Photography

Facebook Marketing; an Interview with Rod Evans

Colyn Montgomery

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Animoto speaks to Rod Evans, owner/photographer of Evans Images and Evans Portaits and founder of RodEvans.tv.

You are a huge fan of using Facebook as a marketing tool for your photography business. Why are you such a fan of using social media marketing & Facebook to build your business?

Rod Evans

Facebook is a big part of the new marketing model for my business, instead of spending lots of money on expensive direct mail pieces that are becoming less effective, I am putting more effort into social marketing. There are various differences between social marketing and traditional marketing. In traditional marketing, you are trying to interrupt people’s routines to get your message heard. If you interrupt them enough times or are clever enough, they will hear you.

I am not saying that traditional marketing does not work, and if it works for you great. I am finding that it is becoming less effective and harder to be heard, so we are adding social marketing to the mix. That is where you find where your clients are, become a part of their community and become a solution for them.

To effectively use social marketing you must first change your attitude about what you are willing to give and share. Sharing information and even a few images, such as with an Animoto show, can gain you immense exposure to your target audience and business. Social marketing takes more time than money. Although we do spend some money for advertising on Facebook, it isn’t much in comparison with direct mail. You must invest time daily to update information, images, respond to comments. For us it is about 20-30 minutes per day for updating. That is time I enjoy though. I get so many great comments and feedback from the images we post. I love responding to what people like. It gives me great insight as to what people are into. Social marketing is not our only marketing tool. We incorporate other things like displays, charity events, and even occasional direct mail to our client base.

How have you used Animoto in conjunction with this social media marketing plan?

We use Animoto to get seniors excited about our studio and our work. We photograph our senior representatives January- February and post their shows on our Facebook where everyone who is our friend sees them. We have the senior representatives post them to their Facebooks, tag us and all the seniors’ friends see what we do. This gets us lots of exposure early in the year and gets the bookings started. The videos are exciting, fun and professional. They really get people’s attention.

As you have noted in your Evans Creative Training site, Facebook is the #1 photo-sharing site in the world. Recently, Facebook became the #2 video sharing website in the world as well (after YouTube). How important is video for leveraging social networking?

Video is HUGE!! It has so much more impact than the written word, I think you will see more web sites shifting to more video content in the future.

One of the myths you debunk in your training is that “you are too old to learn” social networking. Can you enlighten us a bit on how easy social media tools like Animoto can be for even those unfamiliar with using online marketing tools?

Social networking does take a little time to learn, but Animoto is so intuitive ANYONE can use it. The interface really is as easy as 1 -2- 3 and 4…. I can’t think of another software that is easier to use than Animoto. We have trained everyone on our staff in less than 5 minutes. You really just log on and follow the steps.

You have actually been uploading Animoto hi-res videos to Facebook. Do you then tag clients in them or use them as promotional pieces that potential clients can see?

I do upload the hi-res. I think it shows off my photography better. I do tag them. I don’t want to be confusing about Facebook, but tagging recently was changed and only the person tagged is notified in the newsfeed. Their friends’ newsfeed does not show they were tagged anymore.

Animoto recently instituted a “Tweet Your Videos” feature that gets videos on Twitter. Can you shed some light on clever usages Animoto can be used on Twitter?

I have Twitter, but it hasn’t been as effective on Twitter as on Facebook for me. I know some others have success and I need to learn from them.

On Facebook, you have two pages – one for your Senior Market & one for traditional portraits. Are you able to use Animoto even among your more subdued portrait photography?

ABSOLUTELY…. Change the music and it changes the whole feel of the transitions and slideshow.

You use social media sites to actually allow clients to book sessions with you. Animoto’s Call-to-Action button does just that as well. How successful have you been at booking sessions with these Call-to-Action features available on social networking site and Animoto videos?

I personally just added this to my videos and think it is fantastic! We now direct them to our site. Animoto is so cutting edge and putting this button in is profitable and effective for photographers.

In your Creative Training, you say that Facebook comments on your photos and videos “are like gold.” What has the reaction been like when you post Animoto videos to Facebook?

Basically people are freaking out… and asking how did you do that?

Any last tips to fellow Animoto for Photography users?

Once you get the buzz going with your representatives, others will ask, “how can I get a show like that?” You can include it in your larger senior or child packages to encourage higher order averages.

I have more information on rodevans.tv with free educational videos. If anyone wants to get a fast start on setting up an effective Facebook presence and marketing plan, go to rodevans.tv and enter the code rodevanstv and get $30 off any of our educational materials that are immediately downloadable.