In our digital world, social media is increasingly becoming one of the top ways to get eyes on your artwork. Likes, follows, and comments have become the new economy as our screen time continues to increase (and our addiction to it). We’ve come to a point where social media can not be ignored.
As a Digital Marketing Strategist, most of my week days (and let’s admit it - weekends) are spent on the good old world wide web. It’s my go to - not just for work or research - but also entertainment. It’s my news source and it’s my way of staying connected with the latest trends. It’s where I do my reading. It’s where I gain inspiration. It’s kind of taken over but it has its advantages.
Whether it’s passively browsing through Instagram or seeking camera advice from a trusted blog I’m becoming exposed to a whole world of photographers that I never would have seen without the web. What tends to be my top sources? Social media.
Let’s face it, we’ve all come to rely on social media to connect us to the greater world. Because of this, social media has become one of the top ways to get eyes on your artwork. In 2015, 76% of all internet users use at least one social networking site. That’s a lot of potential! For this reason, I wanted to share my top 5 social media tips.
Choose a Platform You Actually Enjoy
First off, choose a platform you actually enjoy. Is it Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr? One of them? Two? The fact is - if you enjoy the platform you are bound to be more active on it. Keeping up to date will not seem like a chore but an exciting opportunity each day to check into a community that shares your passion.
Personally, I enjoy Reddit. Reddit doesn’t have your typical likes and follows. However, what they do have is a plentitude of subreddits (think of these as categories of interest) each with a diehard community surrounding them. Tap into these communities for critique, advice, questions, concerns, inspiration, and more.
Here’s a sneak peek at just a few of them:
Overall, when choosing your platform(s) remember that you do not have to be everywhere. You are better off having a strong focus on one or two platforms instead of spreading yourself thin on every new and old social media network out there.
Build Relationships & Make Friends
Like, follow, and engage with other photographers. If something catches your eye - leave a nice comment. This ‘social love,’ as we call it, is bound to help you build relationships and gain you followers.
There are plenty of options here. Why not:
- Share the work of a fellow photographer that has been inspiring you lately.
- Take the time to comment on someone’s latest updates with some kind words.
- Did someone ask a photo related question that you can answer in a heartbeat? Share your knowledge.
- Have you been using a great piece of equipment? Share a quick review and tag the brand name if possible. Brands like to hear from you too!
This social love will pay off as photographers begin to return the favor. Soon enough you’ll have a wealth of photographers to turn to. You never know what future opportunities these connections could present.
Become Active in a Community
Each platform has a community just waiting for you to get involved in. Facebook has Facebook Groups, Twitter has dedicated communities surrounding TwitterChats (shout out to #photochat), Instagram has active hashtags that might be of interest, Flickr has photo share and discussion groups, and Reddit, as I mentioned above, has subreddits. The options are endless.
In the beginning, test the waters by trying out a few different communities. Slowly, it will become clear, what community is right for you. From there, stick to it and make a name for yourself within that community.
Post Engaging Content
The objective here is to avoid simply broadcasting. Don’t get me wrong, broadcasting is important. Share your exciting news to your community.
However, as much as viewers want to see your work, they want to get to know the photographer behind them. Share your tips and tricks. Get a conversation going with a question. Perhaps show your photographic process instead of just the final outcome. Behind the scenes shot are always intriguing to see!
Maintain a balanced mix and you will be sure to get engagement.
Lastly, the trickiest part in our very busy lives, is to be consistent. Things come up. It’s bound to happen. But, try your best to consistently update and be involved in your community. You’ll stay top of mind to your fans and build relationships even easier.
The best part is, if you follow the advice above, you’ll actually want to be consistent. You’ll be fully invested in the process. You’ll want to talk to your community. You’ll want to check in with others. As cliche as it might sound, the opportunities are endless. Have fun with the process and get on your way. A community is calling to you - go out and find it!
Caitlin Boroden is a Digital Marketing Strategist at DragonSearch in the beautiful Hudson Valley. She is fascinated by SEO, photography, and has a slight addiction to Reddit. With a background in photography, she leaps at any chance to talk about the subject. You can find her chatting away on Reddit and Twitter. Feel free to reach out!