Let’s be real… we live in a digital age. If you are someone who owns a photography business (or is hoping to soon), I would bet my bottom dollar you have heard all about how crucial social media is and how essential it can be for your business. If we’re being honest, you’re probably tired of hearing about it. Regardless of whether you’re a newbie to social media or know everything there is to know about it, just hear us out. Social media itself is great, but when you know how to use it to your advantage through social media marketing, that’s when the real magic happens.
In this blog, we’ll quickly dive into what social media marketing is and educate you on various ways you can use it to promote your photography business.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is typically used by individuals, organizations, and businesses to promote their products or services through the use of social media. In reality, this looks like sharing intentional content centered around your brand on a social media platform, engaging with your audience digitally, and producing advertisements on these platforms.
Why is Social Media Marketing Important?
By leveraging marketing through the power of social media, photographers can stay competitive, attract new clients, and ultimately propel their business to new heights.
How About An Example?
Pretend you’re a new photographer who specializes in comical pet portraits with the goal of spreading happiness and creating laughter. Remember… you’re new to this, so you don’t have a following yet and want to attract a digital audience. In order to do this, you would take silly pet portraits, upload them to the social media platform of your choice along with a witty caption, related hashtags, and other platform specific features. Individuals browsing social media then have the opportunity to come across your work, help grow your audience by choosing to follow you, and could even hire you to take comical portraits of their pets.
Without utilizing social media marketing here, your comical pet portrait business would have a much more difficult time with growth and getting the word out. Social media marketing is great because you’re able to expand your reach and actively engage with your audience to build the photography business you desire.
Have a Social Media Presence
Before we get into how to promote your photography through social media marketing, let’s first ensure you have the basics down by having a social media presence. It’s very difficult for individuals to find your services if you don’t have a social media presence and they don’t know you exist.
You will want to make sure to use relevant and popular social media platforms. The three that we will focus on are TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook – however, don’t feel limited to these three platforms alone. Photographers should focus on the platforms they are most comfortable with and best fit their target audience.
- TikTok – With 1 billion active users, TikTok is a great way for photographers to share their work and connect with others through short-form creative video content. For those looking to take their engagement to the next level, TikTok has a popular feature where creators can live-stream and interact with their audience in real-time.
- Instagram – From showcasing photos, to sharing behind-the-scenes work through entertaining Reels, to day-to-day content on IG Stories, Instagram is the place to be photographers. There is a wide variety of features users can take advantage of to better engage with their audience.
- Facebook – The perfect place to share a large quantity of photos to your audience and showcase your work is through Facebook. From professional business pages to targeted advertising, Facebook’s features offer many opportunities for photographers to promote their work. One of the most valuable resources on Facebook for photographers is the Facebook Groups feature. These groups, similar to big forums, allow photographers to connect with like-minded individuals, exchange ideas, and stay informed about upcoming events relevant to their niche. Whether you join existing groups, or choose to start your own, Facebook Groups are a unique way to engage with others and potentially expand your reach.
Regardless of the social media platform (or multiple platforms) you choose, the goal is to at least have a presence online so you can better use social media marketing and expand your reach.
Creating and sharing new content on your social media platforms on a consistent basis is so important for growth as a photographer, especially those who are newer to the photography industry and are striving to build their audience. When individuals neglect to post consistently, their work and business is more easily forgotten by their audience. But, consistent posts give your audience the opportunity to see your work and engage with it.
Pro Tip: Make a posting schedule for yourself! Commit to a regular schedule each week. For example, posting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday could be a good starting point. Once you’ve tried out a schedule, make adjustments as needed. Buffer is a great website to check out if you’re interested in a platform where you can schedule your social media posts in advance.
Produce Quality Content
Quality > Quantity
Especially in the photography world, when it comes to your content posted on social media, producing high quality content is much more valuable than posting a high quantity of content that doesn’t look as good. A few really well thought-out and produced photographs are significantly more meaningful than a thousand low quality photos.
When individuals are searching around for a photographer, they want to see someone who has great and highly quality images. Hypothetically, it may be easier for individuals to come across your content if you have many images, which increase your chances of being noticed. However, having thousands of images that show lower quality work simply don’t matter as much to the potential customer or client. This is because individuals value better looking photos more than they value having a significant amount of photos to look at.
Engage with Your Audience
Regularly engaging with your audience is so important when it comes to social media marketing. Photographers who neglect to engage with their audience are missing out on key opportunities for connection, support, and valuable insights regarding potential customer/clients photography preferences. There is much to be gained from engaging with your audience consistently, so be sure you aren’t missing out.
Maybe you’re newer to the world of social media, or you just aren’t sure how to engage with your audience. Don’t worry! We have included a few engagement ideas below that are sure to help you get started.
Respond to Comments
If your social media following is really small, it’s very possible that you might not have any comments when you just start out. But don’t lose hope! One day you will have comments from others, whether it’s to ask a question, compliment your work, or something else entirely. Once you start getting comments, respond to them! Interact with the people in the comment sections of your posts.
Pro Tip: If you’re struggling and aren’t getting any comments on your posts, try adding an engaging question in your caption and ask your audience to answer in the comments. This may help your audience feel more prompted and encouraged to begin interacting and engaging with your page.
Host a Q & A
Creating a dedicated time and space for a Q & A is a great way to actively engage with your audience. On TikTok, this may look like creating a TikTok telling your audience to ask any questions they have, then you respond to their comment by making another TikTok. If you’re using Instagram, this may look like dropping a Q & A box on your Instagram stories for questions and answering each question in a new story. Regardless of the social media platform you choose to use, having a Q & A is possible!
Reply to Direct Messages
Depending on the size of your photography business and audience, the amount of direct messages you have from your audience could range anywhere from none to extremely overwhelming. If you don’t have any direct messages yet, just wait! You eventually will, and once you do, be sure to interact and respond. If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and feel overwhelmed with the amount of direct messages you have, try setting aside a window of time each week to go through and answer questions.
Utilize Tools for Engagement Based on Platform
Each social media platform has features that are specific to their platform. Once you find these tools, use them to your advantage! We have created a brief list below of valuable tools and features to look into for TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. While this brief list is not exhaustive, it’s a great starting point.
- Instagram Tools – Stories and polls, Reels, Instagram Live, Instagram shopping feature, hashtags, location tagging, and mentions.
- TikTok Tools – Trendy songs and sounds for short-form videos, duet feature, creating your own filters and effects, hashtags, TikTok Stories, location tagging, and TikTok Live.
- Facebook Tools – Facebook Groups, Facebook Live, Facebook Events, Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Watch Party, and location tagging.
By including relevant hashtags in your social media posts, photographers can make their content more discoverable to users who are searching for those specific topics. Hashtags also help to categorize content, making it easier for users to find and engage with relevant content.
For example, if you are a wedding photographer, using hashtags such as #weddingphotography, #bridetobe, #weddinginspo, and #weddingplanning can help individuals who are newly engaged and looking for a wedding photographer more easily come across your content.
Okay, but who doesn’t love giveaways? Hosting giveaways is both a win for you as the photographer, your following, and the lucky winner! Not only are giveaways a great way to showcase your work to your current following, it’s also a great way to connect with new individuals.
Traditionally, photographers do giveaways for a free photography session, but feel free to adjust your giveaway to fit your needs!
How Do Giveaways Work?
As the photographer, you have the freedom to create your giveaway in whatever manner you please. But – if you’re interested in knowing how people typically host one, stick around! When hosting a giveaway, photographers give a list of steps that their following must do to be entered in the giveaway. These actions are specific to the social media platform you’re using, but generally include steps such as sharing the post and tagging a friend or two to be entered. Both of these actions are great ways for new people to be introduced to your work! Once the giveaway has ended, randomly select your winner.
Collaborate with Others
Last but not least, dedicate time to collaborate with others. By collaborating with other photographers, individuals, influencers, and brands, you have many opportunities to expand your network, learn new things, and ultimately grow your photography business. The possibilities with collaboration are endless!
Regardless of where you are in your photography business, whether you’re just starting out, or have been involved for decades, we hope you have found this to be resourceful. Always remember… it’s not enough to simply take great photos in our digital age, you must share them too! So go ahead, it’s time to put your best foot forward and take advantage of social media marketing to promote your photography business.