Let’s get right to it. I have written before on our studio blog, where I have tackled the subject about social media for photography studios and how to create good content (and how to avoid creating bad content). I usually stress the importance of being social on social media, as well, but unfortunately many of you reading this article right now still are not rising to the occasion. How do I know this? Because I see it all the time. It’s still the most common coaching tip I am hammering home to my peers and my clients who manage brand pages on Facebook and elsewhere.
Interesting Content Is Important…
Of course, posting interesting content is still critical to an effective social media strategy. Although Facebook’s new algorithms may again have you wondering, you will still have more fans (whichever platform you’re on) if you are providing value. Value on social media = useful information, interesting and funny posts, content that focuses on your clients, along with things you would want to see in your own news feed. Blogging can be great for your brand, IF you do it well – maybe even the best thing you can do! Tweeting, vining, instagramming, pinning or whatever your clients are doing is all still very important with a creative and valuable approach.
…But Engagement Is EQUALLY Important
Once you put all that stuff out there your job is STILL NOT done no matter how good it is. Of the social media managers and business owners I see I would break them down into three categories:
1. Those who are spinning their wheels because their content is all about them and a sales pitch, boring and weak, and/or intermittent and unfocused (I feel like the MAJORITY of brand pages still fall into this category)
2. Those who have done between a good and fantastic job of creating interesting and valuable content that is varied and client-focused (There are SOME doing this but they stop there)
3. Those who have really done a fantastic job of creating interesting and valuable content that is varied and client-focused, AND do an equally great job of building relationships through engagement (NOT MANY are doing this – it’s a painful truth).
It’s very simple – when people respond to your great content with comments and feedback they want to know that you’re reading it and will feel better about it if you acknowledge their contribution. The point of putting your studio on social media is probably to get exposure and maybe build your business a little – right? Social media has to be social to be effective. You have to build relationships with people to grow. You won’t build relationships by ignoring people who take an interest in your business, so make sure you do the reactive part – comment back to the people who like and comment on your page. But even that’s not enough.
Make sure to also be proactive! Go outside of your page as your brand and like and comment on other brand pages you partner with, are neighbors or peers with, or just plain like! And please, be sincere about it. Share some of their content that your followers will find valuable. I am speaking largely in Facebook terms here but the same concept applies on twitter, instagram and anywhere else. If your clients notice your interactions with other brands it will help both of you. If you are visible to clients on peer pages you will be giving yourself additional exposure.
Don’t be Intimidated… It’s Easy to Start Being Proactive!
Let’s walk through this on Facebook for starters because many do not know how to do this.
The screenshot above is how the upper right corner of my Facebook home page looks when I am logged in as Doug. Now let’s left click on the little gear icon to the right:
When we click on the gear we get a drop down box giving us the option to “use Facebook as:” Frameable Faces Photography in my case. Now let’s click there – where it says Frameable Faces:
Now my Facebook home page has flipped and I am logged in and using Facebook AS Frameable Faces Photography – not as Doug. Now when I click on “Home” I see the news feed of other pages we follow as Frameable Faces and when I comment, like and share I am doing it as my brand – not as Doug. That’s not to say that you are anonymous when you do this, and you don’t want to be. While it can be healthy to separate yourself from your brand a little bit, as photographers you and your personality are infused into your brand in many ways and hopefully that’s a good thing. As I said before, you need to be sincere about it when you are engaging as your brand – in other words don’t just like and make cookie cutter comments about everything you can find on Facebook even if you didn’t read it – that can come back to bite you – people will spot a fake.
While it can add time to all of our daily exercises as business owners, it truly can be something that adds value to your business and helps to build your brand outside of your location. I hope this helps. Now go forth and socialize!!!
Doug Cohen is a co-owner of Frameable Faces Photography with his wife Ally in the Orchard Mall in West Bloomfield, MI. Ally is the photographer and Doug handles the sales and marketing. You can also find Doug personally on twitter in addition to the studio at @dougcohen10. He writes for their blog and sings in a rock band.