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November 8th, 2012

Defining the Photographer’s Social Media Strategy – Part I

Posted by Sam Eriksmoen


Defining your social media strategy begins with knowing you.  This week we’ll get you on the path to building a useful strategy that aligns with where you want to take your photography business.   If you haven’t done so already, check out my Week 1 post, Social Media for Photographers: Where to Begin, as I’ll build on that information this week and each week throughout this series.

The Photographer’s Social Media Strategy

As often as we see and interact with social media, it’s uncommon for us to think strategically about how we use it.  If you’re like many, you dabble across the different social media platforms and wonder which ones you should be focusing on to get the most return.  This is where many photographers go wrong. Instead of asking, “What social media do I need to be using?” you might instead ask, “Why do I need social media for my business in the first place?” It’s a simple question, and one that’s often overlooked, but even attempting to answer it will help you begin to look at social media as a tool for achieving your larger business goals. And when you begin to do that, you are definitely on the right track.

3 Steps to Help You (Re)frame Your Social Media Strategy

Before you can game plan your social media attack, you must first understand why you’re in the game to begin with.  Try following these three steps to (re)frame your social media strategy.

1. Identify a series of end-goals and set a time frame for achieving them. Keep it simple, but definable. For example, “I want to increase the amount of wedding-related inquiries I have by 15% over the next three months,” or “I want to expand my client base 50 miles beyond what I normally do now.”  List timely goals and prioritize them.

2. Identify what’s limiting you from reaching these goals. Maybe you feel you need to have more people see your work, or you feel like you don’t have enough exposure in public venues.  Be clear about what you think is holding you back. Doing so will help you focus on overcoming such barriers.

3. Identify what you’re currently doing to be successful. As you begin to define your process, and to implement social media strategy, you should start to see some success. Document your methods of achieving that success and build on it. Then continue to try new ideas.

Once you’ve identified your businesses goals and begun to think about ways to achieve them through social media, you can begin to look at specific platforms for achieving success. For example, you might use real-time Twitter updates or Foursquare promotions to encourage people to check out your location. Or, you can use Facebook to build your community and advertise an event. Whatever you come up with, you’ll be much more effective with your social media time by connecting it to real, measurable business goals.

In conclusion, it’s important to recognize social media as a series of tools and not a be-all-end-all marketing solution.  At the end of this exercise you should have a clear idea of what larger goals to focus your social media efforts around.  If you’ve taken the time to define the “why” of your social media strategy, the “who” and “how” will naturally follow. Good luck!

NOTE: Tune in next week for Part II of this post, when I’ll help you segment your social media market and clarify action steps to reach the various segments.

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 and Twitter.

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