Photography in the days of the camera phone means there’s a TON of noise out there.
So if you want to grow your photography practice, you’ll need to become a savvy marketer to get noticed.
Fortunately, there’s a number of quality social media platforms for photographers to leverage. Some of which can send tremendous amounts of traffic to your galleries.
Below we’re going to cover the 7 best social media channels for photographers and help you with some tips to get you more exposure and help you grow the authority of your website so you can capture more likes and organic (and lasting) traffic.
Let’s dive in...
1. Vero Social
Vero Social is a relatively new platform that lets you share anything you want. This includes photos, videos, and even audio on your feed.
What’s great about this platform is that they don’t show ads which means they currently have no incentive to squash your organic reach.
If you’ve been using Facebook for the last few years, you’ll know what I mean. A few years ago you could share a post and all your friends would see it. You’d get tons of likes, shares and even new business from it.
Then they started showing ads and updated their algorithm so that nobody sees your post unless you pay to boost or create an ad.
Joining Vero is like getting on Facebook 5 years ago. You’ll get strong engagement, everyone can see your posts, and you may even pull some new business from it.
While instagrams owned by Facebook and works against you, it's still a great photo sharing platform if done right.
To properly use instagram, there’s a few tips I have for you:
Research your hashtags and leverage ALL 30 hashtags you’re allowed to use.
Keep a consistent theme on your page.
Like and comment on other peoples posts who have a similar audience.
When you’re researching hashtags, you can use a hashtag generator like leetags to get some ideas. But don’t rely exclusively on that.
Instead, pull the 5-10 most popular hashtags it gives you.
Then go to other popular pages that offer photos in the same industry. For example, if you’re a travel photographer, find the most popular travel photography pages and swipe 5-10 of their tags.
If it's working for them, it will work for you.
Repeat this process until you have a group of 30 hashtags and start using them on all your photos.
If you look at the most popular instagram pages in your industry, I’m willing to bet their pages have a consistent theme/layout.
If you look closely, you’ll be able to see what they’re doing.
Notice anything in the image below?
Super consistent and 229k followers...
It could be that they’re using the same filter or filter set on all their photos or it could be the layout of their page. Are they alternating photos and inspirational quotes?
It doesn’t necessarily matter what they’re doing but I want you to take note and aim to make your page as consistent as possible. Start using the same filters or alter your page layout so it has a theme.
Like and Comment
You’ll want to get your follower up and get other people sharing your stuff. The fastest way to do this is by liking, commenting and sharing other people's stuff.
You’re “digging the well before you’re thirsty” so to speak.
As you interact with other people's posts, they’ll begin interacting with yours and before you know it you’ll start racking up your own followers.
3. Stumbleupon (now Mix)
Stumbleupon is a place where people go to find inspiration and interesting things. These “interesting things” can be photos, videos, blogs and more.
People will rate your posts by interest and they currently have somewhere around 10 million monthly users.
The easiest ways to increase your exposure on Stumbleupon:
Fill out your profile and be specific
Select topics you’re interested in
Upload a profile pic
Find and follow users
Quick note - there’s no automatic follow back button on Stumbleupon so you kind of have to hope they follow you. To increase your chances, you can see how many people they’re following. If it's a decent number, there’s a good chance they’ll follow you back.
Remember how I said I’ll show you how to get more exposure and grow your website's authority?
Flickers a great platform for both. They have millions of monthly users including high visibility bloggers who need photos for their websites.
We’ve used Flickr for some of our marketing clients to help them get links back to their site (I’ll show you how below) and grow their organic reach.
To get started, just go to Flickr and create your account. It’s very easy.
From there, start uploading your photos.
You have the option to create albums or just create one large photo stream. If you’re planning on posting photos from different locations, with different themes in mind, or something like that, you’ll want to make albums for each. Otherwise, you can stick with the photo stream.
Now make sure you’re comfortable with people using these photos and these aren’t the primary photos you’re trying to sell.
Your goal here is to get exposure for your photography business and acquire links to your site - not sell photos.
Once you’ve selected and uploaded your photos, go through and fill out the description for each photo. I put something like this:
“Name of your photo. Feel free to use this image how you see fit but please attribute our site in the form of a link: yourwebsite.com”
Now that you have the description in place, add unique tags to each photo. For example, if you’re posting a photo of Milford Sound in New Zealand, include tags like:
Be specific and use as many tags as you need. This helps you get discovered when people are searching for these photos. It also helps you get discovered when people use Google image search.
For each image you upload, set the license to “attribution required”. This way people will find you when they search for creative commons licensed photos (which is what everyone's looking for).
You’ll also want to fill out your profile information on your account.
From here, people will like and use your photos on their blogs with a link back to you. This can take a few months to start seeing results so be patient and don’t freak out if you’re not getting shares on day one.
Now, here’s the one thing you need to know: people will share your images without linking to you. It comes with the territory.
To claim your well deserved links, use Google reverse image search. Enter the url for your image and it’s going to show you everyone who’s using it. Go to their sites and, if they’re not linking to you, email the blog owner and let them know they need to link to you.
Not everyone's going to respond and it's up to you if you want to pursue it.
I personally don’t since it's a lot of time for not a lot of payoff. I write it off as part of the game and move on.
Each link you get though will make a difference in your website's “authority” in Google's eyes and help you start capturing more organic traffic. Not to mention people will click through to your website from the people who share your images.
Youpic’s another new contender in the social media for photographers market. I
t's similar to Flickr in sense that people can like, comment and share your photos. You don’t need a ton of photos to start getting views and the numbers can be impressive if you have decent images.
To get started, just sign up for the platform, upload your photos, and fill out as much info as you can.
It's a good idea to like and comment on other people's photos as well which will get some of them to check you out and do the same for you.
Chances are you know all about Pinterest. To leverage Pinterest and grow your photography business, you’ll want to use a program like Canva to make Pinterest sized graphics.
This way the photos you share fit their dimensions and look nice.
The Pinterest audience really cares about visuals so do your best to make your posts pop. Start sharing your pins, create boards, and share other peoples pins.
Pinterest rewards you for being active so you’ll want to share something daily if you can.
Once you get 30 or so pins on your board, start reaching out to popular boards in your industry and asking to become a contributor. You can then share your pins to tens and even hundreds of thousands of viewers.
7. Offer Photos to Bloggers
I realize this isn't a "social Media" tip. But this is a really good hack for both bringing traffic and getting you backlinks. Reach out to bloggers in your industry and offer them photos.
To find bloggers, Google things like:
Common questions people ask
For example, if I took travel photos, I would Google:
What are the best activities in (location)
Each of those queries will bring up blogs you can reach out to.
Once you have a list of blogs, go to their site and find articles where your photos could work.
Then find their email address on the contact page. If you can’t find their email, fill out their contact form.
Here’s what to say:
I was reading your blog today and I thought we might be able to work together.
I noticed you write articles on (topic) and I really like your writing style. I’m a photographer in the (industry) and I have some unique photos that would compliment your posts.