As a photographer, you know that a significant amount of time needs to be spent on social media to grow your business.
Without a plan, people won’t find you, which leads many to feel disappointed or frustrated.
With social media constantly changing, it’s important to keep up with the trends so that your business continues to grow and you’re not left feeling discouraged.
By trying these 10 techniques, your social media growth will be sure to skyrocket.
1. Consistency - Have a schedule and automate
As the algorithms change on social media, having a consistent schedule is more important now than ever. Before Instagram broke our hearts and got rid of the chronological feed, posting when it was convenient for you didn’t hurt your reach. Unfortunately, it does now and the best way to optimize your reach is through a consistent schedule.
To stay on schedule, while also not getting behind in other work, try an automation service. When researching the best social media planner for your business, be sure to make a list of the must-haves. Whether this is the ability to engage with your audience within their app or to push content from the scheduler to the platform, know what you want before signing up.
Tip: Most services allow for a free trial - utilize it! Not all social media planners are created equally - make sure you fully understand and like the service before committing.
2. Community - Find people within your space and join groups
Before our feeds were filled with targeted advertising, what was the one thing we looked forward to on social media? While people’s answers might differ, they will most likely involve friends and family in some capacity. While this is great, you might be wondering how your friends and family are going to help grow your business. Well, they aren’t. But, going back to the basic foundations of social media - will.
We are all guilty of this - we pick up our phones, click on a social media app, and start scrolling. We aren’t engaging with anybody but scrolling out of habit. Break the habit, start engaging. Find new communities or groups on social media that make you feel inspired. By finding influencers and people to communicate with, your list of connections will also grow.
3. Get off social - Build a website
What happens if Facebook shuts down tomorrow or they started charging for profiles? Would you do it?
Think back to a time you receive advice on a situation. It might have been a new business adventure or a new job opportunity. Now think back to what advice you received. It might have been something along the lines of, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” The same is true with social media. Don’t simply rely on the fact that social media will always be there or be free, as neither is a given.
Stay in control of your business and build a website outside of social media. Aside from the fact that you don’t want to risk losing your business over social media, building an online presence is important.
4. Stay relevant - Have fresh content
With how quick trends on social media can change, it is crucial to stay up-to-date. Whether you join a Facebook group to talk to other entrepreneurs or follow a business website, have a place to discover current trends. This is also a great way to find tricks and tips on what others are finding to work. Keep in mind, hacks come and go quickly. The moment you find yourself becoming too comfortable is the moment you are behind the curve.
It is also important to have fresh content for your images and on your blog. Schedule content that you haven’t shared in other places. Refrain from pushing content from one social media platform to another. Always respect the platform.
5. Inform - Give your audience a reason to follow you
Think through who you follow on social media. Why do they inspire you? Chances are it is because they share something of value with you.
What’s your value? What are you sharing to keep people inspired and waiting for your next post?
Find your value - whether it be sharing business advice, photography tips or simply motivational words, have a purpose for your audience.
6. Vision - Plan for social media
Next to being consistent with the times that you post, having consistency with your images is equally important. When your audience scrolls through social media, you want them to know an image is yours before looking at the name.
Social media profiles, especially Instagram, should serve as portfolios. Show your best work and have a clear vision for your feed.
Tip: Having trouble with consistency on your Instagram feed? Try a planner like Plann and be confident in curating your images.
7. Be discovered - Use hashtags, engage, and perfect your profile
As Facebook advertising advances and Instagram leaves behind chronological feeds, putting yourself in position to be discovered is crucial now more than ever. While it isn’t easy, there are a few things you can do to increase your organic reach.
First, have your profile top-notch. Profiles serve as a 5-second resume; be sure to leave an impression. Second, find new hashtags to follow. Other creatives are also trying to be discovered or featured as well. By finding new hashtags that are relevant to your business, your reach will increase.
And lastly, engage. Not only engage with your audience but find other artists that you are inspired by and leave a comment on their image. Real talk - leads to real engagement - which leads to organic reach.
8. Followers - Stop chasing the likes
Back when Facebook started, ladders or train likes were popular. On almost every photography blog’s Facebook page you would find a post that said something along the lines of, “Leave your business page in the comments below. Be sure to follow 3 other people.” In the early days of Facebook, this was an excellent way to spend your time advancing your business. Now, it’s horrible.
Facebook and Instagram want real engagement, which means you want to find followers that truly are inspired by your work. By attracting the wrong audience, the number of likes on your posts goes down. Which in return means - Facebook will deem the post as not relevant and will stop organically sharing your work.
Your business is better off with 500 real followers than 5,000 empty followers.
9. Health - Stop spreading yourself too thin
Finding a balance to work and life is hard. We all inspire to find balance but to most, it’s a mythical creature - we’ve heard about it, but have never experienced it. The demands of running your business are grueling. The need to constantly be working or creating - leads many to feel burnt out.
Set goals for yourself and know your boundaries. Most creatives started their own businesses to be at home with their families more. Without setting limits, the likelihood of working more than 40 hours is inevitable. We can always post another image to Instagram but we can’t recreate memories.
10. Be authentic - Share real moments
The one thing we are losing the most on social media is authenticity. At any given time you could scroll through Instagram and see picture-perfect images one after another. This need to portray a perfect life leads others to feel defeated.
Be a voice of authenticity. Show your real life. Share real-life moments. People want to share real connections and by being relatable, people will find value in your stories.
The best way to build your business is with consistency - as consistency over time yields great results. While some of these changes might not happen overnight, set yourself a goal to start implementing them. What tip are you looking forward to trying?