If you are a wedding photographer, you may be able to increase your client list by using social media. This article gives details of the different social media available and how to use each one for the best results. Whichever media platform you choose, the key is to make your business more visible to potential clients. Try to keep your content unique as copying and pasting info from your website to your social media may actually lower your SEO ranking. Remember to keep your social media regularly updated with interesting and relevant posts. Also include your best images to get great results; hopefully those enquires will come flooding in.
Which Social Media for What?
There are lots of social media platforms out there but which ones are worth having an account with and how should it be used.
Twitter is very easy to use as you can post short descriptions. This is great if you have less time to promote your business. By using just 150 characters of text and a great image you can reach many people in a short space of time. Tweets that include an image are more likely to be shared.The downside of Twitter is that most users are in their early 20’s, they are therefore less likely to be planning a wedding.
The best to use twitter may be for networking with other photographers and making connections with wedding bloggers who may like to feature your work. On twitter people often ‘follow’ and send messages to others who work in the same industry. You may like to start a conversation with local wedding suppliers or wedding planners. They may be able to refer clients to you in the future.
Facebook has been a top promotional tool for wedding photographers for a while now as it is very easy to set up and use. By regularly posting text, photos and links to your other social media you can use facebook to promote your business. Pretty much everyone has Facebook so it’s a great way of finding clients.
Make sure you tag your clients in photos their wedding or photo shoot. In this way the images will reach more people as it will appear on their wall as well as your own. It will also be on all their friend’s newsfeeds. This is instant, free advertising as people who are in the process of planning a wedding will see your shots.You can also connect up all your other social media by making page tabs that will be placed at the top of the Facebook page. However there have recently been problems with Facebook ads. Many people feel that Facebook are limiting the visibility of their posts to force small business owners to pay for this service.
LinkedIn is a great way for photographers to network with others in the same industry. It’s a good way to get ideas about how to develop your business. You can also keep up with the latest trends and also get feedback on your images. LinkedIn has a number of groups that wedding photographers may like to join. These groups will give you tips and advice about general photography or marketing and running your business. It may be a good idea to join a few local groups as you never know when others will recommend you.
Instagram is the type of social media that can become very addictive. By using Instagram you can easily give clients, friends and others in the wedding business a look at what you get up to.
When uploading photos the trick is to look for popular tags and then use them to get your photos seen. Tags such a #weddingphotographer or #weddinginspiration are great . You can also search for popular tags on Statigram and use them to get your images seen more. Instagram has slight loop holes in their copyright policy so it’s important to look into this if you don’t want them to use your images for advertising. You may also like to use a watermark on all photos you upload to make sure that they can be traced back to you.
Overall instagram is great for getting your work seen. Brides also follow wedding photographers on intstagram so you may be able to get a few bookings this way if you are persistent and post images on a regular basis.
Pinterest is a great social media tool for the wedding industry, there’s even a wedding category. This allows you to promote your wedding photography by getting people to pin it. You can share your wedding shots and have them viewed by brides to be, who want to make their wedding as photogenic as possible. You can also use Pinterest to look at other wedding photographers work and to keep up with current photography trends. Clients are able to share their boards with you. This will give you an idea of what kind of images they like so you can plan the photo shoot ahead of time.
However there are many disadvantages of Pinterest. Brides will be able to view hundreds of images in just a few minutes as it is a mass image sharing site. Therefore it’s important to only share images which really stand out and have a ‘wow factor’. There may also be problems with loss of authorship. Remember to watermark your images and link each post back to your website. This will mean that potential clients are more likely to be able to contact you.
Google+ is the new site by google which is basically a rival to facebook. By having a google+ page your business will have a greater web prescence with better search engine optimisation (SEO). Google+ may not be great for interacting with clients. It’s best to set up a page and link it to your website with the purpose of improving your visibility in Google searches.
Two types of business pages can be created in Google+, local and non-local. The non local page is for shop or businesses owners with a tangible address where as local are for more general businesses or people and things. It’s possible to have both types of pages to be on the safe side, if you are not sure which category your business falls under.
Where should you spend your time?
With so many social media sites all offering something slightly different time can be quickly taken up, but we feel there are a few must use and a few if you have the time. Facebook for example is a must, you can easily target your posts and adverts to your perfect clients, engaged couples in a certain location, this is extremely powerful. Facebook is the ideal platform for growing your business and customer base. You should aim to post something up at least every 1-2 days.
Google want a piece of the social media pie and although not said by Google themselves there is mention that it does play a little roll in effecting your google site rankings, be it true or not it is certainly worth setting up and posting up a few photos and posts. Apart from setting it up we don’t think it is worth spending to much time on, although there are some great photography communities on there that you may wish to join.
Instagram is a fun platform also owned by Facebook, however with the focus on images it is great for sharing some of your best photos or behind the scenes shots. It isn’t going to drive you lots of enquires but it will help share your work and build up a fanbase that love your work.
Pinterest is worth having an account as you have thousands of photos you can share. Pin your best work, and write detailed descriptions about the shot, where it was taken, the venue and ensure you link to your site. Brides maybe looking on Pinterest at wedding photos taken at their booked venue and if they see if have shot there and love your work then may wish to hire you.
Twitter and Linkedin are great for networking. following other photographers and engaging with wedding suppliers, however from a getting more clients and bookings it is not worth the effort compared to Facebook for example where you can be more targeted.
- Post on Facebook regulary and step up targeted Ads
- Step up a Google+ Page and link it to your website
- Pin some of your best work on Pinterest
If you have the time.
- Engage on Twitter
- Network on Linkedin
- Post up shots on Instagram
Getting the Best from Facebook Paid Ads
Facebook is a great platform for targeting your services at couples recently engaged in your area. The key and most important part is the targeting, you can spend, and waste a lot of money on Facebook with poorly targeted ads, you can pay for an ad and get hundreds of Facebook likes, however are these the people you want to see your work and are these the people who may hire you to photograph their wedding?
When creating an ad on Facebook think about the aim of it and the end goal, to gain a following on Facebook, to drive website views and enquiries, or perhaps to see a recent blog post. Once you know your goal think about the audience and who you want to do this, if you are based in New York then you can focus your Facebook ad to a set criteria, newly engaged, lives in New York, Female, between the age of 28 and 36. The key is to think about who you want to see your ad, setting your location range to wide will cause to your ad to be seen by people who may only want a local wedding photographer and are not considering having someone travel far even if you do, however your budget will be spent on this and potentially wasted.
Targeting your audience is one part of a successful Facebook ad, the other side is to craft, edit and perfect your advert. Select an image that stands out, that will catch peoples eyes in peoples newsfeed as they scroll down. You then want a short catchy line to engage the user and prompt them to click through. Look at other ads and see what pops up on your newsfeed, make little changes over time and see if it has a positive or negative effect on your views and click throughs.
There is no set winning formula to a Facebook ad, different audiences will require a different style of ad, the key is to be patient and keep making little tweaks to keep improving your ad, set up a couple of adverts that are slightly different but aimed at the same audience, give it a week and see which has performed best, then ditch the poor resulting ad and create a new version of the one that did well, and then repeat.
If you are serious about advertising on Facebook then take a look at adding a Facebook pixel for your campaign, this allows you to track your audience and helps to see who are clicking through allowing you to build more specific audiences based off of the people who successfully complete those same conversions.
As well as advert you can also promote posts from your page, another great way share and promote your work quickly and easily, if you have posted up a recent wedding then you can target the post to engaged couples in that area who maybe considering that venue, or looking for a photographer that has shot there.
Social Media Plugins
Many Wedding photographers use WordPress to help promote their work, if you have created a blog on WordPress then you might like to look into some of these top plug ins for photographers.
WordPress is the best way to build an on-line portfolio for your wedding photography business and these plugins will help your site look even more unique and will help share your images with the world.
Directly import your images from elsewhere on the web using this great plug In. Urber Media works alongside instagram, facebook and flicker so you can easily access and transfer photos.
Add twitter features to your wordPress page allowing you to automatically tweet after publishing posts.
Add this allows you to integrate your website with your social media, it also allows others to share your posts and images effectively on their social media whilst linking back to your site. This plug In should help you to generate more traffic to your site.
Allow users to Tweet your photos or posts in just one click by using the ‘Click to tweet button’ another great way to spread your photography across the web. Research shows that Tweets with images are shared more often than without.
The simply instagram plug in uses a short code that you can add after your posts of WordPress; this will atamatically liknk the post to your instagram account. This plug in is simple and easy to use allowing you to post to both wordPress and Instagram at the same time.
By including a Pin it button on your wordPress site pintrest users will be able to Pin your images. There will then be a link back to your site attached to their board for other users to view.
There are many platforms you can use but if you are time limited which many of us are then decide what your aim is, are you looking to increase bookings, get your name out there and showcase your work, or are you looking to network with the professional wedding photographers. Decide what your aim is and this will help you to decide where to spend your time and which platforms to use.
So which social media platforms do you use? Where do you have the most success?