Posts

Create an Online Photography Marketing Campaign

facebook-offer2Building a successful online marketing campaign for your studio isn’t difficult, but it does take time and planning. Whether you’re marketing to brides, seniors, for a specific holiday, or if you just want to collect fans or email addresses, if you follow the steps below you can maximize your marketing efforts with the least amount of effort.

Create a Landing Page

Creating a good landing page is the most important step in the process. A landing page is a unique page on your website where you’ll send visitors to see your offer and complete a call to action. If you can add pages to your website – and it is mobile friendly – you should create a landing page there. If you have a blog, you can turn an article into a landing page. Otherwise, you can purchase a 3rd party landing page creator like shortstack.com or pagemodo.com. Read more

Track Social Media Links to your Website

social network statisticsHave you ever wondered how many time your studio has been mentioned on social media? A service called sharedCount will tell you in an instant, and it is free.

SharedCount.com looks up the number of times your website’s URL has been shared on major social networks. They filter it directly from the data provided by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and Google+.

Simply type in your website’s home page (or any page), click Analyze, and in a few seconds SharedCount will give you back the totals.

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Latest Trends in Social Media: What You Need to Know

social mediaMy friends 19-year old son was searching for off-campus housing at Northwood University in Midland, where he will be returning to school in the fall. He called his mother excitedly, telling her he’d found both a 2-bedroom house and a roommate.

“How do you know your roommate will like it?” his mother asked.

“I’ve already sent him a video from my phone,” he said.

“Can you send it to me?” his mother asked.

“Nope. You’re not on Snapchat.”

The social media landscape is constantly changing. While posting daily on Facebook may have worked in the past, it is no longer enough. Here are 3 trends you should be aware of if you want to turbo-charge your social media marketing.

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#Hashtags: What You Need to Know

jd photo imaging hashtag for weddingAn Internet practice that has been growing over the years is the use of Hashtags. A hashtag is any word or phrase after the hash mark (#). Made popular by Twitter users, they make it easy to search for the word or a phrase.

Hashtags cover a broad range of topics. They can cover news events, sports, or even inside jokes. The point of a hash tag is that it makes the phrase searchable by anyone looking for that hashtag. Therefore, everyone who uses a hashtag will all appear in the same results.

Hashtags are hugely popular worldwide – so popular in fact, that over the next few weeks, hashtags will be coming to Facebook too. Therefore, it makes sense to learn how to use them today.

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Three Proven Effective Social Media Tools You Should Be Using

Fall 2011 Attitudes and Outlook Survey

Infographic by Constant Contact

A new Fall, 2011 survey of small business attitudes and outlook about social media reveals that social media marketing efforts are paying off. Respondents said they have found success in significant numbers:

• 86% found Facebook effective, up from 82% in Spring 2011
• 60% found Twitter effective, up from 47% in Spring 2011
• 55% found LinkedIn effective, up from 47% in Spring 2011

What this means for you: While we constantly encouraging studios to focus on Facebook marketing, photographers should not ignore Twitter or LinkedIn.

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The quickest way to ruin your social media marketing campaign

I read a great article this week entitled “Eight Ways to Ruin Your Social-Media Strategy” by Catherine Taylor on bNet, and of all the ideas she writes about, I think this is the most important take-away point:

“It all begins with listening…Just as you wouldn’t walk into a cocktail party and start bragging about yourself, you shouldn’t just jump into the conversation.”

I see many small businesses like studios that treat their Facebook or Twitter accounts like little mini-billboards. “Call today for holiday photos” or “mention this ad for a free 8×10 print.”

Social media isn’t supposed to be about you. It is about your relationship with your customer.

Don’t believe me? Download this free report (PDF) at Rainmaker.com. They interviewed hundreds of people after sales presentations and the #1 reason people gave for not buying was…not listening.

Here’s the new rule: you need to make at least five comments or blogs or posts or tweets that are personal or thought-provoking for every one that is an ad.

For example, how about posting one of these your Facebook page tomorrow:

  • What’s your worst experience with a professional photographer?
  • Which of these two senior yearbook photos do you like better?
  • Did you ever take a photo you thought was as good as a professional photographer?

The point is to start a conversation with your customers. That’s what social media is about. If you’re treating it like a cheap way to advertise, you’re not just wasting your time with social media – you may actually be hurting your business.

Using Social Networking to promote your business – Part 2

Web LogosThis is part 2 of a 2 part series on using social networking to promote your business. Read part 1 here.

Getting Started – The presenters all made the same point: the only way to get started in social networking is to jump in. If you haven’t already, start with a Facebook business account. If you already have a personal account, read these instructions.

If you are looking to update your website, a blog is a good way to get started with social networking (you are reading a blog). Use it as a “portal” for your entire website: portfolios, services offered, prices, and contact information combined with links to your RSS feeds, Twitter and Facebook accounts. After researching many types of blog software, I can recommend WordPress.

Takeaway Points – As I sat through several presentations, I wrote down some common ideas that every presenter emphasized:

  • Think “build community”, not “communicate with.”
  • Social networking requires your most passionate people. It won’t work if you just give it to an employee as one more task to be completed on a daily basis.
  • Avoid the “if you build it they will come” syndrome. Setting up a Facebook page is only the smallest first step. Plan to work with it every day or at least every other day for several months before you see real results.
  • Measurement is hard. The number of “clicks” or “friends” or “eyeballs” you receive will not necessarily translate into sales. Instead, you have to trust that as social networking grows, the businesses that are part of it will grow too.
  • People support organizations or businesses they love. The strength of social networking is that it allows you to develop these relationships.
  • The technology is easy. The human empathy, passion, and commitment is hard.

Using Social Networking to Promote your Business – Part 1

This week I attended a conference on Using Social Networking to promote businesses, and of course, I kept trying to think of ways it could benefit professional photographers. In case you haven’t been keeping up with the latest internet buzzwords, social networking refers to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, instant messaging and chat.

While social media is simple to use and free to implement, it will cost you time and diligence in order to make it work to promote your business.

Social NetworkingWhen you think about ways to promote your business using the Internet, you usually think of websites and e-mail. While these are important, they are designed to “communicate with” a customer. You might tell a customer about your services or about a sale, for example.

In the last few years, marketers have discovered that people don’t want to use the Internet just to get information – they want to use it to make 2-way or social connections too. Instead of “communicating with” a customer, businesses use social networking to “build a community” with their customers.

Let me give you an example. A local pub in Flint advertised their St Patrick’s Day specials, then asked their friends “who is coming over after work?” Several dozen people I knew answered online. When I asked them why they went to that particular pub, they said it was because they saw on Facebook that all their friends planned to be there too.

Social NetworkingLet me give you another example. Bob Fish, co-founder of Biggby Coffee in Michigan, uses social networking like Facebook and Twitter to let his customers know when he’s going to be visiting one of the over 100 franchises. If you meet Bob at a Biggby Coffee shop, he will buy you a free cup of coffee. This virtually free social networking is considered a critical part of Biggby Coffee’s success according to Entrepreneur Magazine.

Next week I’ll give you some specific steps that you can do to implement social networking as part of your marketing.