I was recently asked what a photographer starting out in social media should do so here’s my starter tips.
I’m going to presume that everyone has an account on the four big networks:
Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn
Your profiles should point to your main website and you have a great shot of yourself, with your face in view, together with a biography of you that reflects your specialty areas you work in – Its the same on each social network.
You share regularly updates to each of the top 4 – Your latest blog post, portfolio additions and assignments.
You should be on Flickr, and depending on your stance, may wish to offer some photos under creative commons license there – as an opportunity for your work to be featured in other sites – driving traffic and eyes to your Flickr account. Where they will find your website listed.
You should follow other photographers of note – a few popular ones I follow are @chasejarvis @pixelator @envatophoto @cindyvriend (I re-share / re-tweet links to their articles if I think they would help others).
Follow the #photography hastag – save it as a search on twitter or use Hootsuite to follow the stream. Choose specific tags relevant to your niche.
If you have an iPhone – consider using Instagram and posting to your twitter account – to add some variety there.
Follow others elswhere too
You should also explore bloggers in your niche – subscribe to their RSS feeds using Google reader or friend / circle them.
Check your feeds regularly – maybe for 10 minutes in the morning – share any articles you found relevant on twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus.
Tailor your message to each as they have different audiences.
This might be other photographers – but if your subject matter is motorsport for example – follow motorsport sites and blogs – potential clients. If you do school photography – align yourself with schools and those already providing services to schools. Malls for Santa stalls.
Engage and interact as you would in a normal meeting. Thank retweets and comments, share information and try not to be too salesman like.
This should be about three things, getting people to contact you for shoots, and showing them that you are capable of giving them great shots – then selling your photos.
I’m not sure how sophisticated a system needs to be for online payment but there are plenty of tools like Paypal that can collect your payments.
Ideally no flash – as that’s not supported well on mobiles.
A good call to action should be present at top – call me / contact me
Present large images of your recent shoots (where you have permission to release). Index them into categories that are relevant to your audience. – Corporate / baby / action / still life
A good way to do this may be by posting them as blog updates. That way you have a new set of images you can share as a group on social media.
I found this website today and thought they did this very well www.jasongroupp.com/blog.
You should work to create blog articles with at least a little text in as well. So that the site is optimised for Search engines.
Rand Fishkin wrote a more advanced note on blogging SEO that I found a good read.
Story telling around the process of the shoot will often already include many of the terms people might search for when looking for a photographer. It will also build the potential clients trust in your service.
Photographers have I missed anything glaringly obvious?