Check out this amazing line up for May!
These critiques begin on APRIL 28th!
Emily Lucarz | Emily Lucarz Photography
Click HERE for Emily’s 4-week BUSINESS Critique
Only 7 spots left!
Alba Soler | Alba Soler Photography
Click HERE for Alba’s 4-week Critique
She is offering this critique in English and Spanish!
10 spots left!
Stephanie Williams | This Modern Romance
Click HERE for Stephanie’s 4-week Critique
Only 7 spots left!
10 spots left!
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Here are our 5 Faves from our WATER Photo Contest on Facebook!
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Guest Contributor | Carrie Swails of Photography Awesomesauce
Lifechanging Facebook Tips for Photographers
The last week of February I attended the United conference. I attended last year and this year it was put on by the Shoot and Share community. It was an amazing week. Not only did I have the pleasure of making tons of new friends, learning new things, but I was also able to contribute to my fellow photographers by teaching classes on SEO, Getting Legit, and leading a couple of portfolio shoots! I’m excited to share more here in the weeks to come.
One of the biggest things I walked away with was Facebook knowledge. I have to admit that I have become social media lazy. When I share an image I do a quick post, tag my clients and myself and then log off. Sometimes if I’m really feeling adventurous I post a few sneak peeks from a session. I, too, like many was noticing less and less interaction on my business page over time. This led me to putting a lot more time into building relationships with my clients through my personal page. I still maintain these relationships are an important way to use social media. Friending clients, interacting with them, showing interest in what they post – and all similar things develop a sense of trust in your services and brand that cannot be matched. These are the things that drive my referrals from clients. Over the last two years my business has become so great between referrals and SEO I am even considering dropping bridal shows as a marketing method. However, I still feel like I am not using Facebook to its fullest potential. I have this thing called a business page – surely there is more to it than using it just for posting images here and there.
A photographer friend of mine, Matt Kennedy (yes, I’m calling you a friend Matt), is my new favorite social media genius. In fact, the things I learned from him at United and from his other tools on his website for photographers were eye-opening. Mostly I was sitting here shaking my head thinking, “DUH! Why didn’t I think of that?” I guess I’ve put so much time into being disappointed with Facebook and thinking about moving to Google Plus that I no longer gave Facebook any serious deep thought. By the way Google Plus isn’t for me. I go where my clients go. They aren’t on Google Plus so I won’t be spending a ton of time trying to reach them through there.
Matt is an amazing wedding photographer and former Canadian Idol participant based in Canada. I only throw in the Canadian Idol bit because it makes him all the more well-rounded. He broke down Facebook in his talk at United quite well. I walked away with two big things I’m making changes to. The first was doing a Facebook “Like” Gate. This is a way of setting up and utilizing tools on Facebook so in order for a viewer to actually see a photo they must first like your page. This can be a little complicated to set up so I defer to Matt’s awesome free videos tools on the instructions.
The second thing was the bigger part for me. The thing that made the most sense and seemed so glaringly obvious after he explained it that I wondered why I haven’t been doing it all along. Matt probably has a better way with words than I do to explain these tools, but here are the big points I gleaned from United. In order to get your posts and photos seen on Facebook there are a few things you can do. None of them involve promoting your post or paying money. Facebook’s algorithm for the news feed is all about keeping the most interesting topics and posts at the top of your newsfeed. The more interesting something is, the more it’s shared, commented on and liked the longer it will appear in news feeds of all your followers. There are a couple of ways to make this happen. First, I would advise posting interesting stuff. This is something I’ve talked about before on here in our online classes. We have to stop being generic and posting what everyone else is posting. Posting that you’re up late editing – generic and boring. It’s unlikely to get you a lot of attention. A great image with a little explanation telling your clients story is very interesting and unique to you and your page. Take time to think through your posts and question yourself on whether what you are about to write or share is interesting to your followers. I purposely try to second guess myself. Once you know what you are going to post…that’s where the fun comes in.
When we post images to our Facebook pages as photographers we tend to post several in a row, you know a few of our favorites from our session. We may post late at night when we’re editing. We also tend to tag everyone all in one go. If we pretend that Facebook has a rating system, it is rating your posts based on how much interaction you are getting. Likes are okay, comments are good and shares are GREAT. Try to save your amazing photos and post them during a time when Facebook will have the most traffic, i.e. not at 3am. Once you post an image make sure you leave some time 10 minutes – 1 hour to watch the post and add to it. Matt suggests posting an image on your page and then not doing anything. As people comment, take the time to comment back. One of the great suggestions he shared was to treat a comment with a similar comment. So if someone posts the word, “Nice!” on your photo – you don’t need to give them a 3 paragraph explanation of thanks. If they post one word, you post one word in response. If they post a sentence, you post a sentence. Every time you respond to a comment your image will jump back up in news feeds. After 10 minutes or 30 minutes of an image being up and you responding to comments, then tag your clients and yourself. I’ve actually gone so far as to tag my clients 30 minutes later and then tag myself another 30 minutes after that. This causes your photo to jump back up in the newsfeed ratings again and show to a whole new audience of everyone who was tagged. The longer you can keep your photo looking “busy,” the better it looks to Facebook. Finally, at some point not too long after your original image post start sharing it. You can share it to your own Facebook, a group, on your clients’ page. Shares are great and get you lots of bonus points. You can share yourself and write in your description of your image for your clients to share too. You can read Matt’s much better explanation of this on his Fstoppers article.
These are some of the very simple changes I’ve been making to my own Facebook interactions. I’ve been tracking my stats and my reach for posts has increased anywhere from 200-500% on individual posts. I’m getting more likes, more comments and more views in general. If you can take an hour out of your day and give yourself some time to focus after you’ve shared an image you can really increase your reach a lot. It takes a little work. If you add in a “Like” Gate your likes can increase as well with quality followers.
Matt has generously allowed me to share what I’ve learned here from him. I’ve been lucky to not only hear him speak at conferences, but also to take one of his online courses for photographers. I highly recommend them as he is an incredibly knowledgeable and kind photographer. You can check out his website for photographers >here<