Social media strategy for architecture photographers
If you’re not putting at least a small part of your marketing effort into social media in 2019, then I would really recommend you give it a go and try this social media strategy for architecture photographers, including a full list of architecture photography hashtags to help grow your social media following.
Hashtags are a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), and are used on social media platforms, especially Twitter and Instagram, to identify messages on a specific topic. So for example if I was to search for photography I would type in #photography and everything tagged with that hashtag would show up. Pretty powerful, huh?
It’s important to have a solid social media strategy for your architectural photography business and using the correct hashtags is a great way to make a start on that.
How to grow your architecture photography social media following
The first thing to remember is that social media is for socialising and like any friendship it can take a while to grow. If you’re expecting it to bring you a full diary of work within the first few weeks, then I can also suggest you some pyramid schemes to get involved with.
You really need to put the time in and create genuine connections with those in your social media circles, it doesn’t matter if that’s via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Nobody is going to buy from you just on the basis of you regularly (or un-regularly as the case maybe) posting new work and hoping for the best. In fact, if you are just posting work and not giving anything back your follower count may start moving back towards that zero mark.
Secondly, remember that nobody likes to be sold to.
People don’t go onto Instagram or Facebook to purchase your photography, especially something as niche as architecture photography, they go on there to look at pretty pictures of cats and their friends’ babies.
Outside of this, you are on the periphery and it’s your job to stay there so that when they do need your services or hear of somebody who does they can remember you exist. If you’re blatantly in their face screaming “BUY ME!” all of the time, they will quickly hit that unfollow button.
Finally, and this one may hurt but nobody cares about your business or what you’re trying to sell them until they have a need for it, not your potential customer and certainly not Facebook or Instagram.
Social media is over saturated with content right now and according to HubSpot your organic reach is only 2% of your entire market, i.e. if you have 100 followers, only 2 of those followers you spent months getting on board are actually going to see what you post. The social media platforms want you to spend money on paid advertising so will drive down your organic reach to make it appear like you have to spend money to be getting any results.
This is a bit of a double edged sword as far as having a niche business on social media like architecture photography is considered. It is great to have thousands of followers and it does add a certain amount of credibility to your work when you’re approaching potential clients if they research you and find you have a massive social following, this can get you a job in of itself.
However, I would rather have 20 really engaged followers over 1000 followers who never interacted any day of the week. At least then you know your work is resonating with somebody and they are making a genuine effort to take the time to sit and write something back to you.
How to use social media for your architecture photography business
It’s important to get a solid social media strategy in place to help you achieve your goals, as only you will know where you want it to take you. Is it brand awareness, customer services or simply a way of getting a quick dopamine hit from seeing that tiny red heart float up the screen?
How much time are you able or willing to give to social media?
If you can only spend ten minutes a week posting, then it’s probably best to devote your time to one platform and give that your undivided attention rather than spread yourself too thinly and weaken your message. If you can spend ten minutes a day or hop on and off your phone throughout the day then you’re going to be in a much better place in terms of growing your architecture photography brand through social media.
Social media needs to be a pro-active task. If you’re replying to comments from a week ago, people are going to switch off pretty quickly.
Concentrate on your target audience and spend 80% of your time searching them out and interacting with them in a way which they will understand.
Spend some time really getting to know your potential clients. Going as far as writing down your ideal client i.e. mid-thirties (same age as you), mother of one (you can talk about your kids), likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain (in case you run out of baby stories), so you can always refer back to it and make sure you’re on track. What are their concerns or “pain point” and what can you offer them which is going help them? This doesn’t have to be directly related to your architecture photography at first but if you’re available to help somebody when they need it, you will be growing the know, like and trust side of your relationship and they will come back to you when they need your services.
As I mentioned before, social media needs to be social, so it’s important you aren’t just using it in a professional capacity. If you want to look corporate you’re better off taking out an advert in the paper.
Make good use of platforms such as Instagram’s stories feature, using this great little guide from Hootsuite here to show your audience was you are up to on a day to day basis.
Everybody is used to seeing a polished final product of everybody’s life now so it’s important to show behind the scenes of what really goes into making your photography. This shows potential clients how you work and helps build a layer of trust which wouldn’t otherwise be there. It shows everybody you’re a real person and not just a robot capable of pumping out great architecture photography.
Also, use analytics to your advantage but don’t over obsess! Most of the large platforms now offer great analytic tools, so you can track how people are interacting with your content, showing you how many likes, follow, comments etc etc you have received at any given time.
This gives you a real insight into what your audience likes and can help you tailor content specifically for that platforms but it’s important to stay true to your company’s beliefs and the way you want to grow the business. Just because you posted a picture of your dog on the set which got 120x more likes than your previous picture, doesn’t mean every picture from now on should a picture of your dog on the set.
Analytic tools can be great for checking you’re reaching the right type on people, just don’t get too obsessed!
Which social media platform for architecture photography?
Hopefully having your potential client and social media strategy in place will help you a little way into deciding which social media platform or platforms to use to grow your architecture photography brand. Below are the big ones for 2019 and how to use them to help you create social media strategy for your architecture photography business.
Facebook for architecture photography
Even with all the recent negative press, Facebook is still the big gun when it comes to social media. With an estimated 2.07 billion monthly active users, having a presence here could make or break your company.
However, as mentioned before it’s not how big it is that matters, it’s what you’re doing with it. Users don’t come to Facebook to be sold to, but this can work in your favour as if you pitch your content correctly, they will be far more receptive to engaging with your brand.
Extend your reach on Facebook by posing questions to your audience, alongside your architecture photography and other related content – when they reply, these responses will be seen by each individual’s network of contacts (regardless of whether they like your page or not), therefore extending your reach – and potential customer base – with every like, share and comment.
Again, remember not to sell and simply to discover what kind of content motivates your audience to engage, then allow them to see a little of your personality through the way you engage with them. You can now post stories to Facebook from your business page, too -so you can utilise this feature in the same way as you would for Instagram (more on that below).
Facebook’s analytics tools can be great for seeing what content is resonating with your viewers.
Using Instagram for your architecture photography business
Instagram is growing day-by-day and for engagement is head and shoulder above the rest.
What better way to promote your architecture photography business than a platform which literally allows you to share images and get real time feedback from all around the globe?
Instagram is built to share visual content and it does it wonderfully well. Creating a visually appealing portfolio on Instagram gives your potential clients the ability to view all your work in one place without ever having to visit your website and also gives them a look behind the scenes of your company. Slightly scary, but also hugely successful if you can find the right balance to make it work.
Hashtags are massive on Instagram and it’s important to have a good schedule of posting times to properly harness the power of Instagram and get your images in front of as many people as possible.
Twitter for architecture photographers
Twitter is great if you’re looking to start a conversation. This may seem slightly backwards considering we’re selling images, but people still buy from people. If you take the time to sit and start a conversation with somebody, you’re creating a real connection with that person. It’s far too easy to tap like and scroll on by than actually take the time to formulate a response to somebody.
Twitter also allows you to start conversations with relevant people in architecture photography, whether that’s with other photographers from all around the globe talking about kit or techniques or with architects who are looking for some advice, use it to start and join in with these conversations.
How to use Pinterest for your architecture photography
Pinterest is built as an image searching platform – think of it as Google images with prettier pictures, as it’s far more of a search engine than a social media channel.
It allows users to share images from their portfolio which others will find and add to their own boards for inspiration. This can create a huge snowball effect and is only reaching your perfect client as they are specifically searching for what you are offering.
It can take a little longer to get to grips with Pinterest, but it is great for driving customers to your website as every “pin” links back to your website which they can follow. A great benefit for your SEO too!
Pinterest can be a great tool to drive traffic to your website if you spend time getting to grips with the site.
Best hashtags for architecture photography
Here’s the bit you all came for, right? The secret sauce which will gain you thousands of followers across all the platforms?
Well, sorry to disappoint but you will still have to put a little bit of work in, as each platform is slightly different and some don’t even use them as a searchable function.
(h3) Hashtags for your architecture photographs on Facebook
Hashtags are relatively low key on Facebook but the research shows that posts with 1-2 hashtags receive the most interactions.
This is great if you’re trying to create a hashtag for yourself to tie all your work together, i.e. I use #SchoolofSped to tie together all of my marketing advice across my social media, if you want to learn more about that click here. So people click your hashtag and all your work will come up, this is great if people have just come across your work and want to see more of it all in one place without having to trawl through your page.
So think of a catchy hashtag for your architecture photography business and drop that in at the end of all your posts.
Hashtags for architecture photography on Twitter
Twitter recommends you use no more than 2 hashtags per tweet as best practice, and tweets with at least one hashtag are 55% more likely to be retweeted.
With only two hashtags to play with, it’s best to go really specific for Twitter:
These two will give you a good cross section of other photographers or hobbyists searching for architecture photography and also give you access to the architects or clients looking for architecture inspiration.
Which hashtags to use on Instagram for architecture photography
Instagram is big on hashtags and allows a whopping thirty hashtags per post, so it’s important to be using all that real estate they give you to get your image in front of as many people as possible.
It’s a great idea to put the majority of these in your first comment rather than the actual post to hide the fact you’re spamming. There are also benefits to this which you can read more about here if you like.
Having a good mixture of relevant hashtags is a great idea to really niche down on your topic, for example #architecture has over 107 million posts associated to it, small fish big pond, but #brutalistarchitecture has just over 125k – big fish small pond. Again, this needs to be tailored to your ideal client so do your research first and if it gets really desperate throwing in a couple of #picoftheday #instalove #followforfollow will quickly gain you a few extra followers, they may just not stick around for too long.
It’s best to start with a good solid base of hashtags which are general, i.e.
#architecturephotography #architecturelovers #architectureporn #archidaily #archilovers #architexture #lookingup_architecture #archdaily #ic_architecture
And then choose the remaining hashtags to specifically match your content. This way it targets your specific audience and avoids all your images having the exact same hashtags, which Instagram doesn’t like.
For example, if you’re shooting a brutalist building, adding these on the end will get you a really specifically targeted audience looking for exactly what you’re posting:
#brutalist #brutalism #betonbrut #brutal_architecture #modernist #concrete #modernism
Certain hashtags are more popular on Instagram, it’s important you research a good variety to avoid getting lost in the crowd.
Pinterest and hashtags for architecture photographers
Hashtags aren’t a big deal on Pinterest and in their own guidelines they state using too many can negatively affect your rankings, but they are still a viable way of searching on the platform.
Place them in your description and, similarly to Facebook, using unique hashtags and avoiding frequently used search terms seems to gain the most traction leading other winners back to your content.
So get that memorable hashtag in your pins and make sure your target market can find you.
I hope you have found this guide (which didn’t turn out to be all that short) helpful in creating a social media strategy for your architecture photography business. If you have, please share it using the social buttons so we can help more people out and give me a follow on social media so we can get a conversation going!
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