Social Media for Photographers - Is it important?

It's very easy to be using some form of 'social media' infact, it's probably harder not to be using some form of social media these days.

With so many platforms for us to communicate with, how do you know which one is going to suit you? how can you tell if you're going to get some return on your hard work? You spend all day photographing someone or something, you come home and edit the photos, and depending on what sort of photographer you are, you upload them to some sort of website for someone to see... Do you tell the world? Do you shout it from the hills? "Hey, look at my photos I took today, I'm awesome, hire me to take photographs for you!" ...or do you just keep quiet? If you're in this game for earning yourself a living, or at least some cash on the side, you're going to want to be telling as many people as you can, and you're going to want them to tell as many people as they can, too...

Typically a photographer starting out doesn't have a million bucks to put an ad on the front page of the New York Times, well... not all of them, anyway... So a good place to start is the web, and you don't even really need to have a website to be 'on the web' anymore... There are a million zillion options for people that just want to be 'on the web'

Some good ones are 500px which is a social network but all centred around a photo platform that works well. You can have 'friends' and you can blog, too. More on 500px in a separate post.

Flickr, being left behind, still good for letting people find you in search results when you use the right keywords and titles - make sure you fill in your profile with all the relevant details. More on Flickr in a separate post.

Twitter, whilst giving you minimal tools to display images, is a good place to find other photographers, and see how they're doing things, it's a good place to help get people to be more aware of you and your photography, what it shouldn't be is a place where you just tweet 'wow, I'm so awesome, go check out my 500px' over and over again... You need to treat it like when you walk into a room and introduce yourself.. you don't walk out, wait a bit, walk back in and do it again, do you? more on Twitter in a separate post.

Facebook, half the.. no, wait... more than half the world is on Facebook! 99.8% of them are there to poke each other, but there are a cunning few who are using FB to better other people's knowledge in their brand... Take ThinkTankPhoto for example, they're on Facebook and they're interacting, engaging and loving it... 3LeggedThing are doing the same, they're running give-aways, answering support type questions, having fun... Facebook is flexible enough that, if you know what you're doing, you can build up a great following and you can also find and follow others that will help to inspire your own creativity, both in your photography and your socialness..

But you can't just 'be on Facebook' and hope that you get work as a result... You can get work via Facebook, but like everything, you have to work for it... You can't simply sign up to Twitter and become Ashton Kutcher's friend... It doens't work like that... So, how do you do it? Well - that's going to kick on in part two... coming tomorrow


What? No Google Plus button? More on that later, too...


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