Kind of a rant…
So, If you own a business there are certain things you need to know before dedicating your precious time to creating content after content for social media. First off, your client is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube & Snapchat. These platforms are so diverse that yes, there are all kinds of markets and all kinds of potential clients. And if you happen to think that traditional marketing is the only way to reach your clients, then you haven’t been paying attention. Your client is out there. Somewhere.
I like to think of social media as a video game or a virtual reality, because that is exactly what it is to me. Have you ever played any video game? If you have, then you know that there are always cheat codes, shortcuts or other ways to finish the game, or have the highest score. Having said that, social media is not a video game however, that doesn’t stop people from looking for shortcuts.
Well, just like game code, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have algorithms. And only mention those three because those are the biggest right now for promoting your business and turning viewers into clients. SnapChat has been getting a lot of business traffic but it’s not there just yet because it’s target audience doesn’t even own a credit card. But it’s getting there, many brands are making content specifically for snapchat.
This is what you will focus your attention to. Your niche. What makes you unique. A niche is not post processing all your photos the same, it’s not only posting photos that super retouched and rectangular or only posting photos of water drops. Those are things that will at some point hinder or block you from achieving your goals. While instagram profiles of color coordinated themes are beautiful and pleasing to look at, they have no other aim or reason and there for seem empty. Like an abandoned ghost town. Surf through Instagram and you’ll find many of those. They have hundreds, even thousands of followers but there’s no engagement.
Social Social Media
The thing about engagement is that Instagram is programmed to be engaging. The algorithm is designed to be as “social” as possible. They want you to comment, like, follow, post regularly, spend as much time as possible on their app so that they can push as many ads to you as they can. Because people, small companies and huge brands are paying for those ads. But where do you draw the line? Here is where I draw the line. I refuse to follow big brands. I will not follow/unfollow to gain “followers”. What is social about that?
When I see a that a photographer from Australia has followed my account and is not in any of the organizations I belong to, is not a name I recognize and know, and has not engaged with my content at all, simply clicked the follow button. I know that person is fishing for followers. But don’t get me wrong, it’s a great technique. It’s also cheating and slightly inmoral. Am I the only one that thinks it’s wrong? Just a bit duchy? Idk, maybe I over think social media. Maybe it’s supposed to be like that, and I’m just not getting it.
I have grown my following organically. I follow the people I love and admire, I use hashtags that are relevant to my photos, I follow hashtags that are relevant to my niche. And I comment on posts that I like, I don’t just double tap on a hundred photos blindly before I post a photo so that my image can get more likes and comments. I feel like all these things that people are doing to “cheat” the algorithm and get more “likes” are superficial and meaningless and vague. Especially, if the photo has no real value. No real “content”.
You don’t have to agree with me, in fact you probably don’t, but I think that misusing social media this way, is not helping your business. What good will it do to your wedding photography business in New Zealand to be followed back by a wedding photographer in the Caribbean? NOTHING. You want my followers to see you? Will they be your future clients? Are you piggybacking on my potential clients? Will my mentors follow you because you liked 3 photos of mine and commented “nice pic” on a photo of a random city space in horrible light? Probably not. Because you’re in New Zealand, Susan! You’re not getting a paying customers from your colleagues on the other side of the globe. Not realistically. So, why are people doing this?
Influencers and micro influencers in social platforms
Keeping in mind that it’s all fake anyway, I’ve had some awesome conversations on Instagram and Facebook. I have met very cool people, worked on many collaborations and even made some friends in person. There are many things I love about social platforms and an even longer list of things I don’t like. But it’s OK, it will someday be whatever you want it to be. Or just tell yourself that…
So, influencers are people with over 25k followers. Micro influencers are people or brands with just under 2k followers. Those are the standards given by stats specialists and people who know numbers and stuff. What I think that an influencer means, is someone that with his or her content influences people to do something, purchase a product or service, or believe in something. But that’s just me. And it doesn’t matter how many people follow you on Instagram, if you got 20 people to buy a specific brand of camera because you shoot with that camera, in my eyes, you’re an influencer. Hats off to you.
Not all instagram accounts are created equal
This is my Instagram account as of September 20th, 2018. I specialize in Documentary & Destination Wedding photography. As you already know, if you read my blog. I’m not an influencer, or even a micro influencer by the current standards, at least. But, I answer all my comments, the real ones- by real people, I see your videos and photos. I sometimes like them. Truth is, I leave my phone in weird places. I’m not attached to it like most people are. I sometimes don’t post in over a month even though I work everyday and do fun things I should be sharing. But when I finally do post something, I give it my all. I’m open and honest. I don’t fake poses or take a million selfies to choose one just to face-tune and upload it for likes… It’s OK if you like that sort of thing, in fact, it’s OK if you do that sort of thing. It’s what makes you YOU, and YOU are why your followers follow you. Keep it real.