Social Strategies to Grow Your Business featuring Jennifer Prisco Photography
After starting her photography business, Jennifer found success by utilizing the power of social media to gain clients and increase her exposure with little to no investment. Whether you're a seasoned photographer or just starting out, these social media tips and tricks are sure to help save you time and money!
About a year ago, I decided to pursue my dream of turning my passion for photography into a reality and started my business. If you’ve started a business within the last few years, you’ll know that creating a Facebook page for your business is almost as important as choosing a business name. Once I had everything set up, I invited all of my friends and family to begin “liking” my page. Then comes the ultimate question: What’s next? Am I supposed to update my status? Share photos? How do I get more likes? If you find that you've ever asked yourself these questions, whether you are a seasoned photographer or a newbie like me, I am about to give you some really great tips. Through trial and error and spending countless hours reading articles until the wee hours of the morning, I created a plan with ideas that worked for me. I will share with you everything that has helped me build my business from essentially nothing to averaging more than 100 likes per month on Facebook. This allowed me to quit my office job of 14 years and practice photography fulltime after only five short months. Amount spent on advertising? Zero.
Now, this is certainly not the end all as I am still learning how to effectively market myself every single day. I am simply going to put everything I have learned so far in one place.
• Content: Make sure you post regularly to Facebook but be mindful of your content. I post almost daily with an average of 1-3 posts per day. It seems like a lot but I promise, it’s not. We are photographers. Post pictures! Facebook seems to increase exposure when I include a picture with my posts. If I am posting something that isn’t getting at least 20 likes, I analyze to figure out what I could do better next time.
- • Time of day: You want to post when you can gain the most exposure. Studies show that we tend to check Facebook first thing in the morning, quite early actually. Likely we are reaching for our phones before we are even out of bed. I have found this to be the best time to post (remember, you can schedule post times). Evening brings increased engagement as well, but I find that I am competing with others and my exposure decreases during this time.
• Engage your audience: The more likes and comments a post gets, the more exposure Facebook will give you. Ask questions. Sometimes I will edit a photo with a few different actions and ask my Facebook audience what they think. Which do they like best? This will get your users engaged and boost your exposure. Do not ignore comments. At the very least, “like” every single comment that comes your way but respond if you can. Even a simple “Thank you!” will show your appreciation. Don’t forget to like the post from your personal Facebook page and share. BUT WAIT! Don’t do this right away. I usually wait a day as this helps extend your exposure time.
• Sneak peeks: Tag, tag, tag! Tag clients. Tag location. Tag yourself! If Facebook won’t allow you to tag a certain someone, message your client and tell them the sneak peek is posted. Then give them a friendly reminder that they may share and tag themselves and their friends.
• Blog: Blog your sessions. We all know how important blogging is for SEO but it’s an essential part of your social media game as well. I always share my blog link to my business Facebook page and I make sure the image shown is one that has not been shared previously to draw users in.
• Networking: I network a lot and make it a point to donate my services in different ways. If I donated a raffle basket for an event, I share photos and tag away. Tag other businesses and business owners whenever possible. Share links and photos to their page and ask them to do the same. "Like" their stuff and they will (hopefully) return the favor.
• Page Insights: I admit that I had no idea what I was looking at when I first started. So many numbers and so many options. Familiarize yourselves with your page insights. This tool is ridiculously crucial in getting the most out of your social media. You can see how many clicks you have on each of your own posts. It will help you decipher how many users are just clicking “like” and how many are actually checking out your work. This is probably THE most important tip I can give you. Use it. Learn it. Know it.
• Know your competition: Facebook page insights can be a bit overwhelming but these numbers are amazingly helpful! You can “Watch” your competition. You can see type and frequency of their posts and how much activity they are receiving. Use this tool, guys. You can see what kinds of photos are receiving the most activity and which aren’t. Don’t be afraid to "like" these pages and follow them for inspiration and even venture outside of your footprint.
• The others: The only other social media platforms I use right now are Instagram and Pinterest. Both are a work in progress but I find that overusing hashtags (especially on Instagram) can only benefit you. I am gaining 1-2 followers a day on Instagram since I started sharing my work and hashtagging like crazy (i.e. on a newborn photo I might caption with #newbornphotographer #newbornbaby #Newbornposing #BostonNewbornPhotographer – a bit repetitive but it works!).
I always link my Pinterest posts to my blog, not my Portfolio. Pinterest can be pretty exciting when all of a sudden some of your work is getting re-pinned like crazy! I tend to prioritize this one last because I am more likely to get actual business from Facebook; but Pinterest will get me more traffic and exposure and possibly more followers, so it all comes full circle. I include my Facebook page link on both my Pinterest and Instagram.
My very last social media marketing tip is to be sure to use your support system to the best of your ability. What I mean is, require all around you to "like", comment and share everything you post! I write this with a smile but there is some truth to this. In the beginning I shared some basic info regarding my marketing with my family and close friends. “Hey guys! Facebook won’t put me out there unless I have lots of 'likes' and comments. If you see one of my posts 'like' it, share it. Tag people who may be interested.” This helped me a ton in the beginning and everyone was happy to help.
How do you currently use social media to grow your business? Are you using other platforms to market your work? Do you have a budget for your social media marketing efforts? If so, do you feel it has been instrumental in growing your business? Let us know in the comments below, we'd love to hear your marketing tips.