Social Media Marketing For Photographers: How To Do It Properly

Social Media Marketing For Photographers: How To Do It Properly

A great way to boost any business is through social media marketing. For photographers, this is a profitable marketing tool that attracts potential clients.

But, many talented photographers struggle with the marketing aspect of their photography business. They may have questions like:

  1. Which social media channels are best suited for my photography business?
  2. How do I write great posts to help increase my online followers?
  3. Will marketing my photography business on social media really work?

There is a variety of social media platforms that photographers can benefit from. These include:

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest

However, some photographers do not have a good social media strategy. 

They may be posting social media content about themselves or their photography business. But, their posts are either not client-centric or are irrelevant to their followers.

Social media is a tool that requires a clear strategy to not confuse prospective clients. This is important because a confused client always says no.

So, how can photographers use social media channels to get potential clients to say yes to their business? A secret formula does not exist.

But, there are tips photographers can use. These will increase the success of their marketing efforts on social media platforms.

Why Use Social Media To Market Your Photography Business

Why Use Social Media To Market Your Photography Business

When it comes to business marketing, social media is a force to be reckoned with. But, why is social media marketing so important for photographers?

Here are a few reasons:

  1. It offers more exposure than a website
  2. It operates as a digital portfolio
  3. It attracts potential clients
  4. It tells niche-based clients what to expect from you
  5. It offers more clarity to users
  6. It has less competition than multi-niche photography accounts
  7. It offers networking opportunities with like-minded photographers

Social media is essential to the marketing strategy of a photography business.

This article contains social media marketing tips for all kinds of photographers. Let’s dive in!

Determine The Target Customer

The objectives of marketing a photography business on a social media platform include:

  • Attracting an audience
  • Gaining followers
  • Promoting the photography service
  • Securing a steady stream of photography work

Before embarking on this process, a photographer needs to identify the target audience. This is important as it helps one find their voice, so give careful thought to this.

Start by identifying your photography niche. What is your portfolio like?

Are you a wedding photographer? Do you photograph families and children?

Different photographers have different audiences.

Having identified the audience, be specific to that market. For example, if mentoring photographers, the target audience will be other photographers.

Defining the target market helps the rest of the social media marketing strategy to flow.

Set Goals For Your Photography Business

Set primary and secondary goals when using social media to market a photography business. A secondary goal is a plan of action that helps the photographer to achieve the main goal.

For instance, the main goal may be to increase business by reaching 500 wedding planners in a city. A secondary goal would be to run targeted Facebook ads for prospective clients.

For many photographers, their main goal includes promoting and expanding their photography brand.

What is the primary goal of your photography business when using social media? If nothing comes to mind ask the following questions:

  1. What do I want from my photography business?
  2. Who is the audience that I want to reach?
  3. How can I engage them?

In outlining your photography business plan use the primary goal as the header. Then plan other goals to achieve this. 

Choose A Marketing Strategy: Niche Appeal Vs Diversification

Choose A Marketing Strategy: Niche Appeal Vs Diversification

Before posting photos and other social media content, decide on a marketing strategy. There are two strategies to choose from.

Niche Appeal Marketing Strategy

This option is for photographers who specialize in one type of photography. It includes establishing a brand that attracts a certain demographic.

To do this, customize your social media photography profile to reflect elements of your photography business such as:

  • A single color scheme
  • One subject matter
  • One type of photography style

Niche photography will attract clients, but they may be few on social media.

Diversification Strategy

This option helps a photographer attract a large number of followers on social media. It involves setting up a multiform photography account.

Then post photos from a variety of niches and styles such as:

  • Landscape
  • Portrait
  • Engagement/Wedding
  • Modeling
  • Corporate
  • Babies
  • Dogs

To keep content fresh and interesting, try assigning different days to different subjects.

Carefully Select Social Media Platforms

Carefully Select Social Media Platforms

Each social media platform has a different marketing characteristic. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter may all use image content but each has its unique focus.

For example:

Facebook

This platform focuses on users sharing content and talking to each other. Users can create free Facebook groups and connect over long distances.

Followers can post photos on the platform. But the real focus is on conversation rather than images.

Twitter

This platform is for showing followers snippets of day-to-day life. This can be done using text and image content.

LinkedIn

This is a great platform for photography businesses that do white-collar candids and corporate events.

YouTube

This platform focuses on video content. Obviously.

Pinterest

This platform focuses on images. It is best for promoting photography blogs and websites rather than a photography business.

To engage followers, adapt the content according to the functions of each platform. Ask fellow photographers what social media platforms they’ve had the most success with.

Use social media statistics to understand the dynamics of social platforms. They can reveal which are best for photographers.

Socialize With And Engage Your Followers

Social media exists to connect people. So, post enough content to prevent followers from forgetting about your photography service.

Keep your feed updated with new work, but give each post enough time to reach followers.

It’s social media so remember to be sociable. Find and follow other photography social media profiles with a similar audience.

Like their posts and drop a comment. You’ll likely get a few followers in return.

The key to better engagement is frequent interaction with followers. It’s also important to post relevant content.

So, be sure to create and post engaging content that followers will like. Here are a few ideas for a photography profile content:

  1. Create polls and ask followers what they think of your photos
  2. Engage them with quizzes related to your photography niche
  3. Go live to answer questions and discuss your shoot process, etc.
  4. Inspire or excite followers with stories relating to your journey as a photographer

Share Stories

Share Stories

Stories and anecdotes foster engagement. If a photo has a behind-the-scenes story, tell it.

Tell it in a meaningful way so that clients can see you’re a normal person. This may increase the likelihood of them hiring you.

This works because it lets people into the photographer’s world. It encourages and fosters trust.

People tend to hire those they trust. So, be sure to tell a story that inspires or touches followers’ emotions in some way.

Social media, after all, is a place for sharing. It turns strangers into friends.

People who share their stories end up creating more friendships. People tend to be more comfortable with them.

Every interaction, every post, should make people feel like they know you. Treat every post like a puzzle piece to build your brand.

Even if it’s not obvious, the stories and content will affect the audience.

Use Trending Photography Hashtag Phrases

Hashtags help users find posts that have similar themes. Use hashtags that are trending on social media platforms like:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook, etc.

For photographers, hashtags work by grouping similar photos together.

For example, if someone uses a hashtag to search for a photographer in a specific area all photos tagged to that area would show. A hashtag like this could look like #newyorkphotographer.

Potential clients do search for photographers this way. So be sure to use hashtag phrases without photography jargon.

Use hashtag phrases that are trending in the industry.

Like hashtags, geotagging the location of image posts categorizes the content. This makes it easy to find.

Evaluate a location by viewing other photography profiles that have geotagged that location. Look at the type of photos they’re posting and the hashtags they use. 

Create a blueprint of which hashtags to use when posting your photos.

Be Consistent, Stay True To The Brand

Be Consistent, Stay True To The Brand

To successfully market on social media, first create a solid, recognizable brand. Start by identifying what style of images you shoot.

For instance:

  • Photojournalistic
  • Engagement/ Wedding
  • Formal
  • Landscapes
  • Portraits

Then determine whether the brand is more professional than fun, or vice versa.

This helps a photographer to create a social media personality. So make a note of your response to these points and use them as a guide when making social media posts.

Photographers soon discover there is a pattern to what works and what doesn’t. Keep these insights in mind to prevent the strategy from losing momentum.

There is no limit to the audience one can gain from social platforms. So approach the use of social media with tact.

Post Quality Content

Some photography business owners find it challenging to know what to post on social media platforms. This is often because of two mistakes:

  1. They haven’t identified their target client
  2. They think their social media page is about them or their photography business

Unless one is an influencer or celebrity, a social media page is never about the photographer. It’s about the clients.

What Is Quality Content?

For a photographer, quality content is a skillful, beautiful image captured using a professional camera. But, quality content is a bit different in a social media sense.

With social media marketing, there are other elements a photographer must consider:

  1. The content must be informational or express an idea.
  2. The content needs to be highly entertaining to motivate others to share it.
  3. The image content must be unique.
  4. A post should offer value to the online following
  5. The content must appear personal and empathetic.

(On social media, adopt the “knowledgeable but humble” persona. This tells potential clients that you’re easy to work with even though you know a lot.)

A photography shoot can seem daunting for many clients. So, use social media interactions to help potential customers to feel safe.

They want to know that their photographer is a regular human being. Someone who is down-to-earth and approachable, even though they know a lot about photography. 

Post Behind The Scenes Content (BTS)

Be careful that the brand doesn’t seem aloof on social media. Failing to show out-of-the-frame content may lessen people’s trust in the photography service.

Social media is a space for users to relax their public presence a little bit. So, feel free to “pull back the curtain” as the saying goes. 

Let followers see who you are behind the scenes.

Show your personal process by demonstrating how projects come together. Don’t be afraid to show successes, failures, joys, and ugly truths.

It’s great to share finished images after working hard to produce them.

But, don’t underestimate the power of a behind the scene look. It can result in exponential growth for the brand and its reputation.

So, share your photos. But, share a photo of you taking a photo.

Share pictures of the studio set-up. Post a photo of the editing process at the computer with a cup of coffee. 

Choose A Time For Your Posts

Choose A Time For Your Posts

Knowing the followers will help photographers to know which days and times to post. For example, low-volume photographers have a smaller audience to reach than high-volume photographers.

How Often To Post Content?

Posting frequency can affect the success of an online strategy. One may choose to post a few times per day or even a few times per month.

By posting too frequently, people may grow tired of seeing you in their feed and start to hide.

One or two posts per day is a great way to keep followers engaged. Bigger audiences will need more posts to ensure they remain active.

The social media race is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s the consistency and build-up of posts over time that count.

So, it’s okay to only manage one post per day, or even less. This keeps you in the game.

Time Of Day To Post Content

Post images or a photography tip of the day at times when people are more likely to see them.

  1. During the week

Post an inspiring photo during lunch hours and another after working hours. Be careful not to post images at times when followers are:

  • Sleeping
  • Stuck in rush-hour traffic
  • At work, etc.
  1. On weekends

Many people go out on a Saturday and sleep in on Sunday mornings. So, post images at a time when they are more likely to be engaged with their devices.

  1. Holidays

On holidays, people are more likely to be paying attention to their families and friends. This may result in lower social media engagement.

Ending thoughts on these social media marketing tips for photographers

To grow a photography business, the social media marketing strategy must be solid. Social media is not a second-rate promotional tool.

So give it the same attention as other marketing channels. If your social media presence doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, don’t give up.

It takes a bit of planning, patience, and determination. Keep in mind that every social media giant began with no followers, so don’t be discouraged.

Try the social media marketing ideas in this article and keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to step back and evaluate your strategy to see what to keep and what to cut away.

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If you enjoyed reading this article on social media marketing for photographers, you should also read this one about how to write a personal training business plan.

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