Using social media for your wedding photography business- A quick guide!

With all the recent Facebook-want-money and what-is-this-plus-thingy-? conversations I've seen in photography groups, I decided to bosh out a quick guide for those who are new to the business or just new to using social media! Here's the skinny on making the most out of your social media accounts!

Facebook

Ahh, facebook, our old school friend who's recently been annoying us with their sudden mid life crisis changes... facebook has been around as a staple for businesses for ages. It is brilliant because realistically, every single one of your clients will be on facebook, and you can create more interaction with regular posting of text, links, photos and videos. The best way to use facebook as a wedding photographer is to make sure you're tagging your clients (or encouraging them to tag themselves!) in photos from your recent shoots/weddings. This means it'll appear on their wall and therefore all over their friends' newsfeeds. Instant, free advertising to an extended audience, huzzah! Furthermore, you can connect it up to all your other social media outlets by making page tabs that sit right at the top of the fb page. However, recently there's been a big ol' pot boiling about fb ads and the slow creeping feeling amongst small business owners that fb are limiting their post visibility (boo) to force us to pay money for what was previously free (boo). Now, in my opinion FB are entitled to charge, they're a huge business and they need to make money themselves, so it doesn't really bother me. The issue is, people are saying that after they use paid ads, their organic (unpaid) post reach becomes lower, i.e. FB are penalising them to try and force them to keep paying out for ads. Which feels very 1984 and people don't like it! Eek Erk!
FB page with tabs and jazz

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Google+

In steps Google+, which is like the new kid that no one really connects with but you know their parents are super rich and throw parties with bouncey castles so you want to be their friend for the candy... Google, the search engine, is undeniably one of the hugest forces on the internet, and everyone knows it's going to keep growing and growing. They've been trying to make Google+, which is basically a rival to FB pages and rumour has it that Google+ is about to become very very important in 2014 for SEO and search ranking. Right now, it feels like a ghost town, there's hardly any 'normal' non-businesses on there, it's pretty much people in certain industries posting to themselves and each other!

I think the photography community is actually one of the few that have some sort of decent presence on there, but in general, do NOT expect to interact with clients on Google+. Instead, set up a page and link it to your website for the sake of improving your Google authorship, visibility in Google Local searches and general Google search ranking. There's two types of business pages, local and non-local, the former is shops/businesses with a set, tangible address and the latter is for more general businesses/people/things. People often ask which is better, to be honest I'm not sure so I have both to be on the safe side! Google authorship is quite a complex topic so if you're interested in learning more about how it helps you, read this article.

Google+ non-local
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Google+ local page
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Pinterest

Pinterest is like the big gang of really girly girls that hype each other up into buying unnecessary stuff, but hey, everything is super pretty! Pinterest is huge in the wedding industry, so much so that it has its own category. There's been funny articles on how Pinterest can ruin your wedding which explains the hyper girly girl analogy. Pinterest is, in theory, great for wedding photographers. You can share your images and have them seen by brides who really want to make their wedding as photogenic as possible. Clients can share their boards with you so you have an idea of what kind of shots they like. Perfect! Right? Maybe not... Pinterest is really a mass image sharing site, and with viral sharing comes loss of authorship. I hate watermarking my images, but Pinterest can only really have an advantage for you if you watermark your images with your company name or web URL, otherwise your beautiful photo of the bouquet from last month's wedding may well be viewed by 378 planning brides, but it'll mean nothing to you and your likelihood of getting enquiries. Furthermore, despite the thousands of engaged brides being on Pinterest, I have actually rarely heard a photographer say they got an enquiry from someone who found them on Pinterest. If you have had any enquiries through Pinterest please feel free to comment as I'd love to hear about it!
Lots of prettiness, but where does it all go?

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Twitter

Twitter is like the acquaintance who tells you lots of gossip everytime you bump into each other in the supermarket... twitter is useful in the sense that it's easy to maintain, you don't have to be in a thoughtful or inspiring mood to post 150 characters worth of text! However, the biggest age group on twitter are the young 'uns, the early 20's, and therefore less likely to be in the throngs of wedding planning, more like the thongs of nightclubbing. The best use I've found for twitter is networking with other suppliers (there's a weekly #weddinghour hashtag, get involved) and other useful connections like wedding bloggers. If you're tweeting and a wedding blogger see you're well connected and knows someone they know, they might be more likely to feature a wedding when they recognise your name (not a scientifically tested method). On twitter, it's considered acceptable (and not too weird) to 'follow' and basically talk at a complete stranger, it's the only situation where you wouldn't be arrested for doing this. For that reason it's great to say hi and start a connection with other wedding suppliers who might refer clients to you. This has happened for me quite a few times and for that reason I find it worth maintaining it. And also for following the hilarious parody account of The Queen
Talking in really short senten-

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Instagram

Instagram is like that friendship where you regularly exchange TMI with and occasionally share toothbrushes with. It's a insight into the silly little things in people's lives, made to look deep and meaningful with the addition of artsy filters. I actually love Instagram and am well addicted to it since I joined this year. I like the idea that clients, friends and peers can have a more personal look into what I get up to, but at the same time I can show off my photography skillz (10 minutes trying to compose a photo of your lunch whilst your bf grumpily waits to eat sound familiar to anyone?). I upload both personal shots and sometimes cool photos from weddings. I would also upload behind the scenes kind of shots, and photos of products you offer etc., just remember to look for popular tags and to use those to get your photos seen. I use stuff like #weddingphotographer #londonweddings #weddinginspiration. You can find popular tags for certain topics on Statigram There's a bit of hoohah about Instagram's copyright/ownership policy, in short, upload with a watermark so they can't nab your images for advertising etc. and don't upload photos of your bum. I have a friend who said she got an enquiry through a couple who saw her instagram, and a past client told me brides will follow lots of the big wedding photographers and enquire as a result, so I hear it works but I haven't been on it long enough myself to vouch for it. For me right now it's about clients getting an insight to me as a person, and maybe getting my work seen!
If you follow me, you will mostly see food.

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Summary

So, here's the rundown: FB- Client interaction Google+- SEO Pinterest- Client visibility Twitter-Industry networking Instagram- Fun and client visibility! Whatever your weapon of choice, the key function of social media is to get visible to potential clients in order to get those enquiries flooding in. Although it's difficult to keep all the content unique, try not to copy and paste stuff from your website as duplicated content lowers your SEO ranking. Remember, keep them regularly updated, keep them relevant and keep them positive! If you have any own your own experiences to add feel free to comment below!

2 Comments

  • Posted January 20, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Good overview writeup. I did notice you have links to your twitter and Facebook pages but not to your g+ Or Pinterest.

    • Marianne
      Posted January 20, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Hey, thanks! Yeah the buttons are in the process of getting designed, hopefully I’ll get a matching set up soon!

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