Hi, and welcome back to the 3XM Blog, this time we’ll be looking at new ways to promote your photography business through the use of social media sites.
Social media marketing is as always on the rise and a common questions we receive is ‘what social media should I use?’
Now, for anyone who’s familiar with 3XM you’ll know that our own Jenny Johnston is the Facebook advertising guru!
So we in this post we’ll be skipping the more traditional social media of Facebook and Instagram and focusing on some other avenues you can take.
We’ll be looking at some sites that you should add to your social media strategy.
Ok, so let’s get started. First up is the rabbit hole of Reddit!
What is Reddit?
First of all what is Reddit?
To new users Reddit can often seem to be a heaving mess of content and opinions and, well, that’s exactly what it is! That’s what makes it unique.
Reddit is made up of thousands of subreddits that each deal with different topics. So for example there’s a r/fitness thread, as well as r/politics and r/football. Subreddits are where you’ll be spending your time. These are where you'll be posting and interacting with other Redditors as they’ve come to be known (one of us, one of us, one of us!!).
So get started and set yourself up a Reddit account. While it’s fine to browse and research without an account, you won’t be able to comment or like anything without an account.
And this is the key part, liking or upvoting is what gets posts moved up the line on Reddit. A post that has enough likes will eventually reach the front page. Bear in mind this a pretty tough thing to achieve!
Every time you comment and interact with something on Reddit it’s linked to and stored in your account, so bear this in mind when using it. If you want to get involved with some threads that are, shall we say, Not Safe for Work, I suggest making a separate account for personal use.
Just keep in mind that karma doesn’t transfer between accounts.
On that note, usernames cannot be changed once they’ve been chosen so pick one wisely!
How to use Reddit to drive traffic
Ok so how to actually use Reddit for the industry of photography.
Well as we said it’s made up of subreddits. To begin you'll want to “subscribe” to various threads. For photography, the options are endless: r/photography, r/itookapicture and r/photography_gear are a good place to start.
But don’t leave it there. There are loads of places that can be used for promotion. r/midlyinteresting, r/todayilearned and r/askreddit are also great to get involved in. Have a browse yourself and see what you come across.
The key here is to find something related to your niche. There are plenty of threads all about weddings, pets and art. There is something for everything!
And on the chance that there isn’t a thread, feel free to go ahead and set one up.
What do Redditors want?
Reddit is a place for originality, people here don’t want to be spammed with your marketing messages. So get involved in a natural way. Become an active member in subreddits and build your profile. Strategies like this take time but you'll see results if you keep at it.
Aside from building your own account you can also advertise on Reddit.
Spending on the Reddit ads platform is flexible and the minimum daily spend for an ad on our self-serve platform is $5. At this time, CPM is the only cost model for Reddit’s ads auction. The Reddit Ads platform uses a second price auction based system, which means you pay a cent higher than the next highest bidder
You can also target your ads to all of Reddit or select particular subreddits and interest, obviously we recommend targeting as specifically as possible for better uptake!
Whatever way you choose, just make sure it’s original and unique. Reddit is a fantastic tool if used correctly, the people here (mainly middle-aged, university-educated men!) are passionate and can really get behind something if it’s worthwhile.
It’s a community there, get involved!
YouTube marketing strategy
YouTube certainly needs no introduction!
The monster video-sharing site is a marketing powerhouse. For a professional photographer it offers limitless opportunities.
YouTube offers several benefits that are unique compared to other social media platforms. First of all, it’s owned by Google. If you consider Google as the number 1 search engine then YouTube is number 2.
Simply put, Google loves video, it ranks well on search pages. YouTube videos are a great way to improve your rank, embed them on your blog and you’ll be flying.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter or Instagram YouTube videos don’t disappear down the stream or feed, they’re always available. They also get better with age, a video only gets stronger the more views it has so aim to produce evergreen, ageless content that can still be relevant a long time after it’s published.
There’s also a sense of community on YouTube. Like Reddit, people here are passionate about your topic, that’s why they’re watching. So like and comment widely in your field. The more of a presence you create the better.
Remember that your page is always open to more visitors. Create great, accessible content and you’ll start to see it pop up in the related videos section. This opens your channel up to a whole new audience.
So, we know that YouTube is a great resource but just how can you use it to boost your photography profile?
Well, there are a number of different things you can do.
You can essentially treat this as an online video portfolio, create videos sharing your work and shoots. YouTube has plenty of free music you can use as backdrops. Just be sure to keep the video informative and concise.
The same as any portfolio, don’t throw everything in one video. If you shoot across different disciplines, split them up and give each its own time.
Make sure you’re also tagging and naming your videos correctly. As we mentioned, YouTube is great for search ranking. So do your keyword research as if you were writing a blog post and make sure to include it in the title and the description.
Another idea is to vlog your entire day. Take “A Day in the Life” approach and take people through the comings and goings of a busy shoot day. Or make one across several days, people like to see the process of how you work.
Most of all, just be yourself and honest. This is a great chance for customers to put a face to the name of your business.
As all social media, YouTube also gives the option of promote your videos. Be careful to select your target audience.
Once you’ve made your YouTube ad you’ll really want to focus on tracking your ad views and most importantly the click through rate.
Low numbers for either of these will give you an idea of how your video is preforming. Poor stats could indicate people don’t want to watch your video, maybe your targeting the wrong people, or your content isn’t strong enough.
Either way, start an ad and let it run, and adjust as you see fit. If this is a new avenue for you don’t be afraid to play around with and see what works best for you.
OK, so that's Reddit and YouTube, last we're going to talk about the Twitter spin-off: Medium.
Using Medium to promote your content
Medium is a blogging platform that was set up by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams back in 2012. Williams wanted a way for people to share their content beyond the 140 (now 280!) characters that Twitter limited its users to.
Similar to other social media platforms, Medium allows for content to be shared on your page and it can be liked and shared across all social media. Medium has a simple and clean interface that makes it easy and pleasant to both read and navigate.
Every post is tagged to a certain topic and can be pushed to certain publications. So for instance, there are literally thousands of posts tagged as ‘photography’ or ‘photography tips’.
Once you’ve signed up and linked your Twitter or Facebook account you can go ahead and upload your first post, or story as they’re called here.
I suggest you upload a previously written post that is already hosted on your own personal blog (just be sure that your original post is marked with a rel-canonical tag, this helps Google to see that this isn’t duplicated content. If you use WordPress or something similar, this tag is more than likely already there automatically!)
As we mentioned with the photography tag, there are already thousands of posts on Medium. It has over 30 million monthly users so you do have a chance to reach a massive audience.
Medium is full of writers, both aspiring and established, and they know goof writing when they see it so make sure you’re posting your very best content here. Medium is a place for articles so don’t be afraid to post your longer content here. People are on the site to read so let them have it.
For each Medium story you add you’ll see the time it will take to read it listed. Stories that are between 3 and 7 minutes tend to get the most interaction so just keep this in mind when you’re adding it.
As with all social media platforms users don’t want to be constantly spammed by hard sells or repeated content so work towards producing meaningful, relevant content and get involved with the Medium community.
So, there we have it.
There are countless ways to promote your photography business and social media is certainly an effective one. But don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Facebook and Twitter are fantastic tools but they’re just the tip of the iceberg.
Using Reddit, YouTube and Medium to promote your website is a step in the right direction.
We live in a digital world, so make sure you’re living a digital life!