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PPA Today: Photography Social Media Archives

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In a short 72 hours Imaging USA will kick off with 10,000 of your closest pro-photographer friends! How can you get in on the conversation and connect with other attendees? Let us count the ways...

#IUSA14: This is our official hashtag! Use it to tag all of your content across all of your social media! We'll be sharing your stuff as the show goes on, because who better to tell the story than you, the attendees?

Facebook: Like Imaging USA on Facebook to see behind the scenes content, share your own images and stories from the event! This content will also be broadcast on the various Social Monitors around the Expo and registration. We will be closely monitoring Facebook during show hours, so if you have questions and can't find an Imaging USA orange shirt, feel free to send us a message and we'll respond ASAP! Remember to check in to Imaging USA from Facebook places! 

Twitter: We'll be live tweeting the whole show! Tips, tricks, announcements and more - follow @imagingusa or our official hashtag (#IUSA14) to get all the great access. This information will also be broadcast on our Social Monitors - the more you tweet, the more famous you'll be! If you can't find an orange shirt and have a question, feel free to tweet it at us too! We'll do our best to keep responses under 140 characters.

Instagram: It's a photography conference, so you better believe we're on Instagram, snapping photos! Same rules apply from Twitter - follow us @imagingusa or #IUSA14 to get photos from command central, the parties and maybe a few candid shots with Kenny Rogers!

FourSquare: Want to be the Mayor of Imaging USA? Check in on FourSquare! Connect with other attendees and find neighborhood deals for lunch, dinner or post-show fun!

theLoop: Join in on the conversation on the Imaging USA community on theLoop! Find last minute roommates, friends or session buddies. 

The Imaging USA App: Head to Imagingusa.org/app to download the app. Once you've registered for the conference, you should receive an email from Imaging USA 2014 with your login credentials--these are different from your standard PPA information. If you can't find it, just call our Member Care line at 800-786-6277 and they'll get you sorted out. Log in, create a profile and start searching for members with similar interests! Send messages, schedule meet ups, and connect face to face! (Check out our handy app videos to get all the details!) (LINK)

So there you have it! We can't wait to see how you experience Imaging USA 2014! Get packing & we'll see you in Phoenix!

Over the course of the last few months, we've covered the bare basics of social media. In a field that's constantly evolving, your education shouldn't stop here! What are some easy places to get your social media quick fixes as you continue on this journey? Well, we have a few recommendations to keep you on your path to enlightenment.

Mashable: Get your geek on with daily social stories. Some are fluff (like the "The 10 Most Epic Celebrity Twitter Fights"), but there's a lot of quality information at your fingertips to gain inspiration and knowledge from. Like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter to get your daily dose in small portions (and like their "Watercooler" for silly posts, many times involving cute cat videos). 

SmartBlog: Smart Blog is another wonderful source for a social media blog. It'll talk about great topics like "Why you should plan like your life depends on it" or "Grading retailers's social back-to-school promotions." Just because they aren't in photography, that doesn't mean you won't learn something awesome!

PhotoShelter: Photoshelter is the bombdiggity for free guides on photography specific social media. We love their free guides! Check in with them often to see their latest and greatest white paper on the topics (always good to like them on Facebook too!)

HubSpot: These guys are social media pros! They have fixes for everything, from boring cover photos to improving your social work flow or making sure your emails get opened by your clients. They also sell software to help manage social media--so there may be the occasional plug--but overall they are a really stellar source for great content.

SmartBrief: Get geeky with all of the big picture stuff on SmartBrief. These guys won't tell you how to improve your tweet-game, but they will tell you all the news about mobile marketing for the Asia-Pacific region (and other really cool topics). If you're a social media nerd--this is an excellent spot to spend some time each day. 

theLoop: Join theLoop's Marketing community to see what your fellow photographers are up to. Discuss ideas, talk about successes and learn from each other's mistakes! Remember--this is an exclusive benefit for only PPA members, so you'll have some wonderful photographers to learn from!

LinkedIn: Join some LinkedIn groups that are focused on social media/marketing! Subscribe to their daily digest and review it (yes, every day) to see if any topics pop out as something that would be interesting for your business! Just because it's not about photography doesn't mean there aren't key parallels to pull from.

So subscribe away! Join their email lists, like them on Facebook and/or follow them on Twitter! Keep up your social media education--it's evolving daily and many of these changes can alter how your posts are distributed. 

Have other social media sources you love? Leave them in the comments! 

This is post 7 of 7 in the Be More...Social series. Read the other posts in the series using the links below:

You know the social media lingo, where to find your prospects or clients, how to set a strategy and how to plan your posts. This week we're diving into the world of best practices!

Here are top 25 best practices for social media, ranging from the super technical (like where to place a link in a tweet) to general guide lines. 

Twitter
  1. Put links 25% way through the tweet. You'll gain more retweets that way!
  2. Share links to gain more retweets. Share your blog, share your Facebook page, Instagram feed or YouTube videos! Share interesting articles of what's happening in the photography world or new things in your area. Remember, you can't talk about yourself all the time or folks will stop paying attention.
  3. Tweet around 4 PM. Really. It's the magical hour that gets the most retweets! Use HootSuite (free!) to schedule your posts around that time and gain the most traction.
  4. Ask for the retweet! Including the phrase "Please Retweet" or "Please RT" in your tweets will dramatically increase how many of your followers will spread the news (but don't go overboard and use it on every single tweet. Nobody likes that guy.)
  5. Retweet regularly from folks you follow. Paying it forward that way improves your Twitter karma. It may sound like a joke, but it works. Just ensure you keep it relevant! 
  6. Participate in #FF. Find your top followers and throw them a solid by including them in the #FF every week or so. If you're included in a #FF, retweet it and say thank you (mind your manners!)
  7. If you get picked up in an aggregate paper, say thanks and retweet their link. They'll continue to showcase your stuff and you'll continue to expand your reach. 
  8. Use hashtags that are applicable to your business! #photography, #your city, #behindthescenes, etc.
  9. Use the bio section to your advantage. Use keywords (in a logical manner) to turn up higher in the search function! Its Twitter's special way to use SEO!

Facebook
  1. Use questions that start with "should", "would" or "which" for more comments and answers.  Ask questions for more comments and to get input from your clients and respond to them so they know you're listening. 
  2. Enable the "reply" feature to keep the stream of comments listed in an orderly fashion!
  3. Use Calls-to-Action on Facebook. Posts with the word "Like" in them are twice as likely to receive a like. We all love likes, but similar to asking for the retweet, do this sparingly.
  4. Take advantage of your skill set and often use a photo! Stats show that posts with a photo are nearly twice as likely to get more likes, and any page looks incomplete without a cover photo.
  5. Use Facebook as a medium for giveaways or promotions. Discounted sessions or free prints. Don't break your bank, but offer your fans something that makes them feel special. 
  6. Use the milestones to tell the story of your brand! Mark studio opening, major events

Google+
  1. Share the love and +1 other people's work. Ask questions and be a part of the conversation. There are hundreds of photography communities, get involved, even for just a few minutes a day.
  2. Link your Goolge+ page with your website and other social networks. Use the +1 or share button so your content can be easily spread throughout the interwebs!
  3. Share your work often and give details that entice a conversation: talk about your equipment, your lighting, your creative process to bring other photographers in on the conversation. 
  4. Be the author! Google+ will help you increase your SEO with AuthorRank! Not only will it help you get noticed on Google+, but that blog of yours will also get some major attention. (You can find out more here.) 

Instagram
  1. Utilize hashtags on Instagram in the same way you would on Twitter. They will get more engagement since people can actually find them. 
  2. Make behind the scenes videos of all your office fun, current projects and assignments! You can pack a lot of punch into 15 seconds!

LinkedIn
  1. Gain credibility with recommendations. Ask some of your best clients (not every client) to write a quick recommendation on LinkedIn and you'll be three times more likely to get inquiries through the LinkedIn searches! 
  2. Look for your next gig through the LinkedIn jobs search! This probably won't be your top lead generating tool, but it will add to your bottom line. 

General
  1. Stay positive. If you beg for business, complain about how it's a tough year or write anything that could be perceived as negative you will lose business. Your content helps define your value, and if you devalue your brand with less-than-positive posts, your clients will go elsewhere. 
  2. Respond to negative comments and don't delete them. If you delete them, you will look a little shady, no matter how crazy the comment is. Kill them with kindness, offer to talk to them offline and ask them to private message you their number (or if you already have their number, call them immediately). 

A bunch of new things to keep in mind as you navigate your social media plan, but soon they will seem like second nature (we promise!) courtesy of HubSpot, Photoshelter, Yahoo! Small Business Advisor, SocialMedia Today, Webmarketing Group, Socially Stacked and Media Bistro. Next week we will talk about the things to avoid on social media - these are the things that will make your customers run for the hills (or at least to your competitor).

- Sarah

This is post 5 of 7 in the Be More...Social series. Read the other posts in the series using the links below:


theLoop, PPA's exclusive social network for professional photographers, has been aflutter with the release of the new app for iPhone and Android devices! Now you can stay connected on-the-go with your pro photographer community, asking (and answering) questions, share ideas and even submit images for a peer critique! theLoop is only available to PPA members, so don't worry about asking those tough questions you wouldn't want your clients to see! 

For those of you who are new to theLoop, or those who haven't had a chance to check-in lately, there are some great discussion threads going for July. Here are 5 of our favorites:

1. PPA Members: How should I handle this with my client?
Getting stuck in the middle of a client's family strife? Check out how your fellow photographers navigate the muddy waters of family relations, threatened blackmail and bad press.
2. Marketing: FB Likes
If you're a newbie to Facebook, or just frustrated with a lack of likes and engagement, this thread is for you! See how your peers find their clients, increase their fan base and stay connected. We bet you'll "like" it!
3. PPA Members: Flaming Balls
Unfortunately, this one isn't nearly as inappropriate as you might think, but if you're a sports photographer, you might be interested in lighting your client's sporting equipment (i.e. balls) on fire. Debate the pros and cons of rubber cement, gelatinized fuel and more options to set your images apart!
4. PPA Members: What's the next big investment in your business?
Whether you've been in business for a month, a year or a decade, you're always looking to invest in your future. Join this thread to see where others are putting their resources for their next great move!
5. Post-Capture: Thoughts on editing services
What are your thoughts on getting away from the computer and spending more time behind the camera, doing what you love? Outsourcing your editing can be a touchy subject--weigh in with your opinions here!

So there's just a few of July's most-talked about discussions. If you don't see one that applies to your needs or interest, then dive in and find the right community or discussion for you! Or be a leader and start a new one!

Phone_Social.jpg
Social media is a beast. It has so many wonderful features, but if you're new to the game, it can be overwhelming, confusing and at times, just plain terrifying. 

We've heard your questions, comments and concerns about how to utilize social platforms to build your photography business (know you're not alone)! So we're starting a weekly blog series through August 20th called "Be More...Social" to help answer those questions and squash your concerns (and hopefully build your business along the way). 

Social media is a great way to expand your business for relatively low costs, stay connected with your current customer base, expand your referral network and, when used effectively, can have a wonderful, positive impact on your business! If you're on the fence about learning the ins and outs of a new marketing platform, check out these five stats provided by HubSpot:

  1. 27% of total U.S. internet time is spent on social networking sites. 
  2. Social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or pay per click (PPC).
  3. Social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate. 
  4. 52% of all marketers have found a customer via Facebook in 2013. 
  5. 85% of fans of brands on Facebook recommend brands to others, compared to 60% of average users. 

So where to start? Let's begin by defining key terms you'll come across in your social media adventures. Like any specialty, once you learn the terminology, it'll be a lot less overwhelming. Bookmark this blog for a handy reference when you're building your social media marketing plans (yes, there is planning involved).   

Analytics - Analytics are the way you measure your social media impact. Always, always, always measure your data. How can you know where you're going if you don't know where you've been? It's not difficult, and there are plenty of websites out there to help you. We'll dive in deeper in a later blog about how to measure analytics and what exactly do they mean. 

Avatar - An avatar is an image or username that represents a person online within forums and social networks. It's also known as your "profile picture" for your personal sites. Generally it's great to use your logo as long as it looks good in such a small space. 

Blog - (You're already ahead of the game here - you're reading PPA's blog!) Blog is a word that was created from two words: web & log. Blogs are usually maintained with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog (like right now, I'm blogging!) 

Circles - Circles are clusters of a user's friends on Google+, meaning you can group certain people you choose to connect with on your Google+ into a certain Circle, such as clients, friends, family, etc. When you want to share content with only these individuals, you include that specific Circle in your post's sharing options. 

Comment - A comment is a response that is often provided as an answer or reaction to a social or blog post. Comments are a primary form of two-way communication on the social web, so you can respond to whoever commented on your work. It' opens up the dialogue and starts to build the relationship between you and your clients

Engagement - Engagement is a bit of a buzz word. At its heart it means to interact and build relationships with your fans & followers on a personal level. This will lead to having advocates, company loyalists, and brand ambassadors. We'll get to all of that later, but know that if you interact, or engage, with your clients, it will lead to huge payoffs. 

Follow Friday (#ff) - Follow Friday is a trend using the hashtag #ff every Friday on Twitter (what's a hashtag? See two down). Users select other usernames and tweet them with #ff in their post, meaning they recommend following those Twitter users. People tweet at their favorite companies, friends, brands--you name it! It's customary to retweet this to your followers (We'll get to that too!).

Hangout - A Hangout is a video service on Google+ that allows you to video chat with up to 10 Google+ users at a time. If you and your clients don't have time for a face-to-face meeting, Google+ Hangouts are the next best thing! 

Hashtag - A hashtag is a tag used on social networks as a way to sort the message by certain key words. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a "#." Hashtags are commonly used to show that a message is related to an event or conference, online or offline. Although they originated with Twitter, they are searchable through Facebook, Instagram, Vine and Google+. Imaging USA has a special hashtag every year - #IUSA14! You can create a hashtag out of anything, like #escalatorsarescary or #ilovecutepuppies, but it doesn't mean they'll be effective. Incorporate hashtags that are both applicable to your business (i.e. #photography, #seniorphotographer or #weddings) and specific to your event or location. When your clients search those key terms, you'll be more likely to show up. 

Inbound Marketing - Inbound marketing is a style of marketing that essentially focuses permission-based marketing techniques that businesses can use to find potential customers, convert those prospects into leads and customers, and analyze the process along the way. It is in direct contrast to outbound marketing, which utilizes traditional interruptive marketing tactics such as direct mail, trade shows, print and TV advertising, and cold calling. Think of inbound marketing as creating a conversation with your clients instead of the traditional one-way communication approach.

Like - A "Like" is an action that can be made by a Facebook user. Instead of writing a comment for a message or a status update, a Facebook user can click the "Like" button as a quick way to show approval and share the message. It also refers to how many people follow your business page. 

Listen - Think of the act of listening like eaves dropping (but with your eyes, not your ears). The art of listening means you're staying on top of what's relevant in your community, your profession and with your clients. Listen to all of these sources (don't worry, it's not as overwhelming as it sounds) to make sure you're on the top of your game in every arena of business. 

Lurker - A lurker online is a person who reads discussions on a message board, newsgroup, social network, or other interactive system, but rarely or never participates in the discussion. They won't like, comment or share anything, but it doesn't mean they aren't paying attention. 

Meme - (pronounced meem...rhymes with dream) A meme on the internet is used to describe a thought, idea or joke to be shared online. It is typically an image with text above and below it, but can also come in video and link form. A popular example is the "I Can Has Cheezburger?" cat meme that turned into an entire site of memes.

News Feed - A news feed is literally a feed full of news. On Facebook, the News Feed is the homepage of your account where you can see all the latest updates from your friends. The news feed on Twitter is called Timeline (not to get confused with Facebook's new look, also called Timeline).

Retweet - A retweet (also known as an "RT") is when someone on Twitter sees your message and decides to share it with their followers. A retweet button allows them to quickly resend the message with attribution to the original sharer's name.

Search Engine Optimization - Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the traffic to a website from search engines like Google. The more relevant, keyword rich content you post on your blog and other social media outlets, the easier it is for Google (and other search engine sites) to find you for folks looking for your services. Google AdWords has a wonderful free keyword tool that you can utilize to see what words or phrases are driving the most traffic to your site, then utilize them appropriately. Not sure how to get started? We'll show you! 

Social Media Monitoring - Social media monitoring is a process of monitoring and responding to interactions on the social web. There are many web services that can help with your monitoring and tracking of social engagements, such as likes, retweets, mentions, comments or shares. We'll dive in to that deeper in a later post. 

Now when you see someone retweeted your #FF in your newsfeed, you know exactly what's happening (and why)! Next week we'll explore the various social media platforms, what each is best suited for and how that can help your target market! 

Did this glossary spur additional questions? Leave them in the comments. We can incorporate them into a future blog post!

- Sarah


We love how active you guys are over on theLoop, PPA's exclusive social network for professional photographers. If you haven't jumped in yet, theLoop is a safe place for photographers to chat, share ideas and worries, and discuss sensitive topics like customer service, demanding clients and more. In theLoop, you can do that without the fear of potential customers reading over your shoulder--you have to log in as a member of PPA to access it in the first place!

For those of you who haven't checked-in lately and new loopers alike, there are some great discussion threads going for June. Here are 5 of our favorites:

  1. PPA Members: Introduce yourself here!
    Well what a convenient way to start! If you're new to theLoop, pop in here and say hello By the looks of things, we'd say most of you sure aren't shy!

  2. PPA Members: Is working for free helping or destroying the industry?
    Join a healthy discussion on whether or not those working for free (or next to nothing) are helping or hurting the industry. We're not talking doing a little pro bono work here and there, the topic is more a look into if "fauxtographers" (one of our favorite terms) are watering down business. Is it worth the price for a true photographer or do you sacrifice quality? Do their poor-quality images make you professionals look even better? Discuss!

  3. PPA Members: What place will Creative Cloud have in your business?
    Adobe recently launched its Creative Cloud which will effectively merge all of your favorite Adobe tools into one, re-imagined, integrated platform. This thread discusses whether or not members will be making the transition, and if so, what purpose their current Adobe Suite will serve for their business, if any. Change is good, right?

  4. Sports Photography: Need a FX camera that shoots sports well
    Are you a sports photographer? Or interested in becoming one? Then this is the thread for you. Sports photography is fast-paced and requires the appropriate equipment to capture those game, and sometimes life-changing moments. Join in with your opinion or just read advice from the pros on what camera is best for sports photography.

  5. Post-Capture: Online data storage
    We'll admit it--this one isn't sexy, but it sure as heck is important! When your hard drive fills up, what's the next option? Get involved with this one--as it pertains to all of you!

So there's a few of June's most-involved discussions. If you don't see one that applies to your needs or interest, then dive in and find the right community or discussion for you! Or be a leader and start a new one!

Keep that loop interaction up!

At age 88, Betty White ended up hosting Saturday Night Live because of Facebook.

Despite her decades of success, stellar comedic performances and the plain fact that she's just so adorable, she wasn't the "It Girl" of 2010 until a Facebook campaign to get her on SNL made it so. In her opening monologue, she thanked her Facebook fans with her tongue firmly implanted in her cheek: "I really have to thank Facebook...I didn't know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say that it sounds like a huge waste of time."

Well, for some, it may be a huge waste of time. (Need I name the game "Farmville"?)

But for some smart photographers (or their smart staff), it's a great way to connect with clients and potential clients while providing a new marketing avenue. Like any technology, there's a learning curve. So pay attention to this week's Vital Signs, for it brings up some important questions to consider as you navigate this crowded section of the information highway.

Afterwards, if you haven't already, jump on Facebook. Be a fan of Imaging USA. Be a fan of Professional Photographers of America. Connect with other photographers. Connect with your clients. (Just stay away from Farmville...trust me.)

Cheers!
Christel Aprigliano
Director of Member Value & Experience



About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Photography Social Media category.

Photography Pricing is the previous category.

Photography Workflow is the next category.

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