way to create content that connects with and engages your readers while promoting your brand and stamping your authority as a seasoned photographer.
Lisa: “do not be afraid of promotional posts. As a freelancer, you cannot be shy about sharing your work. Most of the time, I add credits to my promotional posts, so they can reach more targets. And of course, more targets mean more potential clients 😉“
How to Get More Followers on Instagram?
Instagram is one of the best platforms for photographers because it is an image-centric platform that allows you to showcase your work.
One common fact you’d find on any great social media guide for photographers is that you need to constantly update your images because most folks who visit your page do so to find out if you are active. Regular publications on Instagram will also keep you at the top of the platform’s feeds.
One other way to get more followers on Instagram is to use regularly updated hashtags that reflect your aesthetic voice and goals. Tools and websites such as Flick will help you to find the most popular hashtags in your niche.
|Goal What is your goal?||Local Reach |
Your goal is to get noticed by people in your area, city, and field locally. You target hashtags that are popular among your peers and customer base in your area.
|Global Reach |
Your goal is to become visible by people in your industry by targeting highly popular hashtags and accounts that specialize exactly where you want to be.
|Only follows Instagram accounts that offer some value to your goals.||Local Accounts related to Photography, Food, Entertainment, Travel, Movies, Lifestyle, Fashion, Art in your city.||Major and international accounts related to the Photography Industry and your specialty|
|Your posts should contain hashtags that are relevant to your brand. That said, you have to constantly update your hashtags, especially those that you use a lot.||#nice06 #villedenice06 #nicecotedazur #nicecotedazurtourisme #southfrance #ilovenice #we_are_06 #nissalabella||#picoftheday #travelphotography #photography #artofvisuals #lightroom #photo #photograph #photography #photoshoot #picsart|
|How many Hashtags?||At least 3||3 to 5 can be more up to you|
|What type of Hashtags||Focus on key relevant hashtags.||Most used hashtags or hashtags with high visibility|
|Tag the location for the photoshoot||#nice06 #villedenice06 #nicecotedazur #nissalabella||#photographersouthoffrance #photographernice #photographernicefrance|
|Tag your colleagues in relevant publications.||It’s easy, when you work on collaborative events, you meet people in your field. If you share on a topic they would love, just tag them. Instagram is all about relationships with others.||Tag the location or business partner you want to end up with, open up about this amazing scene or building you would love to take pictures of. It can be some account you deeply want to be featured into.|
|Tag the customer when necessary||If the customer, the venue is okay to be tagged in your post, it’s better for local reach. Do not hesitate!||For global reach, you can tag several accounts you want to notice your work.|
|Share content created by other photographers||It’s your space and a shared space with your audience. Find people in your field that have complementary skillset. For instance, if you are a wedding photographer, you can partner with baby photographers since you both are often sharing a customer base. This advice works for both local and global reach.|
|Be mindful of the answers you give to comments.||“Appreciate the support”||“Much appreciated”|
|Comment on posts on other others accounts.||Comment on publications by other photographers||Talk about photography accounts, wild reach industry accounts where you can interact with peers|
|Tag colleagues in other accounts posts||“hey @check this” (name of the photographer’s Instagram account) “for you @(name of the account)||“Would love doing one of this @(name of Instagram account)”|
|Create and make posts when you think your audience will be online.||Each field is different. If your customers are business, you might want to target the middle of the week (Tuesdays and Thursdays), but if your audience is up during weekend and engagement rise up on Sundays and Saturdays, do that!||Just do your thing. Global reach doesn’t have a specific time to post. Do what you can when you can.|
Business Case: Instagram Account Example for Photographer
Here is the part of this guide for photographers that deals with how you can optimize your Instagram account as a photographer. The first step would be to ensure that you are using the right Instagram account – business, creator or personal?
A personal account grants you access to the platform’s basic features and allows you to upload images, reels, IGTV videos, and stories. However, you don’t get to monitor the performance of your publications or affect any in-depth analytics.
Creator accounts grant you access to Instagram Creator Studio on your desktop, but you won’t be able to connect your profile to any third-party apps.
The full business account gives you a great range of analytics (Instagram Insights) about your posts and followers, plus features that help you increase the reach of your images via promotions.
Basically, your account should have:
- A picture of yourself
- A profile name
- A neat bio
- A great portfolio
- A CTA (Call To Action)
- A URL link
- Contact (email, phone number)
Business Case: Instagram Post Example for Photographers
Here’s the kind of content to post on your feed.
|Photos of your finished art||X||X|
|Close-ups of your finished art||X||X|
|Works in progress||X||X|
|Videos of your artworks||X||X|
|Video or photo walkthrough of your personal studio or the client’s place||X|
|Photos with customers||X||X|
|How-to or tutorials||X||X|
|Artworks by your favorites photographers||X|
|Photography-related articles and link to them||X||X|
|News that affects the Photography art industry||X||X|
|Local Photography Exhibitions you are interested in||X|
A good rule of thumb that you’d find on many a great social media guide for photographers would be to select a couple of content types you are comfortable with and start with it.
Here are other ideas to explore:
Milestones – Post about your achievements as a photographer, from the increase in the number of followers to the number of years you have spent as a photographer
Announcements: Post about your wins, collaborations, or new body of work.
Inspiration – You could use the repost app to share inspiring images
Behind the scenes – This is another great idea. Post those videos and stills of how you put carry out a photoshoot.
Introduce Yourself – Your work speaks for itself, great. Sometimes it’s good to have a little intro about the personal backstory behind the amazing artwork you’ve out outside yourself. People will love hearing from you, what you do and why you do it. Don’t be shy!
Share a tip about your niche – You know your work quite well. As a photographer, you’ve experienced some good and not-so-good practices. Sharing some of these experiences will show your expertise and help you connect with your audience.
Do a Q&A session – Live or not, Q&As are a great way to communicate with your Instagram followers. Alternatively, you can answer the most asked question from your customers in a specific post or story.
Behind the scenes videos – A simple and straightforward “how things are done” video. We love to see the backstage after a great movie and the bonus song in a full album. Do that.
A day in the life – What’s a day in your life? What is it like to be you as a professional?
Share your business’ story – Why are you in business, what’s it like to work in your field and your city. Share your business story for those in the same situation to reflect and/or aspiring photographers to follow your path.
Instagram Routine for Photographers
Here is a Checklist to help you perform on Instagram as a Photographer.
Weekly: Should take a couple of hours
Am I well-prepared to succeed on Instagram?
- What is/are my feed/posts goal(s)?
- Did I use relevant hashtags?
- Do I have identified hashtags that I review regularly and use?
- Do I have a daily or weekly routine ?
- Do I follow accounts that are relevant to my goals?
Did I show Instagram that I use the platform to build social connections?
- Did I tag the location for my photoshoot in each of my posts?
- Did I tag some of my colleagues with accounts on Instagram?
- Did I comment on posts by other photographers on Instagram?
- Did I tag some of my colleagues or customers on my posts?
- Did I respond to all the comments I received?
Daily: Should take one-hour maximum
- Did I post on my Instagram feed today?
- Did I publish on my Instagram story today?
- Did I gave some likes and comments on my feed?