This is the 9th post in a 10-part series called "10 Reasons Why You Aren't Getting More Clients." Here's a link to the rest of the series in case you missed it.
I don't even want to know how much time I spend on Facebook every day.
Certainly more than I watch TV, edit, or do almost anything if I'm honest.
And yes, it helps me grow my businesses. Yes, it helps me connect with people. But more often than not, I'm simply wasting my time.
In fact, if Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any of the other social media sites are not bringing you extra clients in some way, you are wasting valuable time that could be better used and bringing you more clients from other outlets.
So let's discuss Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and a few tips for using them correctly and tips for knowing when you're just wasting your time.
Facebook just went through some MAJOR changes that has made it much less effective as a marketing tool as it was in the past and is now charging you to get more views on your posts.
However, even with the recent changes, Facebook can still be a good tool for growing your business. Keep to the basics.
Market your business using a fan page and not your personal profile. You can still link to your business page from your personal profile, but try to keep them separated so your real friends don't get annoyed (and trust me, the do, and if they want to see your images they'll follow your fan page).
Tag your clients in the images, or encourage them to tag themselves and share so that they can show their friends. Use a "Call to action" by telling them to share, like, and comment on the post and photo so that more people see them. This works here very well, as people are used to doing these things anyways.
Tag vendors, businesses, and anyone else related to the shoot somehow. Have a prop from a local business in a photo? Tag them so they can see it. Tag a wedding venue, a location, anything that is relevant to the photo and will help you grow your relationship with other businesses.
Post quick questions that are easy to respond to and get people engaging with your posts. Make sure to stick around and respond after posting it.
Don't waste your time doing the following, as they won't bring you any extra clients.
Don't spam groups asking for likes. People who click the "like" button on your page but don't actually care about it will only hurt how often your posts show up in newsfeeds because your engagement rate will be lower. Not only that, but spending a lot of time growing a following on a third party network that you don't control can be a waste of time if they have changes like the recent one where they basically took away half of its effectiveness.
Tagging your business all over the place in random comments doesn't really help you get more clients either. Sorry. Plus it looks super spammy and annoys people.
Sharing trivial stuff like what you had for lunch with all your followers is not going to get you more clients unless you're a food photographer or blogger, so don't bother. Unless it fits into your brand and your target client is sure to resonate with it, you're wasting your time and losing peoples' interest.
Unless you're mostly marketing to other businesses, Twitter is a great waste of time for most people.
Unless you know for a fact that your prospective clients are on Twitter, don't bother trying to get clients there. My clients aren't there. It's a complete waste of my time to try and get new clients there.
However, that being said, it's a GREAT place to network with other vendors which CAN help you get more clients.
So as long as you know why you're there and how to use it, it can be helpful. But generally speaking, I don't believe most people use Twitter unless they own a business, band, or are otherwise trying to grow an audience.
Pinterest is amazing when used correctly, but can be a huge time suck as well.
Instead of using Pinterest to try and get new clients, use it as a resource for helping current clients get outfit inspiration, prop ideas (if that's your thing), or location ideas. I think most people will have a hard time getting clients directly because they saw your image on Pinterest, but if you have a prospective bride find your site and see that you have lots of boards that will help her plan her wedding, she will be more likely to hire you.
So use it to provide resources for your clients, but don't worry about pinning your images as a way to get more clients.
How have you used social media to grow your business? What has worked well, and what has been a waste of time? Leave a comment below and share!
Jamie M Swanson is a Madison Wedding Photographer who shares her secrets about photography marketing over at The Modern Tog. Click to check it out!