Social media is fast becoming one of the best ways to grow a photography business, here are my five favourite social media platforms and how I use them.

1. Facebook for photographers

I’ll be honest, I don’t use Facebook half as well as I should and it is probably my most neglected social media platform but for most photographers we need to have a Facebook presence.

With nearly a third of the world using Facebook you’re missing a massive slice of the pie if you’re not involved.

For the most part I cheat with Facebook and my recent obsession with Instagram and the integration it provides means I post images to Instagram and they show in my Facebook feed.

This is great for showing work to people who already follow you but falls a bit flat for attracting new people to your business.

This is where Facebook advertising comes into its own and it has the best advertising system in place of any of the social media platforms.  

It allows you to target people down to the finest of details in order to get your message in front of them.

2. Twitter for photographers

Twitter has for a long time been my favourite social platform but recently has suffered from them offering too many options for scheduling posts and the amount of bots.

This means that it sort of feels like robots talking to each other at times.

Great ways around this are to take part in “local hours”, i.e. #lancashirehour this allows you to target business in your local area at specific times of the week and spark up a conversation with them simply by being in the same location.

There are also hours targeted at certain events i.e. #cakeclubhour which, although a little more specialised, allows you to spark up a conversation with people with similar interests.

I use Twitter for sparking up conversations with local businesses in this way and getting my brand out there within a local sphere.

If you’re just throwing out random tweets into the world they will get lost. Targeting them in this way gets them in front of the people you want to be seeing them.

3. Instagram for photographers

For photographers, Instagram is absolutely perfect. It allows you to, in essence, create an online portfolio far larger than that on your website.

It does require quite a dedication of time, in order to get your work shown, as the algorithm it uses pseudo boosts posts from people who get involved with the platform more.

So if you post and like more people’s images, your images will show up more often.

Once you get the hang of this it becomes a great way to target people with specific interests, via the use of hashtags, and begin to engage with them.

A feature on Instagram, called Instagram stories, also offers a great way to show behind the scene footage or work in progress images which you may otherwise not feel are good enough to feature on your main feed.

They stay on your profile for just 24 hours, after which they disappear into the ether.

I’ve recently become a massive fan of this feature and some photographers are using it really well to give you a backstage pass into how their studios work.

4. LinkedIn for photographers

This may be the least well known in this list but is actually the one I get the most actual work through.
LinkedIn is essentially Facebook for business and allows you to set up a professional profile which is solely about your business life.

This is great as everybody on there is on there to do business.

Since I began attending networking events, my LinkedIn interactions have gone through the roof. Networking effectively gives you a series of connections who are marketing for you and the more you work for people within that network, the larger it gets.

This works perfectly with LinkedIn. If anybody asks for a photographer in Lancashire, if I don’t see it chances are people within my network will and can tag me in the post, alerting me to potential work.

Now, obviously this has to work both ways and keeping an eye on potential work for your network is also a big part of this but it does feel great to help other people out.

The only negative I have for LinkedIn is their algorithm is really hard to get your head around and basically punishes you for posting links to external sites.

It makes sense that you want to post links to your website but LinkedIn wants to keep you on their website and it’s sometimes hard to get a large amount of interaction on posts via LinkedIn.

 I mainly use it for the networking side rather than trying to show my work off. Let your connections recommendations speak for that.

5. Pinterest for photographers

This one is a little out of left field and had somebody said just six months ago I would be using this to publicise my business I would have been looking at them strangely.

However, I am beginning to see the power in it.

Going slightly against the title of this post, you need to view Pinterest as a search engine rather than a social media platform. People put in a search term i.e. food photography and posts relevant to their search term are displayed.

This took me a while to get my head around how to use it (I’m still not sure it is fully around). So in that example, you want people to be finding your examples of food photography results first. The way to do that is by getting your posts “pinned” more.

This all seems really easy on paper, but I have found this the hardest platform to get any kind of interaction on, yet still it is providing a steady stream of hits to my website.

The way I am doing this is by hosting inspiration boards. In these “boards” I am “pinning” work which inspires me and which I want to view again when planning shoots.

Anything which I have pinned in these boards can then be found by other people searching for their specific terms and people who visit my profile then (hopefully) visit my profile to see what else I have pinned. Here is where you need to have your work as the very first board, so it’s the first thing they visit.

I’ll be honest, this all seems very complicated and you are basically promoting other people’s work in order to get people to visit your website.

However, slowly it is working and I spent weeks checking my notifications to see “no new notifications” but now I regularly have at least a few little red ticks in there to brighten up my day, so keep at it!

I hope this provides an insight into how to use social media for your business and if you want to follow me on any of the above and spark up a conversation, the links are:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
LinkedIn
Pintrest

And to really help me grow my social network, please share this post using the links to the right.

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