How Your Social Network Status Can Be Dangerous To Your Business

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How Your Social Network Status Can Be Dangerous To Your Business

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I’m a young photographer and just getting my business off the ground. I find that I am quickly learning the techniques and strategy of managing a photography business.

One thing I have not seen much discussion on is the topic of social network status’ and the dangers it can do to your business.

Let me explain: When I first began my business, I found photographers I liked. I watched their businesses and followed their social networking streams. I observed that some would post statuses like “I am so excited about Mary* and John’s* engagement photoshoot!” or a quick “Congratulations to Mark* and Stephanie* on your beautiful wedding day!”.

This is a great idea. It shows your clients that you really care about them, and it gets them excited about their pictures.

As I continued to watch other photographers (I promise I wasn’t being a creepy stalker), I began to notice that some would post negative status’ about their business, work, or even clients. Posts similar to “No, I can’t take 50 pounds off you in photoshop!”** and “Beautiful girls make my job so easy!”** and “Ugh, I have so much editing to do!”**.

I know that people really DO ask for photographers to take weight off them in photoshop and I know it’s a joke amongst many photographers.

The big question: “should we really post that as our status?”

If I were the client who had requested to be slimmer in Photoshop, I would feel so embarrassed and wouldn’t want to patronize at that photography business again. It might come off as you (the photographer) “complaining” about your job.

There certainly isn’t anything wrong with the statement “Beautiful girls make my job so easy!” But if I were a client who had high self-esteem issues, I might think that particular photographer wouldn’t enjoy the task of taking my pictures. It might make me feel like I have to be pretty in order to get beautiful pictures. And, while it does make all of our jobs easier when we have an eye-pleasing subject, should we post that all over the internet? How will it make people who don’t have that “perfect face and figure” feel?

As for the last statement of “Ugh, I have so much editing to do” – once again, it sounds like complaining. What if there is a client who is waiting on pictures from you and sees that status? They might feel like they are intruding on your time. They may think you don’t enjoy editing their photos or aren’t excited about their pictures. I think a good photographer should be excited about the pictures they take and not complain about how much editing they have to do. I know editing can sometimes become overwhelming, but should we post this on the internet where current (and future) clients can see it?

It would turn me away from any photography business.

Along with negative things about your business, work, or clients, even talking about how wasted you are going to get, or how much partying you’re planning on doing during the weekend is likely inappropriate.  Remember, information on the social media stays forever.

Perhaps I am reading too much into this “status” stuff. Maybe I’m not. But, wouldn’t you rather be safer than sorry? I’ve decided that in my own business (and even personal) I am going to keep my status’ or blogs positive. If I need to rant about something (it happens to every photographer) then I will do it to my husband in private – where no harm can be done. Not on Facebook or my blog where the whole world can see it.

So what about you? Will you make an effort to keep your status’ or blog positive?

Faith resides in Mississippi and is married to the love of her life, Jacob. She loves MCP Actions and wouldn’t have been able to get as far as she is now without them. You can check out Faith’s work at www.facebook.com/faithrileyphoto or www.faithriley.com.

*Names are fictitious and not real life examples.

**Examples are made up and not real life examples. Anything seeming the same is simply coincidence.

Now it’s your turn.  Do you agree or disagree with this post?

Share your thoughts in the blog comment section below.

 

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32 Comments

  1. Christina G
    May 25, 2012 at 11:15 am —

    I completely agree! Not only do I check facebook for things like this… I’ve also been known to check facebook on job applicants! If you don’t want a future employer (or client) to know something about you–don’t post it for everyone to see!

  2. bonnie
    May 25, 2012 at 11:04 am —

    Completely agree. I am not a photographer, I am the client but I do follow several photographers hoping to learn something so that I have better snapshots in between those professionally taken.

    In addition to above? Over posting. Great photographer with over 5,000 followers, then, session posts became very few & far between the dozen of posts per day of her child’s pics (&paragraph comment explaining) with her waking up, eating, bus stop, getting off the bus, napping, playing, eating dinner, watching TV, going to dance class, face shot of her asking questions, homework and finally, being tucked in. Every. single. day.

    Delete.

  3. May 25, 2012 at 11:00 am —

    I have seen that exact thing, and totally agree!

    Another thing I always have to stop myself from posting is things like, “I can’t wait to shoot a newborn today!” …just doesn’t sounds good, ya know?! LOL

  4. May 25, 2012 at 10:33 am —

    I agree, not only for business, but for personal pages as well! Vague-booking, complaining and/or passive aggressive comments serve no positive purpose and once you put that negativity out there it tends to grow.

  5. Rebecca
    May 25, 2012 at 10:29 am —

    Amen! I hide any business or personal page that’s negative. It pulls me down.

  6. Lisa
    May 25, 2012 at 10:28 am —

    Great article and I totally agree. I’ve actually unsubscribed from several photographers’ posts on FB because they post so much or are just annoying. I honestly don’t care if you sneezed while driving (seriously, that was a post of very well known photographer). I should probably post more on FB but don’t just because I don’t want to be known as an annoying photographer.

  7. HighDesertGal
    May 25, 2012 at 10:16 am —

    I am sure that I would not patronized photographers who post negative comments about clients or photography sessions. A Professional should act Professional and those comments you posted seem petty and insensitive. I see this happening not just on photography sites. I think it has become too easy to post without thinking of the consequences in email and social media.
    Positive comments can not hurt you and you will be an example to those who view your work.

  8. May 25, 2012 at 10:11 am —

    It truly amazes me that such a blog article is even necessary. Seriously, the level of unprofessionalism exhibited by some, across industries, truly astsounds me. I honestly cannot believe my eyes when I see some of the stuff that’s posted on the Internet, whether from a business page or a personal page of a business owner.

  9. May 25, 2012 at 9:50 am —

    The other day I read the following tweet: “hangover + editing = yikes”
    Yikes indeed!

  10. John
    May 25, 2012 at 9:39 am —

    It is totally inappropriate to post negative items such as that. On the other hand, with the oversaturation of photographers in every price range and category, not ALL are “real” professionals in the true sense. Many are simply part time weekend warriors who don’t really care about their reputation.

    I’ve seen it many time where today’s generation has the attitude of ” Well, if they don’t accept ME for who I am, then tough. I don’t want to work with clients who don’t accept me for me”.

    Social change, technology, the media and changes in peoples attitudes and perceptions have created this type of outlook.

  11. May 25, 2012 at 9:39 am —

    I totally agree! Recently I saw a LOT of photographers “share” a parody (that really WAS funny!) about things people say to their photographer (can you make me thinner? I have a great camera, now I can take great photos like you, etc….)…and I thought, too, that it would turn me off BIG time from using any photographer who would possibly laugh at me!).

    Thanks for putting this down so eloquently! Food for thought! 🙂

  12. May 25, 2012 at 9:36 am —

    I completely agree!

    More and more from some local photographers I’ve been following, they seem to post a status update every 5 minutes, and honestly it’s stuff I could care less about and it becomes annoying. I’m even thinking of unliking them just because I’m tired of seeing pointless posts. It’s a BUSINESS page, not a personal page among friends. Some examples:
    *I just finished editing my third session from today
    *I just finished editing my fourth session from today
    *I’m working on my fifth session from today…
    *Heading to the park with my kids, stopping at the grocery store and then back home for more hours of editing!

    Another thing that annoys me is an endless stream of sneak peaks with a paragraph of comments. Look, I’m just as excited to share my pictures with my clients, but just wait until you’re done editing the entire session and upload 5 pictures at once. I’ve seen up to 20 pictures from one photographer in like 15 a minute span. One folder please.

  13. May 25, 2012 at 9:34 am —

    Facebook in particular seems a place to vent more than anything and while I do it myself, on my personal profile, I keep things on the business side professional. Promotions, sneak peeks from photo shoots, congratulations messages etc but nothing as personal as customer complaints!

    The worlds getting smaller while Social Networks are getting bigger. People talk. Speak negatively and expect it to come back and bite you someday 🙂

  14. Emily
    May 25, 2012 at 9:33 am —

    I totally agree, especially with the author’s observation about how the “Ugh, I have so much editing to do!” could be perceived. Great article!

  15. I most certainly agree! Social media is a great way to get our names out there, but we all need to be hyper-aware of the repercussions of everything we post…as a business AND personally! Thanks for the reminder!

  16. Yvette
    May 25, 2012 at 9:31 am —

    I so agree with this! Somehow some people are not thinking about the message they are giving to their ‘frends’. It’s a good thing to think about when using social media.

  17. Bill
    May 25, 2012 at 9:25 am —

    Mike Monteiro did a great talk about consulting work (very similar to being an independent photographer). He blogs and tweets a lot, however, one thing he said is a golden rule. “Never talk about the client. The client relationship is sacred”.

    If you want to hear the whole talk it is NSFW, not even the title, but google up “Mike Monteiro Pay me” if you want to hear it. Great talk.

  18. Ann Marie Hubbard
    May 25, 2012 at 9:20 am —

    I totally agree! That while FB and other social networking are great, it isn’t not the place to voice your frustrations of the day. We are all human and have good and bad days, but as a professional, you need to keep that in mind when posting about your day or events that you have upcoming. Great article!

  19. Lea
    May 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm —

    I totally agree and I have wondered this myself many times! Many times people forget who is reading the information they post. This is especially true on FB I find, because people will often have hundreds of “friends” many of whom may only be business contacts.

  20. Tara
    May 25, 2012 at 10:26 am —

    I agree 100%!

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How Your Social Network Status Can Be Dangerous To Your Business