Social Media For Photographers

           Social Media for Photographers
Every day, for the following reasons, I read blog posts about new platforms, trends, tools and strategies for social media:
1.  I enjoy it.
2.  It’s a huge part of our marketing strategy for Frameable Faces Photography.
3.  I now consult with Smart Savvy Social, so I need to be well versed.
Our Unique Approach

While I’m not going to call myself a guru or an expert, I want to share a view or two that I have on the Frameable Faces approach for anyone who is trying to figure this thing out for his or her own business. Make no mistake; our approach is uniquely ours and likely won’t work for you unless your business model is the same as ours. I simply want to illustrate a couple of factors to consider and share how our business sorted through and applied them.

A Helpful Post

Many handbooks or blog posts like 3 Steps to an Effective Social Media Strategy will tell you to assess and plan it all out before you get started. Figure out whom your audience is, what your strategy will be, and what you are looking to accomplish. Next, you are told to implement, and finally, to measure and monitor. I actually think this is a very good post with a brief summary of the overall approach.

A Personal Approach

As for Frameable Faces, in terms of our audience, we have made a conscious decision to take a very customized and personalized approach with our clients (the “Frameables”). Our people want something special, and we are committed to giving them just that each time we have the honor of photographing them. We aren’t for everybody, so we don’t mass market and advertise to everybody. We strive to build authentic relationships with our peeps, and we have become close with many of our clients.

I think small businesses get intimidated by the assessment piece. They don’t know where to start, and they over-analyze what their approach should be. But remember, a social media strategy should not replace human interaction with your customers. If it’s done right, it should support that interaction and act as a catalyst for it. You should already know a few things about your audience, and you should already know how you interact with them. This should give you some clues.

An Example

If you follow us on Facebook–just as an example of one of the platforms we use, you will see that we mainly focus on the “Frameables.” You might even call us purists to a fault on this. We post images from our photo sessions, so our peeps can enjoy them, and their friends can too.  We post content that is designed to help, inform, and entertain our clients. We post photography tips, events in the community, and information about other local businesses we are fans of. And we always highlight and support the people who support us.

You won’t typically see us running contests or promotions to grow our number of “likes,” and we don’t use Facebook ads. But once again, this is consistent with our business model. We certainly need to grow, but we are content to do it one genuine fan at a time. We want someone to like our page because he or she genuinely appreciates our studio and our work, and we want each person to stay and engage because he or she gets some value from our page. To us, a one-time contest or giveaway for likes doesn’t accomplish that, and neither does asking our friends to tell their friends to like the page because it’s their friend’s page.

It bears repeating that our studio doesn’t thrive on large volumes of transactional business like a convenience store, a retailer with shelves of merchandise, or even a restaurant. Therefore, I would not recommend our strategy for those types of brands that can benefit more from getting a message in front of everyone.

Your Business

As a business owner, you know your business. Let that guide your voice online. If you don’t have a handle on the platforms, and you don’t have the time to handle the implementation, then you should hire someone to help you with that by all means. But remember, knowing your business is the first step, the source of your power, and the wellspring from which your success will flow.

Doug Cohen owns Frameable Faces Photography with his wife Ally.  Their studio is located in West Bloomfield, MI.  He describes himself as a photo studio owner, rock singer, social media consultant, blogger, former football player, history buff, music freak, husband, and dad.  He can be followed at: http://blog.frameablefaces.com, @frameablefaces, @dougcohen10, www.facebook.com/frameablefaceswww.facebook.com/ffseniors,www.pinterest.com/frameablefaces



       
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