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How To Use Social Media To Expand Your Photography Business


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This is a social media guest post, by Doug Cohen of Frameable Faces, about his approach to social networking for he and his wife’s photography studio. Learn from their experiences. 

Providing a complete how-to on all of the social media platforms could easily be a 3,000 page book. So instead I’ll summarize our experience with some of the social networking tools to illustrate:

  1. How they can be used to help expand your business.
  2. The trial and error that goes into a social media marketing strategy.
  3. How our strategy is a work in progress as is social media itself.

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Early beginnings

We (my wife Ally really – I hadn’t joined her in the business yet) started with a website around 2004 and a blog in 2007, but for a while we didn’t really know what we were doing.  Interestingly, as much as other platforms appeared and evolved, many still say that your website and your blog are still your two most important sites because you own them – you don’t own your page on Facebook.  We’ve gone through one complete redesign of the website and we still update it semi-regularly.  As for our blog we also went through a major overhaul of that too (more on that in a bit).


Facebook arrives

March 10, 2010 was the day Frameable Faces joined Facebook as a page.  When facebook launched business profiles that was a game changer.  These have evolved quite a bit and the tools available to a page administrator are just fantastic, providing you with real time data about how many people you have reached with each post, how many are clicking on them, sharing them, demographics of the people who like your page – the list goes on and on.  Facebook is a great way to build a following and share content and interact with your fans.  It also allows you to promote your presence elsewhere like your blog, YouTube channel, Pinterest page or wherever else you are in cyberspace.  We now have 904 likes – not a huge number which is fine with us.  We’ve grown that number one by one mostly with clients, vendors and partners and we’d rather have 904 fans that connect with our studio than 3000 fans who liked our page to try to win something and don’t know us or don’t care about us.  As a side note we have a second facebook page just for our senior business with just under 200 likes.



Twitter  (we are @frameablefaces) took us a little while to latch on to.  At first we just automated our facebook posts to post to twitter until we figured out what to do with it.  That was my decision and I still can’t believe I did that…  As a general rule of thumb you should never automate in my opinion.  Scheduling a tweet for later in the day to space out your content is okay but if you are going to bother with a platform then you need to actually be there.  No one wants to try to interact with a comment you made somewhere else which has been imported by a robot.  The best of twitter culture is in the conversations between people connecting with each other.  You can provide links to various items in your tweets, but just make sure you are actually there to interact, otherwise don’t bother.  Twitter has plenty of customization to help you get the most out of it like “lists”.  Think of them like the bookmarks in your web browser to manage the websites (or in this case tweets) you like to follow.  For example I have created lists for “social media focused” and “photography”.  I use Hootsuite to set them up in different tabs so I can follow each category in a manageable way, and our lists are public.  If you are interested in seeing who we follow for social media  or photography.  I also tweet as @dougcohen10 where I indulge my own social media, history, music, and football obsessions.


Back to the Blog and content marketing philosophy

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We recently relaunched our blog and I was invited to write about it on a blog called The Collective entitled “The Return Of The Photography Studio Blog”.  We moved to a self-hosted model so we would own it and we committed to posting consistent and original content.  This content strategy extends to all our platforms – we do NOT waste time selling at people.  I still see this a lot and it’s boring and cheesy.  “Book a session now and get free this or free that!  Hurry – only 10 spots left!”  Gag.  We prefer to put the focus on our “frameables” (our people) by posting images of them from their sessions (with signed model releases of course), and content from around the web that helps them and brings value to their lives.


Other platforms

In a sentence or two we use the following platforms as follows:

YouTube – We have our own channel for slideshows, interviews, and behind the scenes videos.  You can customize your page and subscribe to other channels where you can learn from other studios around the country.

Pinterest – Fun way to share and discover items from around the web.  Represent your style and culture with various pin “boards” by category.  Once again not too much focus on ourselves here – even less so than the other platforms.  The culture of Pinterest is not to self promote your own work too much but rather to share interesting items you find around the web.

Google+ – We violate the rule of having a page that we don’t pay much attention to here…  We still don’t see a lot of people using Google+ despite the pundits talking it up.  We focus where our people are and we don’t see them here.  This could change and we don’t want to completely blow off Google because, well, it’s Google.  We also have Foursquare and Yelp pages but we don’t put much energy into them either at this time.

Instagram – We just started on Instagram.  Like a micro photo blog with fun image layers.  Not the ideal way to show off your finished images but we have used it to post fun pics we take with our smartphones of various happenings with our studio.  Things like poison ivy on a location shoot and pics of Ally photographing for example.  Photographing a scene from one of our high school senior sessions can create some fun buzz with their friends and the location map can highlight some of the locations we use around town.  Same as our twitter handle – @frameablefaces

LinkedIn – Good platform for business to business connections.  We network there for some of the commercial work we do and I use it personally for some of the social media consulting I do on the side.  LinkedIn is admittedly not our strongest platform yet but we are working on it.

So there it is in a nutshell.  What platforms have you found to be most effective for you?


No Comments

  1. Nichole on April 20, 2010 at 9:28 am

    So I’m kind of new, so you can edit raw in cs5, do we still have a need for light room? I am currently using a trial of lightroom but I rather upgrade from cs2

  2. Danielle on April 20, 2010 at 9:50 am

    There are some restrictions on animated gifs for Make sure that in your Media upload window your Link URL window is pointing to the animated gif you uploaded to your uploads folder otherwise it is considered embedded and the animation will not work. In laymans terms you are just uploading the animated gif file to your uploads folder and when you insert the animated gif into your post you need to point to the actual gif file so that the animation will work correctly.

  3. Carey Pace on April 20, 2010 at 9:50 am

    holy cow, Jodi!!!! that’s awesome!

  4. Ashley on April 20, 2010 at 10:26 am

    wow. that was awesome. I don’t know that it specifically is a reason I will buy CS5. Would love to see what else is new. Thanks Jodi.

  5. Ashley Gillett on April 20, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Wow, that’s crazy awesome. And it just took you a minute or so? Maybe I will be upgrading. Love the idea of having a rule of thirds crop guide. Why haven’t they done this earlier?? Thanks Jodi for info. 🙂

  6. Abbey on April 20, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Saw this in my adobe email and my jaw dropped! I’m so excited…now if I could just convince the hub that I NEED it!!!!

  7. Jane on April 20, 2010 at 10:56 am

    I clicked on the image and it opened in a new tab. I was then able to see the animation (I’m using IE browser here at work).

  8. Errin Andrus on April 20, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Oh ya, I can’t wait!

  9. Brendan on April 20, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    If you think this is a cool feature, check out the new puppet warp feature (silly name, cool feature) in PS CS5

  10. the 7msn ranch on April 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Freakin’ amazing. Yes, based on this feature alone, I will upgrade. Thanks for the info.

  11. Tracey on April 22, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Awesome giveaway! Subscribed to shootsac newsletter and was already a fan on fb. I would love to win the Effervescent cover and have been eyeing mcp’s ‘bag of tricks’ for a while now.

  12. Tracey on April 22, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Now an RSS subscriber!!

  13. Tracey on April 22, 2010 at 11:47 am

    MCP Twitter follower!!

  14. Tracey on April 22, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Signed up for Shootsac Facebook Page!

  15. Karmen Wood on April 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    I use CS4 and I CAN NOT WAIT FOR CS5!!!!! So excited is an understatement! Lucky you for getting to try it out already!!

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