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Old are the days of post cards, rotary telephones, floppy disks and a slew of other media making devices, and yet few disruptive replacements have solicited such an array of reactions as the cell phone camera. Amateurs, prosumers, and experts alike now find themselves X-Pro filtering their way through Instagram; another form of social media that is hard to measure and even harder to monetize. This week liveBooks wraps up its series on social media with a look into Instagram and the role it plays in a photographers’ social media mix.
The role of mobile devices continues to change the landscape of marketing for businesses and professional photographers. Since Instagram is largely consumed on a mobile platform it is important to develop the dialogue around how mobile devices are influencing the landscape of social media and how it is consumed.
Mobile social media tends to be consumed and produced as short snippets of information. Photos, links, videos and other manifestations of social content are viewed, shared or dismissed as quickly as they’re posted. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, which have both a web and mobile presence, Instagram only operates on a mobile platform and is therefore optimized for a primarily mobile viewing experience. Is your content optimized to tell a quick short story, or is your work better seen in a larger collection? This is an important distinction to make when deciding if and how to add Instagram into your social media strategy.
The goal with marketing on Instagram is to add followers and create awareness that will lead others to your web presence. Because Instagram doesn’t allow outbound links on its commenting platform you will likely not see an SEO bump that you can directly correlate, even if you’re receiving a lot of attention. With this being said, you can still include your website with your profile page and put a comment on your content that encourages your followers to view your website. Hashtags are the most Instagram-friendly way to share your content and can be a useful way to spread your message.
With 40+ million total users and 2+ million users per day, maybe you want a piece of the action but are unsure of whether or not it fits your photography business goals. The way it’s designed, Instagram is great for sharing your work and serves as another “free” venue for marketing; however, Instagram isn’t for everyone and as a photographer you will need to make some decisions about what types of content you feel comfortable posting. Check out this great article featuring liveBooks client Ed Kashi talking about what he likes and dislikes about using Instagram as a professional photographer.
If you find yourself on the rocks here are 5 simple ways to introduce Instagram into your social media mix.
This post concludes our series on Social Media for Photographers. Let us know how you felt about this series, send your feedback, ideas, comments, and suggestions to Resolve@livebooks.com. For the latest news from liveBooks, and for added information and access to tools that will help you grow your photography business, stay connected to liveBooks through Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.