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An educational guide from

TABLE of CONTENTS

Introduction & Using This 2-Part Guide

5
6

How do you use Social Media?


Definitions

Social Media: A Piece of the Marketing Pie

5 Ways Social Media Can Help Your


Photography Business

Setting Goals & Tracking Your Progress

8
10

18
22

Part 1

Facebook Features To Know About in 2012


Other Facebook Extras to Help You Grow

24

Facebook, Bing.com, and Your SEO

Facebook Tips That Work: Straight From


Photographers Who Know

28

Measuring Your Results with Facebook Insights

25
29

How PhotoShelter Can Help

Advice from Seasoned Photographers

Google+
Facebook

13 Facebook
14

Facebook Facts

Growing Your Photography Business: Why You


Need A Facebook Page

16

3 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Page

4 Ways to Improve User Engagement Through


Your Facebook Page

15
17

31 Google+
32

Your Google + Profile: The Basics

8 Tips from Johan Peijnenburg to Optimize


Your Google+ Page

38

Using a Google+ Company Page

42

Google+ Tips from Shane Srogi

37

40 The Best Google+ Tips from PhotoShelter


Photographers

2011 PhotoShelter, Inc


No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, without
the prior written consent of PhotoShelter, Inc. The logos of the companies described are the trademarks of their respective owners. No endorsement is implied.
PhotoShelter, Inc. makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this work and specifically disclaim all warranties, including without limitation
warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for every situation.

TABLE of CONTENTS

LinkedIn

46 LinkedIn
47

Do This: 4 Ways to Grow Your Photography


Business Through LinkedIn

48

LinkedIn Features You Need to Know About

4 Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile and


Improve Your SEO

50
51

52

Improving Your LinkedIn Daily Workflow: Tips


from Photographer Jorge Parra

59
60
61
62
63
64
64

Optimizing LinkedIn: Up Close with


Photographer Scott Wyden

53

Help

Measuring Sucess On LinkedIn

65
66

Part 2

Who Should You Follow?


Twitter Tips From The Expert: Ken Kaminesky
7 Reasons to Love Twitter & 3 Reasons to Hate It
Tips From a Twitter Expert: Jim Goldstein
Tweets that Work
Measuring Success On Twitter
How PhotoShelter Can Help

Other Social Media Platforms that Matter


9 Major Takeaways From this Handbook

Twitter

55 Twitter
57
58

Whats New On Twitter


9 Ways to Grow a Following Fast

2011 PhotoShelter, Inc


No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, without
the prior written consent of PhotoShelter, Inc. The logos of the companies described are the trademarks of their respective owners. No endorsement is implied.
PhotoShelter, Inc. makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this work and specifically disclaim all warranties, including without limitation
warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for every situation.

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How do you use Social Media?


Introduction & Using This 2-Part Handbook

In 2010, we wrote the Social Media Guide for Photographers and urged you to
get on board with social media to help grow your photography business. Two years
later, we know we dont need to convince you to take advantage of social media platforms to help advance your business and build your brand, but its no secret that the
platforms themselves are constantly changing, and at times it can be hard to keep
up. The Photographers Social Media Handbook - split into twp parts - is here to
coach you on the social media best practices of today to help enhance your marketing efforts and get you noticed by potential clients.

Using This Guide:

We cover four major pillars of social media today:


Part I
1. Facebook
2. Google+
Part II
3. LinkedIn
4. Twitter
5. Other Social Media Platforms That Matter
This 2-part handbook addresses key tactics and strategies to help you, the photographer, optimize each platform and grow your business. You dont need to tackle
the next pages one by one, but instead think critically about where you need help.
Are you confused by all the changes of Facebook and how they can benefit you? In
the dark about what exactly is Google+ and how creating circles can expand your
network? Feel free to focus on the sections that address your specific needs.

In each section well cover the following territory:


1. How you can optimize and integrate the platform in your daily workflow.
2. W
 hat new features have popped up over the past two years, and how you can
benefit from them.
3. Key content-posting strategies.
4. How to track and measure your progress and gauge success.
Youll also find interviews with a diverse range of successful photographers who have
mastered the art of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ and have grown an
enormous following. Theyll provide you with tangible tips from firsthand experience
on what works and what doesnt.
Youll find that regardless of what social media platform theyve mastered, they all
offer one overriding piece of advice: Social media success comes with time, energy,
strategy, and planning and there must be a method to the madness. Blindly posting
and interacting with potential customers will get you nowhere. You first need to ask
yourself: What do I want to accomplish and can this platform help me get there?
This guide will help you tackle that too.
We also invite you to continue the discussion via PhotoShelters monthly free
webinars, the PhotoShelter Blog, and of course, via twitter @photohelter, Facebook,
Google+, or LinkedIn. We also note throughout the handbook where PhotoShelters
tools can be helpful to enhancing how you participate in social media.

P H O T O S H E LT E R | T he P hoto g r a pher s S o c i a l M e d i a H a n d b oo k Pa rt I : W IN T E R 2 0 1 2

Introduction

Definitions
We can get so wrapped up using social media in our daily lives that its worth taking a step back to look at the
intended purpose of each platform. Here are some definitions direct from the sources themselves:

Facebook:

LinkedIn:

Twitter:

Google+:

Facebooks mission is to give people the power to share


and make the world more open and connected.

(as it relates to businesses):


Twitter connects businesses to customers in real-time.
Businesses use Twitter to quickly share information with
people interested in their products and services, gather
real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build
relationships with customers, partners and influential
people.

P H O T O S H E LT E R | T he P hoto g r a pher s S o c i a l M e d i a H a n d b oo k Pa rt I : W IN T E R 2 0 1 2

LinkedIn is the worlds largest professional network


with over 120 million members and growing rapidly.
LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and
helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities
with a broader network of professionals.

Google+ makes connecting on the web more like connecting in the real world. Share your thoughts, links
and photos with the right circles. Use easy, spontaneous
video chat to strike up conversations with as many as
nine people at once.

Introduction

Social Media: A Piece of the


Marketing Pie
Were not going to sugar coat this. Social media is not a silver bullet that will improve your business overnight. It is, however, a very important piece of your marketing strategy that can help build brand awareness and connect you with potential
customers. And we know quantitatively from Google Analytics that social media
sites drive a significant amount of referral traffic to photographer websites. Lets
take a look at how social media falls into play within the bigger picture:
There are really two primary types of marketing outbound and inbound. Outbound marketing tactics are the interruptive, traditional efforts that involve pushing
promotional content to your prospects like email and promo card campaigns, cold
calls for portfolio visits, trade shows, paid advertising (magazines, billboards, etc.)
and more. Inbound marketing tactics are exactly the opposite they help you get
found along the prospects path exactly while theyre searching for whatever you
may provide. And inbound marketing strategies are opt-in - the visitor has sought
you out by friending you, following you, or searching for you.

will vary based on your budget, your audience behavior, and return on investment
(the results you see proportional to the time or money you put in). Mind you, just
because youre not paying a cash fee (in most cases) to participate in social media
doesnt mean its free. The very real cost of social media participation is your time.
Investing time in social media means youre not investing it in other productive
activities. Thats why you need to make sure youre getting the most return on that
investment just like an email campaign or promo mailer that cost several hundred
dollars to run. It is up to you to measure the results youre seeing and determine the
right mix of marketing tactics.

Social media, search engines, and blogs are


inbound tactics.
With inbound tactics, the end consumer has already eliminated some of the clutter that inundates people today. Because youre relevant to their needs in some way,
theyre more likely to react favorably to your messages. So, inbound tactics are all
about laying the groundwork that will make it easier for such people to find you.
You want to increase your surface area by creating as many possible, relevant, and
value-added ways for these people to connect with you. As with search engine
optimization (SEO), social media marketing involves optimizing your social media
presence to best attract high quality inbound traffic.
There is no perfect recipe for successfully mixing inbound and outbound tactics it

P H O T O S H E LT E R | T he P hoto g r a pher s S o c i a l M e d i a H a n d b oo k Pa rt I : W IN T E R 2 0 1 2

Introduction

5 Ways Social Media Can Help Your


Photography Business
1. Brand Building

4. SEO Rankings

Sharing relevant content via social media (content that truly engages people) can
help you become well-known within your specialty or enable you to establish credibility on a specific topic related to your photography. This can provide an essential
foundation for photographers aiming to generate interest and awareness of their work.

Because social networks foster a culture of sharing, your followers are likely on the
lookout for relevant links to share with their own community. This social sharing
increases the likelihood that more people will see, share, and potentially link to your
compelling content. Social networks also afford a way to momentarily arrive on the
first page of search results. Because the major search engines now index tweets and
display them within the first page of search results your tweets containing (carefully
selected) keywords can get top billing, albeit for a brief moment in time. In the past
year or so, most SEO experts agree that social media participation is of increasing
importance to your overall SEO success, meaning that search engines increasingly
account for social media influence and engagement when determining their own
rankings.

2. Managing Relationships
Many of your current clients, partners, and colleagues are already engaging in social
media, which is why you want to be where the conversation is occurring and provide
multiple touch points convenient ways to interact with you on their terms. Social
networks like Twitter can be helpful for client support, as connecting online may
provide opportunities for you to become aware of and help solve the challenges your
clients are communicating via social media. More broadly, social media can provide
an ideal channel for updating clients on recent shoots and creative projects, sharing
details of achievements and successes, or driving more personal connections in your
professional relationships by taking an interest in others updates.

3. Direct Sales Generation


While directly offering products and services for sale seems like the most logical use
of social media, this is a tactic that must be handled with, welltact. Social media is
intended to be a two way dialogue, and regularly screaming Hire me! Buy my photos!
will turn people off fast. However, there is also a recognition and acceptance that social
media is for both business and personal uses, so some level of promotion is acceptable. If you first build trust and credibility by participating and listening, adding value,
stimulating conversation, and genuinely helping others, those people will appreciate some
self-promotion too especially if they have an affinity for the brand youve created. The
common rule of thumb? It is acceptable for 10% of your messages to be self-promotion. Thats 1 out of every 10 posts.

5. Inspiration & Feedback


When you start building a strong network of peers and other thought leaders, youll
be amazed at what you can pick up, even without asking for it. Whether you choose
to interact via Google+, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn or a healthy mix of each,
youll suddenly have access to new ideas for pushing your own creativity. Youll be
influenced by the work of others. Youll have rich conversations about improving
technique. You can even solicit opinion and support on the full spectrum of issues
from pricing your photography to negotiating sticky client issues to creating a rapport with a new model, etc. Youll connect with your favorite established and emerging photographers across multiple social venues and pay attention to their posts to
see how theyre evolving both their businesses and techniques. If you feel comfortable engaging in a dialogue about these issues, share your opinion and ask for theirs.

P H O T O S H E LT E R | T he P hoto g r a pher s S o c i a l M e d i a H a n d b oo k Pa rt I : W IN T E R 2 0 1 2

Introduction

Setting Goals & Tracking Your


Progress
Before diving into social media from a business strandpoint, its important to give yourself a goal and a metric to help objectively assess if you performed well. Plus, you
need a benchmark data that will give you a before/after comparison. So once you decide the important items to track (followers, likes, comments, web traffic, etc.), take a
snapshot now and then again at a pre-determined check-in date. You must give any social media effort two to three months to build before making any decisions on its success. Ultimately, comparing the results vs. your goals and other marketing initiatives can also inform how you invest your resources going forward.
Setting up a tracking system through Google Analytics is also key to helping track the degree to which each social media platform is sending visitors to your site. This tool
provides you with real, hard data on whats working and whats not, to help improve your site and drive more traffic your way (and hopefully through the checkout line). To
link Google Analytics to your website, check out Google Analytics for Photographers, where we take you through this step by step.

Know Your Goal:

Utilizing an effective tracking system is key, but only if you know what youre trying to achieve first. This is why being strategic about your social media presence (what you
post, who you target, etc) is going to help you reach your goals faster. Before putting your strategy into place though, you need to ask yourself questions like: What are you
ultimately trying to achieve?
Hypothetically, your goal could be to:
Book more assignments or commissions from existing clients
Brand yourself as the most respected wedding photographer in your region
Sell more stock photography from your archive
Kick start sales for your own line of accessories or instructional videos
Develop a following of nature enthusiasts who buy your fine art prints
Generate referral business for your portrait studio
Obtain critique or professional guidance from a wider network of your peers

Having a sense of where you want to go can help clarify the time/effort you put into
your social networking presence. In addition, it can give you a sense of the metrics
you need to reach to be successful. Do you need more than 20,000 followers, or will
500 high quality followers serve your needs? That will depend on what you want to
achieve.

P H O T O S H E LT E R | T he P hoto g r a pher s S o c i a l M e d i a H a n d b oo k Pa rt I : W IN T E R 2 0 1 2

Introduction

Advice from Seasoned Photographers:


Meet Bryan Formhals, Mike Cavaroc, Taylor
Davidson, Rosh Sillars and Lindsay Adler. These are
all seasoned photographers who have mastered the art
of social media marketing. We picked their brains and
got their best advice for helping photographers succeed
with social media.
Youll always be more successful if you show your passion and show your audience that youre putting some
work into what youre sharing. For photographers, this
sometimes means that you have to write! I know it can

Instead of asking Whats my Facebook strategy?, start with What are my goals for using

social media? If you start with your goals, and


then spend the time understanding how your

goals fit into the different social media sites and

communities, then that gives you a solid grounding on how to create an overall social media

strategy that allows you to participate in each

community appropriately. The most important best practice is to listen first,


then talk. Understand how each community works and then step into the
community in a way that fits you and the community.

~Taylor Davidson, Photographer and Venture Capitalist

be challenging, but Ive found that photographers who


are interesting writers can be successful with social

Its best to respond promptly

media. Also, you dont have to be on every platform!

whenever someone commu-

Choose the few that you enjoy and commit to them.

nicates with you on any of the

Make an effort to write and tell your stories. Ive found that people are really intrigued

social media networks. This gives

to learn about the daily lives of photographers and what inspires them. Its a tricky bal-

the visitor a sense that theyre

ance of course because you dont want to come off as narcissistic so its always good to
stay humble and also share art, information, wisdom that inspires you.

~Bryan Formhals, Founder & Managing Editor of LPV Magazine

communicating with a real per-

son, rather than some employee posting updates that were approved in

a board room meeting, for example. People want to know that theres a
real human being there.

~ Mike Cavaroc, Nature and Wildlife Photographer & PhotoShelter Consultant

P H O T O S H E LT E R | T he P hoto g r a pher s S o c i a l M e d i a H a n d b oo k Pa rt I : W IN T E R 2 0 1 2

Introduction

10

A persons social media voice should be a

It is important to understand who is your tar-

combination between the needs of the audi-

get audience. Many photographers spend too

ence and the personality of the individual. In

much time connecting with other photogra-

other words, figure out what is useful, engag-

phers. Although you will become a better pho-

ing information for your target audience and

tographer listening to the experts in your field,

provide them with this content. This helps

your voice should represent your niche and be


directed toward your target market. Remember,
your voice in social media shouldnt be all about you. It should be a mix
of helpful information, concepts, and ideas that people can use to solve
problems, improve their skills, or make them think. The most successful
social media voices are educational or entertaining.

draw the relevant group of potential clients to


your work. Then, use your personality to help these potential clients connect with your work and business. People need to feel they can trust and
be comfortable with the photographer they hire, and your personality in
social media can help achieve this.

~Rosh Sillars, Commercial Photographer and Social Media Guru

P H O T O S H E LT E R | T he P hoto g r a pher s S o c i a l M e d i a H a n d b oo k Pa rt I : W IN T E R 2 0 1 2

~Lindsay Adler, Fashion and Portrait Photographer

Introduction

11

Facebook

Facebook
Facebook has advanced significantly over the past couple years, aiming through all its tweaks and alterations to
help enhance relationships and better connect people around the world. One of Facebooks biggest changes over
the past few years? Its not just for kids anymore. The platform has become a vehicle for business marketing,
allowing professionals to reach millions of potential customers, market their product, service, or cause, and
increase brand engagement on an international level. For photographers, Facebook has become one of the
biggest driving forces in day-to-day marketing. Through your own Facebook Page showcasing your photography
business, you can keep clients and potential clients updated with your work, your future projects, promotions,
and more. But the trick is learning how to keep up with Facebooks ongoing shifts and using their tools to
benefit your business and your brand.
A key reason to participate? Your personal website is not a daily destination for your customers. You simply dont
have enough updates and breadth of content to attract a large number of customers to your website. On the
other hand, people visit Facebook daily for a myriad of reasons. A key to online success is to participate in the
places where your clients are, and Facebook happens to be one of those places where you can nearly guarantee
daily interaction with your addressable market.

P H O T O S H E LT E R | T he P hoto g r a pher s S o c i a l M e d i a H a n d b oo k Pa rt I : W IN T E R 2 0 1 2

Facebook

13

Facebook Facts
Back in 2010 when we first wrote the guide on social
media for photographers, we let you know that a
whopping 350 million users had joined Facebook - a
number that astounded and boggled the minds of
most. But today, just two years later, Facebook is home
to over 800 millions users worldwide - both individuals
and companies who represent themselves there.

Facebook Statistics Today:

Facebook is something we check often because its a direct portal into the lives of
our friends, family, and business prospects. After all, its one of the most efficient
ways to reach your entire network. Think about it: Did you come across another
funny cat video on YouTube? Did your brother just have a baby? Did you just win
an award of celebrate an achievement? Your instinct is to turn to Facebook first
to share is because you know its the fastest way to reach the greatest number of
people. As a photographer, developing these instincts to share news about your work
and your business through a Facebok Page designated specifically for your business
should be a key piece of your plan to effectively market your services, build your
brand and ultimately bring in new customers.

The average Facebook user has 150 friends.


More than 50% of active users log on to Facebook each day.
More than 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook each day,its currently
the largest repository of images on the web.
More than 75% of users are from outside the United States.
Each month, more than 500 million people use an app on Facebook or experience
Facebook on other websites.
There are more than 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups,
events and community pages).
Facebook is the 2nd most visited site in the world with regard to unique visits
(Google is #1).
For most of us, logging onto Facebook every day to check our personal News Feed
is a must - and often something we do unconsciously as part of our daily routine.

P H O T O S H E LT E R | T he P hoto g r a pher s S o c i a l M e d i a H a n d b oo k Pa rt I : W IN T E R 2 0 1 2

Facebook

14

Growing Your Photography Business:


Why You Need A Facebook Page
Today more than ever before, finding success through online marketing falls hand in hand with having an influential social media presence that represents your business. If
you choose to solely market your photography through your personal Facebook Page, you will be at a disadvantage because you will:
1. Create a barrier for potential clients who believe its too personal to friend you.
2. Weaken your business brand by conflating your personal life with your professional life.
3. Limit your followers to 5,000 (the personal friend limit)
This is why creating a Facebook Page dedicated to your photography business is essential to
building your photography brand, marketing your work, and reaching potential customers.
With a Page, you can expand your business by providing excellent and direct customer service
to those who ask, share content about your work, and help update followers with interesting
industry news relevant to your field.
But most importantly, creating a Facebook Page for your photography business allows the opportunity for potential customers to find you easily and gives the distinct impression to new
visitors that you are serious about your work and ready to do business.

P H O T O S H E LT E R | T he P hoto g r a pher s S o c i a l M e d i a H a n d b oo k Pa rt I : W IN T E R 2 0 1 2

Facebook

15

3 Ways to Optimize Your


Facebook Page
Do This:
1. Build A Community With Your Photography Business At The Center
 y creating an active community that can engage with you through your Facebook Page, you provide potential customers an accessible and user-friendly venue
B
to reach you and have their questions answered. Optimize your page by monitoring each message and responding when appropriate. Your responsiveness to
those who interact with your page improves the level of trust between yourself and potential clients and frankly, makes you a more credible source to those who
are looking to hire.

2. Promote Your Content...And The Content Of Others


 ouve probably heard the expression that content is king, and this is absolutely true. Your Facebook Page provides a platform for sharing your photography, blog
Y
posts, videos, as well as interesting photo industry articles and photography news from your friends and colleagues.
A misconception for many businesses large and small is that your Facebook Page should be used as a marketing soap box to talk exclusively about you, you, and more
you. Its no surprise that people dont like that. In fact, they will unlike that. The goal of sharing content is to provide information that is interesting and appealing
to others. When people like your page, its a way of saying they have some interest in hearing from you and what you do. Your brand is only as strong as the interest
of your community, so your relationship with those who like you is something that should not be taken for granted for if you want to succeed and strengthen your
relationships.

3. Improve Your Relationships


I n its very essence, Facebook is about connecting and sharing with others - whether that be professionally or personally. Through your own genuine interaction via
posts, comments, likes and shares, you have the ability to engage with current and potential customers. Facebook Insights (more on that on later) as well as your own
daily awareness lets you develop a key sense of who your most engaged listeners are and why. You can learn from Facebook Insights to understand what your followers like and dont like and tweak your posting strategy to reflect your analysis.

P H O T O S H E LT E R | T he P hoto g r a pher s S o c i a l M e d i a H a n d b oo k Pa rt I : W IN T E R 2 0 1 2

Facebook

16

4 Ways to Improve User Engagement


Through Your Facebook Page
Do This:
1. Show Off Your Photos
P
 osting photos (and videos) is one of the most effective ways to attract
comments and likes on Facebook. Whether you are comfortable or not with
Facebooks Terms and Conditions, there are ways to leverage your content to
engage with the community on Facebook. For instance, links to content that
exists off of Facebook are still highly engaging and presents your fans with
a thumbnail image nonetheless. Other photographers find it beneficial to
upload low resolution watermarked photos. There is no denying that photo
and video content is highly engaging on Facebook and you need to figure out
a content sharing strategy that works best for you and your goals.

4. Using Facebook for Giveaways & Promotions


Running a special discount, promotion, or giveaway through your Facebook
Page can be a great way to create buzz, attract eyeballs, and draw in customers. To run a promotion, Facebook has specific Promotion Guidelines which
let you know what you can and can not do. Promotions on Facebook can only
be administrated through Apps on Facebook, so its important to check out
these resources.

2. Ask Questions, Be Provocative, and Entertain

I ts always important to remember that to be social and encourage user engagement, you need to reach out and ask for opinions and feedback from your
community. As a photographer, remember that your questions do not always
have to relate to you. The photography industry today is so vibrant and there
is news to share everyday, pieces of which may be more relevant to your
niche. Also dont hesitate to use your base as an opportunity to get feedback
or opinions about your business. Heres an example an entertaining article we
posted about Photographer Pants. from the Express.

3. Update Your Status Often

F
 acebook is not like a website. People expects updates often. When a new
visitor comes to your page, and you havent updated your status in three days,
it reflects poorly and gives users the impression that you are unavailable.

P H O T O S H E LT E R | T he P hoto g r a pher s S o c i a l M e d i a H a n d b oo k Pa rt I : W IN T E R 2 0 1 2

Facebook

17

Facebook Features
To Know About in 2012
In 2010, there were Facebook Fan Pages and we had the option to become fans of our favorite brands,
causes, celebrities, and more. Today, Fan Pages are a distant memory and users are invited to create and like
Facebook Pages.The main differences between Facebook Pages and individuals profiles? Facebook pages are
public. Here are a few more updated features you need to know about to build your photography business
through Facebook in 2012:

1) News Feed & Facebook Edgerank:

The News Feed can be found in the center column of your homepage with a constant updating lists of stories and interactions from the people and Pages you follow.
When you log on, the News Feed is the running real-time list of photos, videos, comments, likes, and status updates direct from your network of friends and pages. But
how does Facebook decide which content to show you in your News Feed? According to Facebook, it depends:

The News Feed algorithm uses several factors, including: how many friends are commenting on a certain piece
of content, who posted the content, and what type of content it is (e.g. photo, video, or status update).
In September 2011, Facebook redesigned the News Feed, and now shows you the most interesting and engaging posts from your network since you last logged on.
Prior, the News Feed was divided into two separate sections: Top News and recent News, both of which showcased updates from your friends and page likes in chronological order.

Why Care About the New News Feed:

Facebooks News Feed change came about because Facebook realized that people arent always looking for the most recent news from their network - theyre looking for whats most interesting. This means that you need to post content about your photography business that is engaging and interesting to your target audience.
The more that people interact with a post of yours, the more likely it will appear higher on peoples News Feeds and get noticed by a greater pool. This increases
brand awareness, and provides the greatest opportunity to expand your reach and engage new people.

P H O T O S H E LT E R | T he P hoto g r a pher s S o c i a l M e d i a H a n d b oo k Pa rt I : W IN T E R 2 0 1 2

Facebook

18

Producing engaging content (i.e. asking questions, posting photos, videos, sharing an interesting article, etc.) is crucial because after a user likes your page, they may rarely
visit your page again. Instead, theyll stay up to date with you via the status updates and posts they see from you in their own Feed. Because the content that gets picked
for Facebooks News Feed depends on its popularity and engagements (comments and number of likes), you need to produce content that provokes both these things from
your network.

Understanding Facebook Edgerank:

Edgerank is the Facebook algorithm that determines what items appear in your News Feed based on a number of factors like Likes, Shares and Comments. In Facebook parlance, each object you share (i.e. photos, comments, links) are called an edge, and if the edge reaches a certain scoring threshold, it will be displayed in a users
News Feed. Thats why prompting people for comments - asking a questions, posing trivia questions and soliciting feedback - is proven to be one of the most effective ways
to engage people and get your content seen.
To improve your Edgerank and your chances of getting to the News Feed, research also shows that you should incorporate videos, include links, relate your posts to a current events, and interact with those who post on your page. Your Edgerank can also sky-rocket by promoting time-sensitive promotions. Are you offering a 15% discounts
off all your prints for the next two weeks? Case studies show that reposting the same campaign image next to a different comment will engage users and improve your
chances of getting to the top of the News Feed.
Improving your Edgerank can significantly boost the number of people seeing your content. For example, in early December, we were able to quadruple our total reach on
the PhotoShelter Facebook page by a series of content that generated many comments and likes.

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2) Facebooks Photostrip:

Facebook Pages now display a Photostrip above the wall that shows the latest
photos that particular Page has been tagged in. Its important to know that the five
thumbnails that make up the Photostrip appear in different order as page photos are
tagged. This prevents Pages from displaying a continuous banner.

Why Care About the Photostrip:

Although the photos in your Photostrip may change as photos are loaded,
you have the ability to select which photos appear by x-ing out any photo
you dont want by clicking on the x in the upper right hand corner of any
given image currently in place there. These photos are highly visible to anyone who visits your page, so its important that you use this an opportunity
to communicate your brand and a unified design by showcasing your best
images or company logo.

In addition, by using Facebook as your page, you can also link to other pages directly
in your posts. For example, if youve added Petapixel as one of your Pages favorites
and you want to post to their latest blog, you can type @petapixel into your status
bar, and the option to link directly to Petapixels Facebook Page will appear. Why
does this help? Your post will appear on Petapixels page for their community to see.
It is also a nice courtesy to Petapixel as it sends new traffic their way.


Why Care About Using Facebook
As Your Page:

By using Facebook as your page, you can comment on posts and like
content from other pages. This lets others know youre listening and paying
attention to more than just yourself. As a result, people and other pages will
be more likely to engage with you and even post about your work in their
own shares. This has potential to broaden your network very quickly.

3) Using Facebook as Your Page

One of Facebooks newest functions that came out in 2011 was the option to use
Facebook as your Page.
When you select this function (found on the right sidebar of your Pages profile),
you have the ability to comment, like, and share posts as your business. For example,
fashion and lifestyle photographer Jim Jordan has a dedicated Facebook Page for his
business called Jim Jordan Photography. Jim uses his page to enhance his presence
online by interacting with other businesses.

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4) People Talking About This

In October 2011, a number appeared on Facebook pages below your number of


likes to indicate how many people were talking about you and track conversation
about your page. You might be in the dark as to what this number actually means, so
lets break it down:
Some basics:

This number is pulled from a variety of interactions that can occur on Facebook
over the past seven days.
This number is refreshed daily.

The factors that contribute to the People Talking About This number:

Posts made to a Pages wall

Liking, commenting on or sharing a Page post

Answering a question posted on a Page

Mentioning a Page in a post

Photo-tagging a Page

Liking a Page

Why photographers should care about People


Talking About This:
Generally, the larger this number, the better. The more people who are tagging and talking about your business, the more youre spreading awareness
about your brand. Consider those who contribute to this number as your
own influencers to promote you.

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Other Facebook Extras to Help You


Grow
Facebook Ads:

Timeline:

Like-Gate:

Although the Timeline will eventually be rolled out for all Facebook users, its not
yet an option for Facebook Pages. When it does become an option for Facebook
Pages, the benefits could be huge. First, businesses like yours will hold even more of
a human component. Visitors will be able to see your evolution over the past year
though popular posts and status updates. The Timeline also offers new possibilities for raising awareness about your brand. The new cover photo, for example, is a
849x312 pixel image - much larger than ever before with more ability to visually
impact users. Well ultimately have to wait and see, but the Timeline could have
tremendous marketing potential to help spread awareness about your brand.

Facebook is free, but if you want to invest money to help grow your photography
business through the platform, Facebook Ads may be a great solution. Advertising on Facebook is a cost-effective way to promote your business and allows you
to reach more potential customers by targeting specific age, location, interests, and
more. Some quick tips to enhance the success of Facebook Ads. they must be highly
targeted, have a clear budget and goals and clear call to action. You must test multiple versions and pay close attention to analytics to ensure that the results equate to
a lower cost of acquisition (or higher ROI) for new customers than other channels.
To promote your photography business even more, check out the step by step guide
on how to create and optimize ads on Facebook.

When approaching a Facebook Page for the first time, theres a good chance youve
seen a Like-Gate. Typically, like-gates can help increase the number of followers you
have by creating an incentive for users to like you. For example, are you offering an
exclusive discount for those who book a session with you? Use this promotion as a
teaser to encourage people to like your page and find out more.
Want to customize your own? Check out our guide on Facebook Pages for Photographers under the section Creating a Custom App.

In December 2011, Facebook launched the highly anticipated Facebook Timeline.


The Timeline revamps a users individual profile page, and creates a digital scrapbook that highlights your top stories and posts over the years. With the Timeline,
you have 7 days to prepare your profile before having it go live, and you can feature a
cover photo of your choice. Your privacy settings will remain the same as they were
previously set and no new information will be shared once your timeline is active.

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Custom Applications:

Using custom Facebook applications is another great way to encourage your network
to become acquainted with your photography business. Formerly, you had to use a
scripting language called FBML (Facebook Mark-up Language) to manage custom
tabs, but now Facebook has since migrated to an iFrame model to help you create
custom Facebook applications, which are located underneath your pages Facebook
photo. An IFrame is essentially a webpage from somewhere else that gets embedded
into part of a Facebook page. Its important to note that with an iFrame, the content
of your application is located in an HTML document which it not hosted on
Facebooks servers. Hubspot has a great step-by-step guide on how to create custom
applications for your Facebook Page.
Photographers can take advantage of custom applications by providing greater
opportunities for your network to get to know your work. For example, through
your Facebook Page you can provide a landing page to coupon discounts, videos,
an inquiry form, or even a page that allows visitors to purchase your prints directly
through Facebook. LGBT familly and wedding photographer Joe Tresh, for example, has implemented a custom application that encourages visitors to sign up for
his newsletter:
Although coding your own pages gives you the most flexibility, many photographers
lack the time or inclination to take it on as a Do-It-Yourself project. Fortunately,
there are also some third party tools that can make the job a little easier, if youre
willing to incur some costs including North Social, ShortStack,and thruSocial.

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Facebook, Bing.com, and Your SEO


When you search for something on Facebook, youll see search results from Bing.com pop up at the bottom.
This integration between Bing and Facebook has existed since 2010. But more recently in May 2011, Bing has
taken the integration one step further. Now, content popular throughout Facebook as well as something they call
Collective IQ will rank more prominently on their search engine. Bing announced:

Bing is bringing the collective IQ of the Web together with the opinions
of the people you trust most, to bring the Friend Effect to search. You can
receive personalized search results based on the opinions of your friends by
simply signing into Facebook...Decisions can now be made with more than
facts, now the opinions of your trusted friends and the collective wisdom of
the Web.

What does this mean for you?

You social juice will help you appear higher in searches. Sp. the more people who like and engage with your Facebook content, the more positive impact it will
have on your SEO.

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Facebook Tips That


Work: Straight From
Photographers Who
Know
We know that Facebook will not solve all your marketing woes and get
customers through your check out line by the dozens overnight. But,
setting up your Facebook Page should be an important step to building
your brand. The second step is optimizing your social media experience
and being an active contributor to conversations. This means you need to
have a strategy to engage your community. Meet two photographers with
expert tips on how to do just that.

Elizabeth Halford

Elizabeth Halford is a professional wedding and portrait photographer and blogger who writes about effective
social media marketing for photographers. Shes developed key tips on engaging your community and developing effective strategies for great Facebook posts that will lead users to click through to your site. Elizabeth
Halford Photography, a page dedicated to her blog supporting photographers has over 9,000 Facebook likes
and Gracie May Photography, her page dedicated to her own photography business, has over 1,500 likes. Both
pages are customized with a welcome like-gate, as well as a tab that leads visitors directly to her streaming blog
posts and tweets.
We sat down and asked Elizabeth how Facebook is helping grow her business.

PhotoShelter: Whats your strategy for posting? What type of content provides you the best response from
others?

EH: I find that the biggest audience on Facebook is on Monday through Wednesday. Weekends are busy for most people,
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but those first few days dont involve much going out in the evenings and you might find that
lots of people who have the Monday blues just sit at their computer mindlessly trolling
through Facebook while hooked up to an IV drip of coffee.Thats a great time for photographers to get in touch.This isnt to say that Im not active other days. But when I want to post
a really important mini session announcement or blog post of new session images, I tend to wait
until about Tuesday.
PhotoShelter: How do you determine what your Facebook voice should be?

EH: I hate it when photographers refer to themselves as we when there is, indeed,

only one of them. I really believe that photography is an intensely personal venture
and how can you get intensely personal with people if you build a wall around yourself and call it professionalism? If corporate, impersonal, and sterile is your brand
image, go ahead and speak with a voice larger than your own. But if youre just YOU,
then your voice online should be YOU. Now, this doesnt mean that you need to be
posting images of your cat or sharing what you had for breakfast. But when you post
status updates or links to recent sessions, its simple...just. be. you.

Kike Calvo

Kike Calvo is an award-winning photographer


and bilingual Spanish journalist, photographer, and
author. He specializes in environmental, cultural
& marine documentary, with a focus on Latin
America. His work is represented by National
Geographic Image Collection and he is also a
support artist for the United Nations Secretary
General campaign UNITE to end violence against
women in Latin America. Kike has a dedicated
Facebook Page for his photography business with
over 2,000 likes.
We asked Kike what Facebook advice he has for photographers trying to expand
their network:

PhotoShelter: What do you urge photographers not to do on their Facebook

Page?

PhotoShelter: What do you like about Facebook? What is your goal using it for
your business?

EH: I dont post too much about my personal life as if everyone was my friend. I

KC: Like everything else, Facebook is another tool within my business. In the

PhotoShelter: Can you recall some of your most successful or unsuccessful posts?

PhotoShelter: What do you urge photographers to do on their Facebook Page?

dont post anything controversial and I dont alienate any certain people or groups
by stating my opinions on anything. And the number one way to lose likes or get
yourself hidden from feeds is to post too much. Dont post multiple times in a day.
Make it count.

Why did these posts work or not work?

EH: Well, on my Facebook Page for my business, I have many thousands of sub-

scribers who regularly interact with my posts. The posts which get the most involvement are those which ask a question about everyones opinion on a topic. This is
different than stating my own opinion. The least activity happens on links I simply
post without any significant commentary.

same way cameras help me capture the way I see the world and my website presents
potential clients to my work, Facebook allows me to build a friendly community
around my business, whether its a new exhibit I am launching in New York, or a
photography workshop I am teaching somewhere in Latin America.

KC: Photographers need to be polite and they need to be helpful. We are living

through hard times. This job we love so much is being impacted tremendously by
globalization, accessibility, gear, and the drop in pricing. It is wonderful to fight hard
to become the top in your field, but dont forget, we are part of a community. People
further on in their careers should look back, and lend a hand to upcoming photographers. And new generations of photographers should pay tribute to the work of
those who are ahead on the path of photography, no matter their style, techniques
or social networks skills. I strongly believe this approach can be perfectly done using
Facebook as an extension of how we live our lives and careers.

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PhotoShelter: Can you recall some of your most successful posts? Why did these

posts work?

KC: Successful posts depend first on the audience you build up on your social plat-

forms. People like to see the story behind the story, such as special moments within
your career. I remember when I signed on with the National Geographic Collection,
I attended the annual seminar with photographers I deeply admired: Gerd Ludwig,
David Allan Harvey, and Steve McCurry, to mention a few. As part of my visit to
National Geographics Washington Headquarters, I shared some memory shots on
my Facebook Page, and people really liked that approach.
I also remember a post of mine that garnered attention was one I did about a student of mine who contacted me to document her fight against cancer. This touched
many people. Sometimes, it has been posts portraying my photography work: my
turtle egg story that won the Art Wolfe Conservation Photo Award, or my underwater images of humpback whales in open ocean.

PhotoShelter: What advice can you give photographers on how to use Facebook
to generate business?
KC: My advice to photographers is to think about Facebook as a community

builder. Some people use it for fun, I use it for work. And in connection to this
matter, do not mix both worlds. And if you do, do it wisely. Facebook is a wonderful
marketing tool, with both advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, I believe a successful photography business will come from a combination of a website, a blog, and
Facebook and Twitter profiles, to start. In the end, when it comes to social networking and business, you need to always remember that youre using these platforms to
market your work and sell your images.

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Measuring Your Results with


Facebook Insights
You dont have to guess if what youre doing on Facebook is working. Facebook Insights (only available for Facebook Pages, and not personal profiles) gives you, the photographer, a clear grasp on the effectiveness of your posts and provides you with rich demographic and behavioral information about your those who like you. You can only
access this data if youre an administrator for your page. Simply go to http://www.facebook.com/insights/ and select your page or click Insights in the tab underneath the
pages profile picture.
With this tool, you can learn who is interacting with you and how they are doing so (i.e. wall posts, discussion comments, likes, tags of your content). You can easily monitor
like growth according to specific dates, which show you how specific efforts are helping you grow your likes. Analyzing this data will help you generate content that is most
compelling for your followers to share and engage with. Some important (and newer) metrics to pay close attention to are:

1) Demographics

By cilcking on likes in on your Facebook Insights dashboard, you can see a complete demographic breakdown of the countries and cities of your followers, as well as the
languages they speak and their gender. Its important to note, however, that data of these demographics reveals numbers per interaction, not per individual user. But theres
no question that this feature can provide you a better understanding of where in the world your followers are. This can help you target your marketing efforts to specific
regions and groups.

2) Anlaytics for Deeper Engagement

Get a clear sense of which specific platforms draw in likes. Facebook Insights now breaks down exactly where your likes are coming from, including those that come when
people like your page directly (organic likes), to those who like you on a mobile device, through a like button on a website, via a third party app, etc. So, for example, if
youve implemented a Facebook like button on your blog on your website, Facebook Insights now lets you know if thats working well or not.

3) Weekly Total Reach

This metric reveals the number of users who have been exposed to the updates and comments shared by those who are talking about you. (The number of people talking
about you is the number on the People Talking About This feature on your Page). As opposed to tracking only the individuals you reach from your own shares, now the
Weekly Total Reach tracks those you reach by posts about you from others. Basically, you get a better sense of the degree to which multiple layers of people are exposed to
your brand through Facebook, regardless of if you make the post or not.

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How PhotoShelter Can Help


PhotoShelter offers a host of social sharing tools that help you promote your work via multiple platforms,
including Facebook.
Post images and links directly from PhotoShelter to Facebook. You can upload images to Facebook directly from PhotoShelter, or you may post a link on your Facebook
wall that includes a URL and thumbnail previews for the first few images in your PhotoShelter gallery. The first option is a matter of convenience no need to upload to
PhotoShelter and Facebook separately when sharing photos, and you can choose to send watermarked or unwatermarked files. The second option works best if you want
to drive traffic directly to your PhotoShelter site where visitors can purchase your photography. You can post images directly to Facebook Pages using these tools too.
Enable social sharing features on your website and let your website visitors post links to your work for sharing on Facebook. In the customization section of your PhotoShelter site, you can automatically install a Like Facebook widget to your PhotoShelter website. This provides simple buttons on your image galleries and single images so your website visitors can instantly share links to your images via their favorite social networks. You need to make it as easy as possible for other people to promote
your photography. So, we help out you by providing a very obvious link for people to share your work.
Take advantage of special PhotoShelter integration. PhotoShelter members can customize and use their Facebook Pages pages to display galleries and slideshows, and sell photos
to their Facebook community. Just grab HTML code from your PhotoShelter account at http://www.photoshelter.com/mem/site/custom, whichallows users to search your entire
archive of publicly available images directly from Facebook. Its a great way to reduce the need to click to your website before seeing what images you have to offer.

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Google +

Google+
In June 2011, Google launched Google+, and already the number of users hovers around the 40 million mark. In
just a few short months, this social media platform has already joined the ranks of giants like Facebook, Twitter,
and LinkedIn. Why the name Google+? Google would like you to think of it as an extension of Google itself,
which may tip you off that your success with Google+ can directly impact your SEO. But for any photographer
who already uses Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as part of their daily workflow, the question is, why join?
Google+ quickly established itself as a haven for photographers because the platform is built for photo sharing
and accommodates viewing, managing, and editing multimedia. Most similar to Facebook, Google+ users can
post and share content including links, videos, photos, and general status updates. For photographers, Google+
becomes another way to share your work and market your brand - fast. As the platform continues to grow, we
also see that your shares and +1s can directly impact your SEO ranking on Google. For the first time, Google is
finally showing signs of allowing user-generated content - not just computer algorithms - to impact where you
show up on a search. This is good news. Actually, its great news.

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Your Google+ Profile: The Basics


When you first join Google+ and create your personal profile page, it will ask you to
enter important basic details including:
Your tagline (a brief description of yourself )
Your employment
Your education

Like many social media sites, you can upload a profile photo and add links to your
photography website, blog, Facebook Page, Twitter Profile, and LinkedIn account.
Google+ lets you adjust your profile settings to allow only certain groups (circles) to
see information (i.e.: your contact information, or particular posts).
Google+ personal profiles are equipped with the following major features:

Bragging rights
Places lived
Relationship status
Contact information
Search visibility

Circles

Stream

Whats Hot

Hangouts

Photos

+1 Button

Lets break down exactly what each of these are and how they can help market your photography brand:

Circles:

Understanding circles is essential to mastering Google+. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, Google+ Circles give you a great deal more control over who sees your content.
To find connections to add to your circles, Google+ allows you to search through your Google contacts or import your address book from Yahoo!, Hotmail or your desktop.
When creating your circles, think of them as subsets of your social groups (e.g. family, friends, coworkers, etc.). All content you post can be shared publicly or with specific
circles you indicate. Google+ makes adding and removing contacts from your circles simple with easy drag-and-drop capabilities that let you take people in and out as you
see fit.

Why Care About Circles:


As a photographer, why should you create circles in the first place? Why not have one circle for everyone you know? Creating subsets to distinguish different

groups in your business and personal life allows you tailor your messages and shares so that theyre relevant to each community. For example, you may want to share
a photo of the bouquet of flowers your husband sent to you with your circle of friends, but share photos from your latest photography project with your circle of
potential clients. Google+ Circles allow you to pick and choose who sees what without getting down with managing a business page and a personal page. (Although managing a Google+ company page is an option, well get to that later).

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Stream:

Similar to Facebooks News Feed, Google+s Stream is a centralized hub showcasing the posts, comments, and shares from your Google+ network. But not only does
your Stream show content from those in your circles, it will also show you content
from new connections who are trying to share something with you and specifically
tag you in a post.
When you share with people either individually or through a circle, your content
will appear in their stream. If you want to find content beyond what you see if front
of you, you can also broaden your stream by utilizing the search bar at the top of the
page. Here, you can search for specific terms like fine art photography or photography business and see who in your circles and beyond is talking about these things.
Important to note: If you label a post as public it can be found in a public stream
by anyone who searches for you or the content you publicly post about.

Why Care About the Google+ Stream:

Sharing your own content and commenting on others posts are key action
steps because it makes you visible to others when they log on. As with
Facebook, people keep tabs on your through your shares what pops up in
their News Feed. The same concept applies to the Google+ Stream. You
want to post engaging content on a regular basis so users hear your voice
and get acquainted with your brand without even trying.

Part III:

Insights from
Photographers Selling Stock
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Whats Hot:

When you log in to Google+, youll find a feature on the left sidebar labeled Whats Hot. This feature
brings up the most interesting content across all of Google+. As Twitter lets you know which topics are
trending, Whats Hot reveals what others on Google+ are talking about.
Whats Hot topics are selected by computer algorithms taking into consideration (but not limited to):
Posts that are shared as public
Total number of +1s received
Total number of shares received

Total number of comments

Why Care About Whats Hot:

Keeping tabs on popular content on Google+ is key to providing you additional insights on the
type of shares that engage large groups. For example, at the end of 2011, we saw multiple posts
under Whats Hot of a roundup of favorite photos (i.e. Top 50 Photos from the Natural World).
Commenting on these types of posts or sharing your own personal photo-round up can be a good
way to attract comments and +1s.

Hangouts:

Hangouts is Google+s new group chat feature - a feature which greatly distinguishes the platform from
other services. When you start or participate in a hangout by clicking start a hangout located on the
sidebar to the right of your stream, a message goes out to the circles you select letting them know. Not only
does the feature allow you to video chat with other Google+ users, but you also have the option to share
your screen and place calls within the US or Canada.

Why Care About Hangouts:

Today, its easy to lose that personal connection with clients and potential customers when almost
all correspondence is done through email. Communicating via email is not going away, but features like Hangouts on Google+ can you let you connect with clients and colleagues face-to-face,
which helps strengthen relationships. This feature can also save you time. Scheduling a hangout
and speaking with a client for half an hour to hammer out details for an upcoming assignment can
avoid the constant back-and-forth email exchange that can often occurs over days.

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Photos:

Google+ is well-equipped with a photo albums feature, which is powered by Picasa (a service owned by
Google). Here, you can upload photos and create albums showcasing your work. Once created, you can
share that album with your circles, individual friends, or with the public. Google+ includes an image editor
(complete with Instagram-like photo effects), privacy options, and sharing features. Albums will always
remain private until you choose to share them with others.
Within Google+, if you click on the Photos tab located at the top of your page, you will see recent photos
uploaded by your circles. Once you click on a photo, you can then see the comments and shares that photo
has received.
Once you click on an individual photo found in your photo tab, you will also be taken to an automated
slideshow of photos from your network. In the slideshow view, you have the option to tag yourself or a
friend in a photo, or check out specific photo details including what type of camera, exposure, and focal
length was used by the photographer.

Why Care About Photos on Google+:

Regularly sharing your photos, adding captions, and filling out photo details includin the dimensions of your photo, the specific camera you used, exposure, ISO speed, and focal length, adds to
your credibility as a professional photographer. If you are frequently posting new and interesting
photos, it will be a constant reminder to your network that you are an active photographer with
current work to show.

Understanding the +1 Button:

If youve done any Googling lately, you may have noticed that +1 button appearing next to many blogs,
articles, and websites in your search. Simply, Google says that the +1 button is intended to get the conversation going. By clicking +1, you let others know that youve given content your own stamp of approval. In
essence, Google has incorporated word-of-mouth marketing into their own search engine results.

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Also, each time you click on +1, this link is added to running list of links on your own
Google+ profile found on your primary navigation tab. Here, you have the option to
make this list public or to hide it.
The +1 button is also something you can install in your own website or blog so people
can easily +1 your own content. Here are instructions for installing the +1 widget.
HubSpot, the leader in inbound marketing software, found a clear correlation between
the +1 button on your site and direct web traffic:

We looked at data from HubSpots entire customer base


of more than 5,000 businesses. We compared referral
traffic levels from websites that have Googles +1 button
installed and for those that dont. The result? Websites
that use Googles +1 button generated 3.5 times more
traffic from Google+ than websites that dont have the
button installed.

+1 on Google+

Just like you have the ability to +1 websites and articles you see in a Google search or
on a website, you can also do the same within Google+. Similar to Facebooks Like, the
+1 widget appears next to each share, allowing users to endorse your post in addition to
commenting and sharing. Remember that the number of +1 your post receives greatly
impacts its visibility.

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8 Tips from Johan Peijnenburg to


Optimize Your Google+ Page
Switzerland-based nature and landscape photographer Johan Peijnenburg has almost 24,000 followers on Google+. As an active PhotoShelter member, he also started
the Google+ PhotoShelter User Group (#PhotoShelterUG) as a hub for PhotoShelter photographers and enthusiasts to connect with each other by adding this hashtag
to their posts. Comments on Google+ that include this hashtag (a way to categorize and organize topics and conversation using the # symbol) are also found by searching
#PhotoShelterUG in the Google+ search bar. We caught up with Johan, who offers 8 tips on how to optimize your experience on Google+.

1. Start with uploading a decent profile picture.


Fill in your profile information carefully, and upload 5 scrapbook images that are representative for how you want to be seen on Google+. Its the first thing people
will see.

2. Post regularly and with a bit of variation to keep followers entertained.


Dont post too many times a day though, as overload can be annoying.

3. Dont try to get away with posting links to your blog posts only.
Upload images and just include a portion of the blog post text. People dont want to leave Google+ once theyre there, so keep in mind if you post just your blog
link, only few will follow.

4. Dont be the silent type.


Being mysterious is cool, but talking back is even cooler. Its called social media for a reason, so interact when people +1 a post or leave a comment.

Dont make it one-way traffic. Engage with people on their pages, and leave +1s and comments.

5. Leave your own page to stay in touch with others.

6. Participate in daily themes by including theme hashtags.


For example, check out this list of Daily Photography Themes on Google+. Sharing a photo thats relevant to a hashtag improves your chances of getting seen. You
are likely to reach more people that way.

7. Share the work of others once in a while.


Share to get shared! But make sure that your own work is the main topic.

Dont post YouTube videos, political statements, family issues, and bad jokes. If you really want to do that, use a limited circle for it.

8. Stay on topic in public.

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Using a Google+ Company Page


In early November 2011, Google+ launched company Google+ Pages. Like Facebook Pages, the goal is to help businesses build their brand and reach more customers. Creating and then managing a Google+ Page for your photography business is
another strategy to effectively utilize Google+ as part of your marketing plan.
After you create a company page, individual Google+ users can then add your
business to their circles, share your page with their network and interact with your
pages posts. Individuals users can also tag your business page in their own posts as
well as photos. Something quite different from Facebook: brands and business pages
can interact with customers via the Google+ Hangouts feature and engage with
prospects and customers through video conference calls. Remember, you must have
a personal Google+ profile in order to create a company page, but once your page is
created, no one will see the profile behind the account.

Keep in mind that creating a Google+ company page is best served for larger
organizations, unlike on Facebook where it is harder to separate your business and
personal interaction without having a separate Page. If youre a single photographer
operating your own business, your personal profile can serve your business needs.
Through your personal page, if you diligently split your business and personal contacts into distinct circles, you can tailor your messaging, reach different groups for
different reasons - all while using the same profile to do it.
Photographer Johan Peijnenburg puts it best: The nice thing about Google+ is that
you can easily have a split personality within one profile. I am focused on sharing
alpine nature and landscape photography in public and can share whatever I fancy
in private. I do carefully check which circles I am including when posting though.
The availability of circles also made me decide not to create a separate page for my
own NiO Photography on Google+. Having a page for myself and also my business
doesnt add value and only confuses people. And in the end I would probably end up
posting the same content twice.

Things to keep in mind if you decide to create a Google+ Company Page:


Google+ provides no option to create a vanity URL
Customers cant post on your wall (although they can link to you)
Google+ does not allow promotions or contests through the platform itself, although you can link to promotions from your own website or blog
The default privacy setting for elements on your business page is public.
Pages cant +1 other pages, and they also cant +1 content on the web.
Pages cant add people to Circles until the page is added first or mentioned by the individual.

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Google+ Direct Connect:

If you represent a larger-scale photography company and do decide to create a Google+ Company Page, the primary benefits of this lies in the growing evolution of Direct
Connect.
Heres how it works: Google now allows you to connect directly with a companys Google+ company page by typing the + symbol and the name of the business youre
searching for into Googles search bar. For example, if you go to Google and type in +McDonalds it will lead you directly to McDonalds Google+ page. Once users land
on this page, a special notification will pop up asking visitors to include the page in their circles.
Today, Direct Connect is available to only a select few pages including YouTube, Toyota, and Google, but here are a few tips on making your page eligible for Direct Connect. As Google expands this option (and hopefully one day rolls out for all company pages), this will become a convenient way for anyone - not just Google+ users - to
find you and get acquainted with your business and social shares right away.

Google+: The Fine Print

Google+ has taken off for photographers because of its easy photo-sharing capabilities. While this creates a great network to share your work, photo-sharing on Google+
has raised some eyebrows about copyright issues. In Googles official Terms of Service, it states:

You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post
or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you
give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any
Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.
Were not lawyers, but what this indicates is that although you maintain copyright of any content you submit on Google+, Google can still license and use your photo any
way they choose. In the case that this happens, youll be loosing out on a potential money-making deal. Its understandable that this could make any business-focused
photographer very nervous. Social media platforms are powerful tools to help market and build your brand, but reading the fine print is also part of being a good business
person - and this case is no different.

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The Best Google+ Tips from


PhotoShelter Photographers
Fine art photographer Matt Suess has almost 17,000 followers on Google+ and uses
public profile page (not a Google+ Company Page) to reach his network. We asked
him what advice he can offer to help photographers reach that level of success on
Google+.

PhotoShelter: What did you do to grow a following so quickly?


MS: A lot of us early adopters received huge influxes of followers when Google+

first allowed one to share their Circles with others. However the best way to grow
your audience is to post meaningful content and interact with your followers and
with those you follow.
If you are just starting out on Google+ (and even if you have been on it for a while)
you should not be too concerned with your follower count. If you engage your audience with meaningful content, people will find you on Google+ and your follower
count will increase. But it really isnt about the numbers - its about the interaction.
Also be sure to fill out your profile so that people can read about who you are. Incomplete or blank About pages on your profile can prevent you from getting many
followers. Who wants to follow someone they dont know anything about?

PhotoShelter: What do you urge photographers not to do on Google+?


MS: Do not have empty photo galleries. Do not ignore comments asking legiti-

mate questions. Do not forget to comment and +1 other peoples posts. Do not fail
to understand the benefit of interaction. Google+ is all about sharing, discussion,
and community. Do not post 100 photos a day. Dont be one-dimensional. Dont
spam, use foul language, enable discussions to turn into fights, and all the normal
Internet common courtesy things.

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40

PhotoShelter: How did you determine what your Google+ voice should be?
MS: The best bit of advice I can give is to just be yourself. When I post, pretty

much everything is public and open for everyone to see (unless I have specific info
for specific people I can post to select circles). My voice is really just who I am and
what I like. I post photo related material and other tidbits that I think people following me would enjoy. So my voice really is just who I am as an individual and as a
photographer.

PhotoShelter: Do you have a Google+ posting strategy? What type of content


provides you the best response from others?
MS: I try to do the majority of my posts in the morning and afternoons because I

am in Arizona and am anywhere from 2 to 3 hours behind EST depending on the


time of year. As for content, the vast majority of my posts are about my photography
and other tech/photo related news as well as other tidbits I feel my followers may
have an interest in. Approximately 10% of my posts are marketing related such as
announcing photo workshops I teach and art festivals I am exhibiting my work at.

PhotoShelter: Have you seen your SEO improve since youve started using

Google+?

MS: I have seen quite a bit of traffic driven to my main website and photo work-

shop website from those who have seen my posts on G+. In addition I have a Wordpress plugin that pulls select content I post on Google+ to my wordpress blog. This
has helped keep my website fresh with content and has helped improve traffic to my
site from keyword searches.

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Google+

41

Google+ Tips From Shane Srogi


Landscape, travel and conservation photographer Shane Srogi has almost 20,000 followers on Google+. He uses the platform to host a daily conversation called The
Photographers Daily Topic which receives about 3,000 reads a day. Every day, hell pose a photo-related question to his community asking their opinions on things from
watermarking images to slideshows, to when they realized their passion for photography. Shane will often get 10+ responses.

Shane is regularly introduced to photographers on Google+ and calls the platform the best photo community on the Internet. We asked him to share his tips on what hes
doing right to attract attention:

PhotoShelter: What do you like about Google+?


SS: Google+ offers photographers a way to share big beautiful images and to have conversations without having character limits. Hangouts with extras allows 10 people to

video conference and share images in real time. And now with pages there will be some interesting new ways to use Google+. For instance Ive created a page called Photo
Ten, featuring top 10 images of the day. Of course, the key ingredient is an active and engaged photo community, something that has flourished on Google +.

PhotoShelter: How do you determine what your Google+ voice should be?
SS: Time and again I get the question from emerging photographers, should I shoot like this person? I say follow your gut, be yourself. That is what makes you, unique.

I applied that same principle to Google+. I had nibbled around the edges of other social media so I knew what worked for me. For me, I like to post real time, via my
iPhone while scouting for locations for example. This way I can tell the story between landscape shots; this is where some of the most compelling stuff lives.

PhotoShelter: Do you have a Google+ posting strategy? What type of content gets you the best response?
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42

SS: Posts on Google+ have about a 4 to 5 hour life span, then interactivity drops off

significantly. Its also important to remember that Google+ is an international social


network. I have time zones set up on my iPhone and post accordingly. I regularly
talk with people from Europe, Asia and Australia. In terms of what content to
post, I feel like questions can work well - or not work at all. It depends on the way
you ask it. A question that fell flat for me once was on the topic of branding. I
reworded it and then instead asked, how do you set your website apart? which got
a lot of responses. People love to see pictures but dont over do it, one a day is good.
And change them up. Think the language of opposites.

PhotoShelter: Have you seen your SEO improve since youve started using it?
SS: I absolutely have seen improved SEO - my site traffic is up and images have
shot up in ranking (with 3000+ views in a day G+ helps). Its important to title your

images well. I include my site in my caption and my contact info in my meta data,
so visitors who engage with a particular image have a way to continue to visit my
website or otherwise find me online to possibly work together in the future.

PhotoShelter: What do you urge photographers not to do on Google+?


SS: Dont get frustrated. Start building your circles, share some pictures, and jump

into a hangout. Youll soon find yourself among some really great photographers.
When you do, dont make the conversations about you; its about the people you are
interacting with. As Justin Seeley, social media guru says, Give credit where credit
is due. Google+ is a great place to share ideas; it only takes second to tag people in
your posts. Dont neglect that. Lastly dont forget to thank people.

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How Google+ Can Benefit your SEO

The beauty in a social media platform powered by Google is that this social media platform is directly tied to results on the search engine site itself. Googles +1 button is
now set to directly affect the search rankings you see. By tracking +1s, Google is now taking these personal recommendations from users and integrating them in a way that
will generate search results based less on mathematics and more on what you actually like and what your friends recommend. Google+ now influences Google search results
with more user-generated information to understand certain trends and what people are interested in. Google+s impact on SEO ranking is a trend were closely watching.

Measuring Your Success on Google+

In addition to using Google Analytics to track your website traffic coming from Google+, you can also measure the success of your Google+ performance by tracking your
Klout score. Klout provides social media analytics to help you understand your level of social media influence online. As of late November 2011, Klout added Google+ as a
contributing factor to your overall influence, joining sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Foursquare and Blogger.
Your Klout score measures your influence based on your ability to drive action and create content that engages with others. Your Klout score draws data from social network
participation including Google+ to measure:
How many people you influence
How much you influence them
The influence of your network
Active Google+ users can now use Klout to monitor their own score and progress to make an impact online.

How PhotoShelter Can Help

Post image links and blog links from PhotoShelter to Google+, or manually upload images directly to Google+s photo editor. By providing a link on Google+ to your work
on your PhotoShelter site, followers in your Google+ circles will be more inclined to visit your site and stay updated with what youre doing. Constantly leading people to
your site through your social networks like Google+ helps you stay on the radar of potential clients.
As of January, 2012, you now have the option to enable a Google+ social sharing widget directly on your PhotoShelter site.When visitors come to your site and view your
galleries, they can share and +1 specific photos and links directly to their own Google+ networks. PhotoShelter makes it as easy as possible for others to share and promote
your photography.

Check out part II for tips on LinkedIn and Twitter...its already in your inbox!

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LinkedIn

LinkedIn
We know what youre thinking. Ugh, LinkedIn. Its true, LinkedIn might have the reputation for being the nerdy, less-cool, older cousin of Facebook, Twitter, and
Google+, but infusing LinkedIn into your daily workflow and overall marketing plan is essential for helping you make business connections and reach specific individuals
who can help your business expand.
Unlike the others we tackle in this guide, this platform is designated specifically for business professionals. This means posting about your vacation or sharing a funny
YouTube video of babies talking to each other may not be best shared here. The business-like platform means you should keep things professional and have your business at
the center as you build your profile, answer questions, or join groups. LinkedIn has evolved over the years by adding a diversity of applications, giving you the ability to join
a wider range of professional groups, create a company page, and even post content and status updates similar to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. And despite new changes
to the platform, the core positioning remains the same LinkedIn is a social platform for your business.

LinkedIn Today

Curious how LinkedIn has changed over the past few years? Here are some hard
numbers straight from the source:
More than 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages
LinkedIn counts executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies as members and its corporate hiring solutions are used by 75 of the Fortune 100
companies
LinkedIn represents a valuable demographic for marketers with an affluent
and influential membership
There are now more than 180,000 unique domains actively using the LinkedIn Share button on their sites to send content into the LinkedIn platform
LinkedIn members are sharing insights and knowledge in more than one
million LinkedIn Groups
Mobile page views account for more than 11% of total member visits to
LinkedIn

With the number of LinkedIn users continuing to grow each year, its important to
approach LinkedIn not as just another social media site but instead, as a platform
to establish powerful relationships that can help you advance. When word-ofmouth marketing is still the most powerful referral, LinkedIn helps you establish
yourself as a reputable source and make connections with people who can vouch for
your great business ethic and great photography.
Given that LinkedIn is synonymous with professional networking, photographers
should incorporate LinkedIn in their daily workflow to help expand their network
and meet new business contacts. The platform provides you with great opportunities
to grow your potential client base and market your photography.
To get a sense of the number of people on LinkedIn in the photography sector
and the buyer side, we did some searching of our own. For example, searching the
term photo editor returns 54,045 individuals, art buyer yields 28,049, graphic
designer yields 583,160, and art director yields 644,485. These are all people you
can network with by sending an invitation to connect or through a recommendation
from a mutual connection.
The key difference between connecting on LinkedIn and other social media platforms is that the connections are permission-based.

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LinkedIn

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Do This: 4 Ways to Grow Your


Photography Business Through LinkedIn
To use LinkedIn to grow your photography business,
here are 4 critical things you need to do:

1) Build Your Credibility With Recommendations

You can receive recommendations from contacts and make recommendations for
your contacts. According to LinkedIn, users with recommendations are three times
as likely to get inquiries through LinkedIn searches. Sometimes the best way to
receive recommendations is to give recommendations. If you view a contacts profile,
youll see you have the option to click recommend under each position theyve
listed on his or her profile.

2) Participate In The Community Through LinkedIn An-

swers

LinkedIn Answers enables individual users to post questions for the broader community. Participating in these conversations helps build your credibility and gives you
exposure to people who can help grow your network.

3) Use LinkedIn Applications To Enrich Your Profile

LinkedIn applications enable you to differentiate your profile, share more content, and
collaborate with your network. Applications are added to your homepage and profile
enabling you to control who gets access to what information. Currently, 18 applications are available on LinkedIn including:
WordPress: Sync your WordPress blog posts with your LinkedIn profile
Tweets: A Twitter client you can use directly within LinkedIn
SlideShare: Share presentations right within your profile - Weve seen photographers use this to weave their photography to their profiles
Events by LinkedIn: Discover what events, conferences and workshops your
connections are participating in

4) Use InMail to Email Your Network

Use LinkedIns InMail feature as a credible means to connect with your contacts. Using the email feature, you can appropriately approach contacts and engage people in
relevant dialogue. Our advice is to make this a custom outreach be clear that youre
contacting that one person specifically and not shooting off a mass-send. Anything
email that appears to be impersonal will likely be ignored.

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LinkedIn Features You Need to Know


About:
Profile:

Consider your profile your online resume, which means you want to be specific
about what youve accomplished and who youve worked for. Including a direct link
to your website is a must. After all, LinkedIn allows hiring companies and recruiters to search for professionals who might fit their criteria, so the difference between
a great profile and a so-so one could make or break a future opportunity. As a user,
its important to note that you cant view another LinkedIn members profile unless
youre connected to them. To connect with someone, you can send an invitation to
connect on LinkedIn, or you can be introduced by one of your existing contacts.

Updates:

Similar to Twitter, LinkedIns Updates feature (appearing on your LinkedIn homepage when you log in), lets you share something with your network in 140 characters
or less. You have the option to attach a link (i.e.: a link to a photo, your most recent
blog post, an article, etc.), and make it visible to either everyone or just your connections. In the Updates box itself, you can also choose to share your update directly
with your Twitter community. In the feed of updates on your homepage, you can
also keep track of the additional LinkedIn connections made by those in your network or comment on others posts. This feature helps you keep track of your connections and also keep them informed about what youre up to.

Job Listings:

Use LinkedIn to find your next photo gig. You can search available job listings
found in LinkedIns main navigation tool, as well as within the groups you join. Jobs
postings found on LinkedIn are often posted exclusively there, which means that
jobs youre looking at arent available for the whole Internet to see.This is an even
greater incentive to join the right groups and monitor them daily.

Skills & Expertise:

Search LinkedIns Skills & Expertise Section to find a hub for all things photography-related. Type in your specific field (e.g. fine art photography) and find a landing
page for other fine art photographers on LinkedIn, fine art photography groups,
organizations, as well as job postings. If you want to broaden your reach, type in a
general term like photography to find even more results.

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Groups:

Joining photography groups and participating in discussions will help establish your business presence in the industry. If you have a group in common with another LinkedIn user, you can invite this person to join your network. In other words, joining credible photography groups can help you expand your network and meet new contacts.
Also, each group discussion contains its own job listings, which becomes a tremendous resource if youre in the middle of looking for your next gig. Keep in mind there are
many groups, and you need to request to join before you can gain access to them. But once youve joined, be sure to use groups to:
Discover and contribute to popular discussions.
Follow group participants, including major industry leaders. To follow someone, you have to be connected to them or share a group in common. If this is the case,
their posts made in that group will show up on your homepage feed. This allows you to easily follow their discussions.
Sort by latest discussions and join the conversation by commenting and liking.
Here are a few popular and active groups on LinkedIn that are worth checking out and even joining:

Photography Industry Professionals:

Women in Photography:

This group has 31,000 members and is a hub for photographers and art professionals to meet each other and discuss the photography industry today. Soliciting is
shunned upon in this group.

With 25,5000 members, this group celebrates women photographers and is a network for sharing ideas, accomplishments, and opportunities.

Photography Business:

With 3,600 members, this group aims to educate photographers on key business strategies to help advance their bottom line. The group covers discussions on
marketing, client interaction, licensing, and industry trends.

Fashionista Cafe:

This group has nearly 10,000 members and is intended specifically as a networking community for professionals in the fashion, design, and photography industries.

Stock Photography, Buy and Sell Images:

This professional group with 4,500 members is a resource for stock photographers to exchange information and help each other locate agencies and stay updated
on the stock photo industry today.
You dont need to join every group out there. Instead, be critical and think, what type of connection are you trying to make and where can you find these people? What
types of groups would appeal to them?

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Do This: 4 Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn


Profile and Improve Your SEO:
A presence on LinkedIn can improve your SEO because LinkedIn itself is ranked very highly on Google. Here
are 4 ways you can really optimize your profile to take advantage of the SEO benefits:

1. Keywords

Complete your profile and use relevant keywords. Detailed profile entries provide rich, searchable content. Use keywords that you believe would help potential clients find
you. Because LinkedIn pushes your job title into your profiles website page title (another very strong SEO factor), you want to use descriptive keywords here, too. Photographer wont help differentiate you in searches. Go with something more descriptive like Boston Wedding & Event Photographer.

2. Make Your Profile Public


Any information you block from public view will not be viewed by LinkedIn search engines, or external search engines like Google. At minimum, you want your own name,
company name, and most relevant keywords to be visible. Edit your LinkedIn vanity URL. (www.linkedin.com/in/YOURNAME) to optimize for search. If you want to
optimize your name, make sure to use it here. Otherwise, you can use your company name, or emphasize your specialty.

3. Participate In Answers
In addition to helping grow your network and your credibility, having a presence in Answers will grow internal links on LinkedIn that point back to your profile, which also
enhances your SEO. Indirectly provide your expertise by responding to a question and linking to a relevant blog post youve written.

4. Drive Traffic To Your Website Or Blog


Include hyperlinks to your website and blog in your profile with descriptive anchor text. LinkedIn enables you to add up to three website hyperlinks on your profile. Unlike
most social platforms, these are dofollow links meaning LinkedIn has told Google to crawl these, and they can be used to help your SEO. You have full control of the
anchor text thats displayed over the hyperlink. Descriptive anchor text helps Google best understand what youre linking to. The default is My Website and this anchor
text is not descriptive enough to help you with SEO. Youre better off changing it to include top keywords, like My Fashion Photography Website. Link to your portfolio,
image archive, blog or any other site youd like to drive traffic to.

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Improving Your LinkedIn Daily


Workflow: Tips from Photographer
Jorge Parra
We turned to advertising and fashion photographer Jorge Parra to get his top tips on how photographers can benefit from LinkedIn. Jorge has who has over 500 connections and has written LinkedIn: A Photographers Guide, Part 1 and Part 2.

PhotoShelter: What are some LinkedIn best practices you can pass along to other photographers?
JP: The main thing is, do not connect with other photographers. Sometimes this may sound rude, since you may be rejecting connections from your peers and personal

connections, but truth is, you want to hook up with potential customers and clients, and other professionals you can do business with. It only makes sense to hook up with
other photographers if you are an educator, presenter or workshop guide, as in these scenarios photographers are the potential clients. In terms of what works on LinkedIn,
the most successful posts come mostly from actively participating in the Answers section, which can greatly impact your ranking on Google.
Jorge also writes in his post LinkedIn: A Photographers Guide, Part 1 that optimizing your individual connections is key to success:

Once you have someone in your network, you have access to his or her email and other contact info, data which
LinkedIn allows you to download to your computer to prepare a contact list. By definition, these contacts are
opt-in, meaning they are all willing to exchange info with you. Because you have this personal info, youre able to
send private, personalized emails to very focused lists of people - those you REALLY want to work with - and
make your best effort to reinforce your relationship with those highly specific people.

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Optimizing LinkedIn: Up Close


with Photographer Scott Wyden
Scott Wyden is a professional portrait, landscape, commercial, and editorial photographer based in New Jersey. Scotts been using LinkedIn for years to make connections
in the photo industry and share insights with others. We picked Scotts brain to understand how hes optimizing the service to expand his photogaphy network.

PhotoShelter: What do you like about LinkedIn? Whats your goal using it?
SW: LinkedIn is a fantastic method to network with other photographers, share

stories, articles, and request feedback on new photographs. If youre a photographer


with another business target in mind then LinkedIn is an amazing tool to use. In
fact, for Business to Business (B2B) marketing, I find LinkedIn better than all of
the social media tools out there. I have been in the process of building a real estate
campaign in New Jersey and LinkedIn will be my main source for marketing to
realtors and real estate investors in the state.

PhotoShelter: Do you contribute to LinkedIn groups? If so, which ones?


SW: I am a member of a variety of LinkedIn groups. Some are about general

photography, some are photographic marketing or business, and some are marketing in general. Its a good idea to join a few local groups if youre planning on
targeting in-state businesses. To share a few: NAPP, New Jersey Young Professionals, NJ Social Media, NJTC, Photo Marketing Association, and Photography
Business & Marketing.

PhotoShelter: Do you have a posting strategy on LinkedIn? What type of content provides you the best response from others?

in a group and people reply, be sure to add your own replies, even if they are thank
you comments. I dont pay attention to specifically when I post content. Instead,
I do it when I have the time. The best content is usually an article about photographic marketing or a specific part of the business. General articles dont do well
on LinkedIn. Finding the niche is important and having it match the group is a
crucial element.

PhotoShelter: What do you urge photographers not to do on LinkedIn?


SW: Dont sync with Twitter
or Facebook. LinkedIn is
best for B2B. The people you
connect with on LinkedIn
are not necessarily concerned
with what you ate for dinner, what wedding you just
finished photographing, or
every tweet that you retweet
on Twitter. Your connections
want to see how your services
can benefit them.

SW: If I write an article that I believe has value for my LinkedIn connections, I

will post the article as a status update. However, if I feel that a specific group will
benefit from the article, I will post it to those groups with additional content to add
even more value. Simply posting your article in a group wont be viewed positively
by the groups members. It might even get a person kicked out. Also, if you do post

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Measuring Success On LinkedIn


There are a few straight forward ways to gage your success on LinkedIn. We recommend you track these two top metrics over the span of at least 3 months to see if your
approach to LinkedIn is working:

Number of contacts:

The more individuals you connect with, the more youre able to create relationships that can lead to potential business opportunities. Although a growing number of contact
is an important metric to measure, the quality of your contacts is equally as important to consider. Is each connection someone you could actually email for your business?
Or are they realistically someone you would never speak to again? These are all things to keep in mind as you track your contacts.

Website traffic:

Remember, you can use Google Analytics to track traffic to your blog, portfolio website, or image archive that comes from LinkedIn. Using this tool, you can develop a
sense of how individual links you post on LinkedIn compel fans to visit your website, and even convert (i.e. buy something) via your website. You can then compare this
data across other social networks to rationalize your time investment, ensuring youre focusing on the greatest return.

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Twitter

Twitter
The words Twitter and Facebook often fall in the same sentence, but the services are quite different. Facebooks platform is more visually driven than Twitter and allows
for lengthier posts which pair nicely with videos or photos. Twitter, on the other hand, gives you 140 characters or less to say what you want to say per tweet. This means
that every word counts, abbreviations are welcome, and posting frequently - something shunned upon on Facebook - is even OK. Consider Twitter a micro-blogging platform. This is your chance to keep users up to date with what youre working on, interact with potential clients, ask questions, get feedback, and share industry news. Twitter
will not work for you unless you engage others, but as soon as you show the Twitterverse that you are there to interact and not just scream from the rooftops, people are
more likely to respond favorably with a follow, retweet, or mention.
You need to think strategically about your message and how you can effectively get it out there. As a photographer trying to expand your business and build your marketing efforts, you should first consider what you want to get out of Twitter. Today, the tool is an essential piece of your online overall marketing plan and efforts to grow your
business, so its worth getting on board if you arent already. In this section, well address ways that you can optimize the platform, build your network, generate awareness
about your products and services, and establish new relationships.

Twitter Facts:

In 2010 alone, 100 million accounts were created and 25 billion tweets were sent. Twitter continues to be one of the fastest growing social media platforms out there.
Whats more:
Twitter has about 300 million registered users
21% of Twitter accounts are blank with no tweets
One billion new tweets are posted every week
There are more than 600 million searches done on Twitter every single day
Everyday, Twitter gets more than 400,000 new users
In 2011, Twitter mobile users increased by 182%
Over the past two years, weve watched photographers take advantage of Twitter and use it productively in a wide range of ways. Its clear that Twitter can help you build
your network, gather information, connect with potential clients, and promote your quality content. In fact, promoting quality content is a theme that runs through this
entire guide. If you post good stuff, you will grow a quality following and attract positive attention. Twitter is no different.

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Why Photographers Should Use Twitter:

If youre intimidated by Twitter, our hope is to get you over that hurdle. Twitter is a marketing machine for your business, but it definitely requires work.
The payoff - attracting thousands of quality followers and creating real business opportunities - is real.
As a photographer looking to expand your business and enhance your marketing efforts, Twitter helps you:
Spread awareness to users and potential clients who may not know about you
Continuously update those who are interested in what you do
Improve your SEO
Drive signups to your newsletter
Build relationships with potential and existing clients
Announce news, special promotions, achievements, and events
Generate interest in your photography so the next time someone is in need of your services, they turn to you
Discuss photography-related issues and news with your peers
Get feedback for your images and your services
Get your questions answered

Getting Set Up

When you pick your Twitter handle, keep in mind that what you choose will appear in all your tweets and retweets from others. Try not to include numbers in your handle.
As tweets are logged in search engines, sites like Google will read numbers as spam and be less likely to rank. If possible, reference your name or your business, or both if
possible. Here are a few Twitter handles from PhotoShelter photographers that we think work well:
@briansmithphoto
@gavingough
@LUCEO
@KendrickBrinson
@Toddbigphoto

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Whats New on
Twitter
Keep Better Tabs on Your Followers:

In the past few months, Twitter rolled out changes to help you track your user engagement. Now when you log on, Twitter lets you know in a new tab found under your @
username when someone retweets you, favorites one of your tweets, mentions you, and
follows you. The new function also helps you learn which Tweets are most interesting to
those in your network. Twitter has also implemented a new Activity tab which highlights the latest tweets, retweets and favorites from the people you follow on Twitter.

Why photographers should care about


these changes:

Twitter is rolling out new changes to help you monitor your followers, keep
tabs on whats interesting, and even give more exposure to your tweets beyond Twitter itself. Twitter may be free, but remember you are giving your
time and thats very valuable. So with these changes, Twitter is helping you
optimize your time spent there.

Twitter Brand Pages:

In December 2011, Twitter announced theyll be launching Twitter Brand Pages,


which will take on a style similar to Facebook. These Brand Pages, which will roll
out slowly for the public in 2012, will let advertisers customize their headers and
make their logo and tagline more central. Brand Pages will also come equipped
with settings that allow administrators to control the message visitors see when
they come to their page. For example, youll now be able to highlight or promote a
specific tweet of yours at the top of your page in a larger and expanded format. For
photography business-focused tweeters, these pages will have great potential to help
raise awareness about the great work youre doing.

Embeddable Tweets

A long awaited request, Twitter will now let bloggers and web developers to embed
tweets on their website. This function rolls out in 2012 with Twitters new redesign
and will soon be available for all. Twitter users will simply enter a line of HTML
code found by clicking embed this tweet located directly below the tweet itself.
Once the tweet is embedded in your web page, visitors can interact it (reply, rewteet,
favorite, and follow) without even leaving your page.

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9 Ways to Grow a Following Fast


1. Tweet regularly.

6. Engage with the big guys.

If your followers are viewing tweets in a timeline, whatever you tweeted two hours
ago is likely buried by other users tweets. Increase followers chances of seeing your
tweet, making it more likely that theyll retweet it.

This is the same as contributing to conversations with regular folks, but if very
influential member of your community mentions you, than you get added benefit of
more people watching.

2. Retweet regularly.

7. Watch your timing and consistency.

Think Twitter karma the more you invest in promoting others, the more likely
they are to reciprocate by promoting you. But also keep in mind that it will be difficult for you to build your own voice if your only activity is retweeting.

Generally, weve found the peak time to tweet is during the US workday, after 12
PM EST. This ensures the largest possible audience for your tweets. If you can, add
some consistency to your tweets by tweeting the same number of times per day.
People will come to expect to see your regular tweets, and share them with their
own followers.

3. Suggest to your connections from other


platforms that they follow you on Twitter.
Use your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook Page, business card, etc. to drive people
to your Twitter page You can easily access widgets to display Follow me on Twitter
on your blog, or even display a stream of your recent tweets.

4. Start and contribute to conversations.


As the conversation unfolds, your commentary is exposed to your followers followers. Anyone watching can contribute and may follow you, too.

5. Credit everything.
Give the ideas originator credit to help build their following.

8. Use strategic keywords.


Think about the likely keywords your desired followers would be using for Twitter
search. What terms do they care about most? What issues do they need to stay on
top of ? Use these keywords frequently in your tweets. The added bonus for this tactic is that youll increase your chances of appearing in relevant Google searches too.

9. Practice reciprocity.
Theres some debate here, but often times, people will follow you if you follow them,
as long as you keep your content helpful and interesting.
We also recommend you check out Twitters own Twitter for Businesses tutorial
for more tips on how to optimize Twitter for your own photography business and
attract quality followers.

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Who Should You Follow?


People often ask, But who should I follow on Twitter? If your goal is to grow your network and build contacts to help your photography business, there are a few key
groups of people you should be following:
1. Your Customers: By following customers new and old, youll be able to listen to their needs and engage with them on a regular basis.
2. Local and National Media: Sometimes getting your big break can come down to getting featured in a local paper, or even a national one. Many journalists and media
contacts turn to Twitter for their own source information, so following these contacts and tweeting at them when appropriate can help get you on their radar.
3. Industry Leaders: Photography industry leaders are well respected and have a considerable following of people who listen carefully to what they say and what they
think. Following these individuals will also help you stay current on what forward thinkers are discussing and keep you within the loop of the photo industry today. By
following key people and retweeting their tweets, you also help yourself by opening the door to getting noticed. Industry leaders who effectively use Twitter should hopefully be receptive to quality @mentions, so think carefully before tweeting at big wig and make it count.
To get you started heres a list of 10 of the most influential photographers on Twitter that are all worth following:
1. @scottbourne: Nature photographer, host of Photofocus.com - 116,275 followers
2. @stobist: Run by professional flasher David Hobby - 59,777 followers
3. @chasejarvis: Commercial photographer and director - 99,074 followers
4. @thomashawk: Photographer and blogger - 26,479 followers
5. @everywheretrip: Travel photographer Gary Arndt - 103,358 followers
6. @joemcnally: Photojournalist Joe McNally - 88,331 followers
7. @scottkelby: President of NAPP - 63,981 followers
8. @jeremycowart: Portrait photographer - 44,598 followers
9. @jasminestar: Wedding photographer and blogger - 38,642 followers
10. @michaelzelbel: German photography specializing in lighting - 26,743 followers

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Twitter Tips From The Expert:


Ken Kaminesky
Based in Canada, Ken Kaminesky is a fine art travel and lifestyle photographer.
In February of 2011, one of Kens photos was featured on the cover of National
Geographic. To date, Ken has 39,700 followers on Twitter (@KenKaminesky). We
wanted to know what Kens doing right on Twitter and any advice all the advice he
has for photographers.

PhotoShelter: Do you have a tweeting strategy? What type of tweets provides

you the best response from others?

KK: I tend to Tweet at times when I think most people will be online. 9am people

are getting to work, grabbing coffee and getting online. Noon, lunch time, and Twitter gets busier. 8pm, relaxing time at home - good time to get your message across
to your followers who are online at home now.
I strongly suggest that you find out through trial and error what times work best
for you and which time zones your followers are in. I use HootSuite which allows
me to track clicks and re-tweets. I also use the StumbleUpon Url Shortener which
is a good way to get the posts you want stumbled. There is always the chance that
a stumbled post can go viral and get you thousands or hundreds of thousands of
clicks.
What provides the best response from others is humour, expressive and colourful
wording, questions, relevant hashtags, and creating the potential for a conversation
with opinionated statements. But be careful with the opinions . What happens in
Vegas may stay in Vegas, but the Internet is forever!

PhotoShelter: What do you urge photographers not to do on Twitter?


KK: Do not talk just about your work, especially if you are not one of the top pho-

tographers in the world with a huge devoted following. Even then Id recommend
against doing that.

Your followers want to get to know you a bit better as a person, not just as a photographer. They can see your work on your website, blog, Photoshelter archive or a host
of other places. Like in real life, you wont make many friends or keep the ones you
have but blathering on about yourself ad nauseum.
I personally would not get involved in political debates, nor would I get into thinks
like Canon vs Nikon kind of discussions. No one wins those arguments, its pointless. Keep it positive!

PhotoShelter: Can you recall some of your most successful (or unsuccessful)
tweets? Why did these posts work or not work?
KK: The tweets that get re-tweeted the most are funny ones, links to spectacular

photos, and quotes that make a strong point. To me the most successful tweet is one
that gets a response from a potential client. Its not something that you can always
plan, but if youre clever enough, you can make these people want to talk with you.
Be creative and try to engage your Twitter target in a conversation. Dont try to
immediately take the conversation to email or other means of communication. Be
patient - it requires time and effort to find out what works best for you.

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7 Reasons to Love Twitter &


3 Reasons to Hate It
With a following of nearly 40,000, we also wanted to know point blank what Ken likes so much about Twitter and even everything he doesnt. So here it is, Kens 7 reasons to love Twitter and 3 reasons to hate it:

7 Reasons Ken Loves It:

1. Twitter is simple and gets to the point in 140 characters. This is not the place for
long drawn out conversations, but it can act as the catalyst to some great follow
ups via email.
2. Twitter acts as an introduction to many people that I would never have had
the chance to meet in real life. Ive connected with magazine editors, ad agency
creatives, tourism boards, hotel chains, airlines, photography related companies,
awesome photographers, talented artists, travel bloggers, photo enthusiasts, and a
bunch of people that I now consider friends.
3. Anyone can follow me and I can follow anyone. How deeply I get engaged with
that person depends on both parties. I tend to follow most people back as a courtesy, and use the list feature quite heavily to classify those who I consider more
relevant or important to my work and personal lives.

like photo sharing, poling your followers, statistical analysis of your tweets, and so
much more.
7. Twitter adapts and evolves in a fluid fashion. Unlike Facebook that always seems
to generate groans from users each time they improve their service, Twitter
updates are quite well received. They understand that they have to keep it simple
and that simple is why we use Twitter.

3 Reasons He Hates It:

1. Twitter is time consuming. Just like getting distracted by going on tangents when
browsing online, Twitter can be a huge time killer. Its fun and social so its easy to get
engrossed and lose track of time.
2. Fail Whale. All too often the Twitter site goes offline because of high traffic volume. Ive never seen this once on Facebook.

4. Twitter is SOCIAL. You really get a chance to connect with people and not brands
or logos like on a Facebook Page. You get to talk to human beings in real time, in a
fun, light fashion. Personalities get a chance to shine. Your likes, dislikes, and taste in
subject matter defines who you are. Most importantly is the fact that you get a chance
to share the real you, the person behind the creative images that you produce. People
want to know who that person is and heres your chance to show them.
5. Twitter is portable. It works well on a desktop computer as well as all forms
of mobile devices like laptops, tablets, and phones. Using third party apps like
HootSuite,TweetDeck, Echofon, and others will make using Twitter an even
more productive experience.
6. There are hundreds of Twitter apps and tools available to help you with things

3. Spam. Yup, just like email spam, there is both regular message spam and direct message
(DM) spam on Twitter. With 40,000 followers, I can get between 25-50 DM spams a day,
mostly from hacked accounts of real followers who have no idea that this is going on.

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Tips from a Twitter Expert:


Jim Goldstein
Jim Goldstein is a travel, nature, and landscape photographer based in San Francisco. He has close to 9, 500 followers on Twitter - a number that is quickly growing.

PhotoShelter: What do you like about Twitter? What is your goal in using it?
JG: My goal using Twitter is to keep people tied in to great information, services

and products... and not necessarily all my own. Ive found social media platforms
like Twitter work best when youve established credibility and trust with your audience. Without credibility and trust you dont just lose your audience, but their power
of referring you and the content you share with others.

PhotoShelter: Do you have a tweeting strategy? What type of content provides

you the best response from others?

JG: I post on Tiwitter as I need to. If content is being automatically posted from

my blog, I may follow up with 1 or 2 retweets for others to find later in the day, but
I do so as needed and at my discretion. There are two trains of thought on this: You
could 1) post the same content numerous times for people who use Twitter at different times or are in different time zones or 2) rely on search for people to find your
updates. I balance both of these approaches. I regularly see followers that will check
in with my updates (some being days old), while others are constantly monitoring
their Twitter stream and clicking on what they see when they see it.

PhotoShelter: What do you urge photographers not to do on Twitter?

JG: The best tip I can give is to be yourself, think of others, and pull back the reigns on
being too aggressive with self-promotion. There is
a time and a place to self-promote, but it should
be tempered. Ive found Twitter to be far more
productive in reaching new people by sharing
90+% of my updates about topics of mutual interest versus being about me, me, and moreme. That
10% or less of self-promotion will reach more
people in the long run.

By and large my planned updates go out in the morning and evening. My other updates
go out randomly. As I read online articles or news, I share it as I find it. If everything
were automated or spread out pragmatically, as some new services offer, I wouldnt be
connecting with others in the same fashion. More than likely I am tweeting at certain
times of the day based on my daily schedule, but Im not adhering to that in a strict
calculated fashion. Somethings are just better shared as you find them.

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Tweets that Work


Why this tweet
works:

Tweeting a quote is a great way to


engage your Twitter followers. Quotes
are often broad and can resonate with
many others, which is an easy way to
encourage retweets. This photography
quote from LUCEO Images is a perfect example.

Why this tweet


works:

Here, award winning photojournalist Ami Vitale is asking her followers


to kindly vote for her film. This tweet
work because Ami is promoting a
good cause and also asking for help.
Research shows that being very direct
with your asks increases the likelihood of engagement.

Why this tweet works:


Fine art photographer Art Wolfe
thanks a follower for stopping by his
show in Seattle. This tweet works
because Art is showing his appreciation for a fans support. Thanking those
who support you is critical because it
lets your followers know that theres
a real person behind your Twitter
account whos actually listening and
responding.

Why this tweet works:

Robert Caplin is a documentary photography who was Justin Biebers official tour
photographer in 2011. We know that not everyone has the chance get to up close to
celebrities, but this tweet works because 1) Robert integrates a photo via Instagram
and 2) hes giving followers some VIP access to a special event. Whats the takeaway? Tweet photos when youre at an event or meeting someone in the industry.

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Measuring Success On Twitter


How do you know if its helping with your online marketing? The answer lies again with Google Analytics. You can very easily unite Google Analytics with links you post
on Twitter to understand the traffic and behavior of visitors you are driving from Twitter. To do this, you need to use another great free Google tool, the Google URL
Builder.
The Google URL Builder allows you to append information to a standard URL that will enable Google Analytics to track all traffic that clicks the link. Google Analytics
can then provide you with reporting on those visitors. Youll get stats like total traffic, time spent on your site, total conversions (i.e. sales, newsletter signups, etc.), bounce
rate (i.e. people who leave your site without clicking other content), and more. With this information, you can do two important things:
Assess the total impact of your participation on Twitter
Assess the individual impact of specific content youve shared on Twitter
If you produce a URL through the Google URL builder, you can shorten the URL using a service like bitly (so the long URL doesnt eat up your 140 character limit on
tweets). You can then view the traffic data in Google Analytics using the Campaigns tab, and sort by campaign, medium, and source.
Once you have a sense of your Twitter-driven website traffic, you can optimize your self-promotion to focus more on what works. If you tie the Google URLs to all campaigns, you
can also compare the total effect of your Twitter participation against other marketing efforts and start making smart decisions about how you spend your time and money.

How PhotoShelter Can Help


PhotoShelter offers a host of social sharing tools that help you promote your work via multiple platforms, including Twitter. Specifically, you can link Twitter and your
PhotoShelter website in two ways:
Help your website visitors to post your work on Twitter. You can easily add a Share This widget to your PhotoShelter website. This is a simple buttons on your
image galleries and single images so that your website visitors can instantly share links to your images via their favorite social networks. You need to make it as easy
as possible for other people to promote your photography.
Post galleries to Twitter. If you have a PhotoShelter account, you can open any image gallery inside your account and click Tweet This! to share your gallery directly with your Twitter followers. The link posted to Twitter will take your followers to your PhotoShelter website. This is great for announcing when new galleries
go live.

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Other Social Media Platforms that


Matter
Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter may be the
most popular social media platforms out there today,
but there are many more that if used the right way, can
help you interact with potential customers and grow
your photography brand. Heres a list of a few that we
thinkare also well worth investigating.

Vimeo

StumbleUpon

The iPhone app is famous for having acquired over a million users in 10 weeks,
and now signs up a new user every second. Instagrams filters and photos borders
make even the worst photos look like art, and sharing images through the app or by
posting images on Facebook has become a very potent marketing tool for pros and
amateurs alike.

Link sharing sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, and the like may seem antiquated in
the Facebook/Twitter age, but based on Google Analytics, we see many of the
top traffic-driving photographers using these platforms to significantly extend
their reach.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a community pin board that has become the darling of fashionistas and
crafty moms. Its a simplified extension of the scrapbooking concept that is incredibly popular in certain parts of the country. Photographers have started to explore
Pinterest, and are carefully towing the line with being overtly commercial on a site
thats more specifically designed for discovery.

Flickr

Although Flickr has lost its sheen in the past few years, its still a potent source
of images and image makers. (You might recall Gettys decision to source images
from Flickr as a way to find new, contemporary talent.) Flickrs commenting system
makes it an inherently social platform, and many photographers have created massive following by constantly loading images into their stream.

YouTube might be the most popular video site on the web, but Vimeo is where the
cool kids hang out. The video hosting service has long been the launch platform for
independent film makers, but photographers have gotten into the mix with the proliferation of DSLR video and all the cool gadgets like computer controlled dollies
and high speed frame rates.

Instagram

500px

Some people refer to 500px as the new Flickr, but what makes 500px so compelling
is that its a highly curated set of imagery set into a aesthetically pleasing design.
Many pro photographers have started to migrate their images to 500px, but will
photo buyers follow?

Tumblr

Although Tumblr is generally considered a microblogging platform, the services


commenting and following features have created a very interactive social environment for its participants. Its massive growth over the past few years has continued
to attract a creative demographic, and as such, the developer and design community
have created a multitude of plug-ins and themes to suit every taste.

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9 Major Takeaways From This


Handbook:
1. Excelling at social media requires time, effort, and a plan. Before getting started you need to ask yourself who youre trying to reach and what youre trying to accomplish.
You then need to tailor your efforts to reflect those answers.
2. This is not an opportunity to shout from the rooftops about you, you, and more you. Regardless of which site youre using, remember the number: 10%. Thats how much
you should be marketing your own sales and promotions.
3. In order to build your brand and grow your following, keep in mind that interacting on social media networks is only part of your marketing efforts. You must balance
this with other outbound marketing strategies (email campaigns, trade shows, advertising, etc.) in order to attract a wider pool of potential customers.
4. To measure success, use a tool like Google Analytics to track incoming referral traffic from Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Then monitor Google Anlaytics
daily to get a solid understanding of which platforms and specific posts draw people directly to your business and niche industry.
5. Remember youre using social media to help get your business noticed. Refrain from using your profiles to conflate your professional and personal life. People want to get
to know your personality, but that doesnt mean you should be sharing posts about the latest movie you saw and why you liked it. Youre there to talk about topics that
relate to your niche.
6. Incorporate your blog and website links into your social shares. Sites like Google and Bing are slowly (but surely) allowing user-generated content links to affect search
engine index ranking. This means that the more people who like or +1 your content, the better your SEO.
7. On every platform, your responsiveness to those who mention you or post on your page is key. Quickly responding lets your followers know that youre listening, you
care, and youre receptive to suggestions and feedback. This adds to your credibility as a good business person with excellent customer service.
8. When 24 hours in the day is not nearly enough, PhotoShelter helps optimize your time by making social media sharing efficient and easy, and helps you drive traffic
directly back to your PhotoShelter site. You dont need PhotoShelter to use social media to help build your photography business, but dang, it definitely makes your life a
lot easier.
9. Make social media part of your daily workflow! Social media is not something you should pay attention to once a week or only on the weekends. Create a consistent
daily schedule with dedicated times to post, share, and interact with users. This will help grow your following and increases your chances for solid business opportunities.

P H O T O S H E LT E R | T he P hotographer s S ocial M e d ia H an d boo k Part I I : W I N T E R 2 0 1 2

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