Social Media provides business professionals more than just a way of interacting with friends and their personal network — websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram allow people to showcase their work and their personalities too.
As the internet changes and evolves (rather rapidly, I might add), more and more social media websites are emerging into the cyber world, most of them having different features and functions. It seems that almost everyone these days is using social media in some form, and freelancers should pay attention to the social habits of creatives and buyers in the magazine, news, and advertising industries. You might say to yourself that you are far too busy focusing on your art to promote yourself socially, but carving out a little bit of time for social media can pay dividends.
So what social media sites are buzzing in 2014, and how can you use them as leverage for self-promotion? Let’s take a look at a few.
I’m going to assume that most of you know how to use Facebook and its basic functions. According to a 2013 survey conducted by PhotoShelter and Agency Access, 56.1% of Art Buyers used Facebook to find new photographers, so having a Facebook presence can be vital to your success. Use your personal Facebook for just that – personal networking. Then, create a Facebook page for your photography business.
Don’t worry, you can operate both your personal Facebook and your business page right from the same place! To get started, go to the dropdown menu on the top right corner of your Facebook, click “Create Page” and follow their prompts.
Once your page is created and you’ve selected a profile picture and chosen one of your beautiful images for a cover photo, you can start to market your work. The key is to keep those who have ‘liked’ your page engaged –the more they interact your posts, the more your posts will actually appear on their newsfeeds. Be sure to post your gorgeous personal work, your client work, share updates about jobs you’re doing, and link to your personal blog posts. Feel free to also share inspiring work and articles from outside sources you find as well. Let your personality shine through, and your audience will remember you!
Twitter is another fantastic platform to get word out about your business. Be sure to keep your Twitter professional and appropriate, as a lot of professional companies and creatives use it. Share lots of eye catching imagery on your feed, and combine those with humorous or interesting text updates. Retweet and favorite tweets from companies and buyers you want to work with, and definitely try to interact with them to raise your exposure.
Twitter is an awesome place to share news, blog posts, photos, and more – just be sure to keep a variety of posts on your feed as people will be less likely to follow if you just have plaintext tweets or if you only share links. A large follower base speaks volumes about your credibility, because it shows that people are interested in your work and what you have to say. Use your audience to raise your profile and catch the right people’s attention.
Pinterest is a great app, especially for those who are creative (like each and every one of you!). Similar to Instagram, Pinterest allows you to share photos across a number of “boards.” These boards are like albums – you give the board a name and upload and share photos to that board.
For example, a photographer might create a board entitled “Wedding Shoots” and post all of their photos pertaining to wedding shoots, or they may create a board entitled “Shoot for Nike” and post their best shots from when they worked with Nike.
According to the same 2013 survey referenced earlier, about 20% of Buyers use Pinterest to find photographers. Although smaller than the audience for Facebook, this statistic cannot be ignored. So get on Pinterest, start creating your boards and sharing your photos, and don’t hesitate to pin photos from other boards to yours as well. Remember that it’s more than just sharing your imagery – it’s about learning new techniques, keeping your ideas organized, and keeping current with industry trends.
With so many options out there (and more added every day), it’s impossible to be active on every social media site out there. But certainly signing up for a few of them can be truly beneficial to you and your business. Social media provides a free way for you to showcase your work, your personality, and connect with other artists, fans, people with similar interests, and, yes, even Buyers. It’s up to you to decide which social media sites are best for your purposes.
Here are some simple tips for balancing your social networks to find success in your industry:
What social media sites do you use? Which one(s) do you like the best? Let’s chat about it in the comments.
After moving from Agency Access’s phone marketing department, Holly Anne discovered her passion for marketing across all platforms as the company’s Copywriter. With a BA in Journalism from Hofstra University and an obsession for writing, Holly proudly assumes the responsibilities of writing and editing copy for company promos, newsletters, and social media. She writes for both print and online publications, maintains a number of blogs on her own, and was also Art Director for her college’s student-run magazine, Pulse. When Holly isn’t working or writing, she’s freelancing as a makeup artist.
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