Social media is an ever-changing beast; you think you know all the rules one minute, and the next, everything has changed again. But there are some general guidelines that, once implemented consistently, will help you stand head and shoulders above the competition. Once you’ve planned what you’re going to post, you’re ready to dive into the world of best practices!
Here are 21 best practices for social media:
- Regularly share links. 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.
- Tweet around 4 PM. Really. It's the magical hour that gets the most retweets! Use HootSuite (there’s a free plan!) to schedule your posts around that time and gain the most traction.
- Ask for the retweet! Adding 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.)
- 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!
- Participate in #FF every week or so. #FF means “Follow Friday”, and is a way of sharing Twitter users that you like and respect with your audience, encouraging others to follow that user. Find your top followers and throw them a solid by including them in the #FF. If you're included in a #FF, retweet it and say thank you!
- 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.
- Use hashtags that are applicable to your business! #photography, #yourcity, #behindthescenes, etc.
- Use the bio section to your advantage. Use keywords (in a logical manner) and hashtags to turn up higher in the search function. Its Twitter's special way to use SEO.
- Use questions that start with "should", "would" or "which" for more comments and answers. Seek to engage your clients, and respond to them so they know you're listening.
- Use the "reply" button when responding, in order to keep the stream of comments organized and easy to follow.
- Use calls-to-action on Facebook. Asking your audience to "Like" your post actually does increase the amount of “Likes” that it’ll receive. Having said that, though we all love likes, treat this method similarly to asking for a retweet, and do this sparingly.
- Take advantage of your skill set and include 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, so be sure to add one (and make sure it’s clear and compelling).
- Consider doing giveaways, promotions, discounted sessions, or free prints. Do not break your bank, but offer your fans something that makes them feel special.
- Use the milestones to tell the story of your brand! Mark studio opening, major events, etc.
- Utilize hashtags on Instagram in the same way you would on Twitter. They will get more engagement since people can actually find them.
- Be thoughtful about the images you post. When people find your feed, they’ll get an immediate sense whether yours is a page they’d like to browse in or follow. Give them good reasons!
- Take time to thoughtfully fill out your Instagram profile bio. Though you don’t have a lot of room to write, you want to use the space carefully and compellingly. Definitely don’t forget how people can get in touch with you, and where you studio is (if applicable)!
- Make behind-the-scenes videos of all your office fun, current projects and assignments, and show them on your feed or in Instagram Stories.
- Offer promotions and coupon codes if you like.
- Gain credibility with recommendations. Ask some of your best clients to write a quick recommendation on LinkedIn, and you'll be more likely to get inquiries through LinkedIn searches!
- Don’t forget about LinkedIn jobs search. It just might yield your next gig; though this probably won't be your top lead-generating tool, it may contribute to your bottom line in ways that surprise you.
- Keep it positive! If you beg for business, complain about how it's a tough year, or write things that could be perceived as negative, you may lose business. Your content helps define your value, and if you devalue your brand with less-than-positive posts, your clients may go elsewhere.
- Respond to negative comments and consider not deleting them. Deleting them can sometimes 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).
- Post consistently. Just like you don’t enjoy visiting a social media page or website that has been abandoned for months (or years), your potential clients won’t either. Give them some great content!
Keep these tips in mind as you navigate your social media plan, and you’ll soon be on your way to a cohesive and compelling online presence. And join PPA to stay on top of the latest photography news and resources!