You’ve got accounts on Facebook and Instagram, but how do you use them to market your business? We asked world-renowned photographer and The Wedding School founder Susan Stripling to share some of her tips for effectively marketing through social media. Here’s what she had to say:
Have a consistent vision for your social media accounts. “Make a decision and stick with it. A confusing feed, whether it be Facebook or Instagram, won’t help create loyalty from your viewers.” Decide on the kind of content you want to share ahead of time, and make sure what you’re posting matches that ideal. If your Facebook page is strictly professional, for example, a personal story that doesn’t relate back to your business will confuse viewers.
Educate your audience. More than entertaining, more than selling, your social media accounts should be educating your viewers. If you have valuable information for viewers, they’ll keep coming back. According to Susan, “It’s easy to say ‘They’ll come back to see my beautiful work!’ Viewers will do that, but they’ll be more engaged with your brand if you educate. If you’re a wedding photographer, consider writing advice posts for brides. Share tidbits of information to help them maximize their wedding photography experience. If they’ve come to think of you as a trusted resource, they’ll be more apt to hire you when they’re ready.” For example, as a photography educator, Susan always makes sure to post details about her images to help photographers visiting her social media pages.
Be visually engaging. Half the battle is catching your audience’s eye. Susan does that on social media using video. “I’ve even started incorporating videos into my Instagram ads, and I’m seeing the responses are much more invested than when I just posted an image or two. Facebook makes it super easy to set up an Instagram ad. A snappy, quickly-paced video can grab the eye of the viewer in a new, exciting way.” She also uses quick slideshows on her Instagram account to add movement there too.
Know your audience. If you can picture the type of client you want, you’ll find it easier to reach them. Susan shared, “I’ve started creating custom Facebook and Instagram ads targeted specifically to people who live in a certain area and have ‘engaged’ as their relationship status. Tailoring your audience to your specific target market will get your posts and ads in the faces of potential customers in a very nuanced way.”
Post consistently. “With the ever-changing algorithms, the only thing I’ve found to work is consistency and engagement. I post an image daily to Facebook. I post to Instagram nearly everyday. Get your posts up there, make them compelling, have a call to action that encourages engagement, and get in there and comment back!”
To learn more from Susan about ways to streamline your photography business using Animoto, tune into her FREE live Wedding Summit on Tuesday, April 19, 2016.