More musings to share about marketing for photographers as I write more chapters of the book Marketing for Photographers (a work in progress).
“Social Media marketing is all about engagement”
You’ll hear these words over and over until you’re blue in the face. It’s obvious isn’t it? The clue is in the phrase “SOCIAL media”. Many articles are written on the subject as if it’s a revelation, without really giving any practical advice on how to become more engaged online, or how to find out what content attracts the most engagement from others.
To start with, before I get all conversational and start telling stories, here’s a brief list of useful tips. Some of these you have probably read somewhere, and hopefully, some new ideas. They form sound, practical advice, and if nothing else, will act as a reminder for those who are already ahead in the social media engagement arena.
- Pick vibrant and relevant communities to join on Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn and contribute your own material as well as joining in the conversations posted by others in the group.
- Stay focused on your niche or profession, people will want to follow and engage with you because you are an expert in a particular area.
- Monitor your brand or your name; there are various tools that will do this for you. If someone mentions you, try and respond.
- Regularly respond to comments on your own pages, you don’t have to be tied to your computer, just drop by and respond when you can.
- If someone comments on your work or shares your work then thank them regularly. This can be tricky if you get popular.
Depending on how many followers you have, you may not be able to do this for every share or comment. Even a quick like of a Google+ or Facebook comment is better than nothing, it acknowledges the people who respond to your work. (I know there are many people who regularly like and comment on my work and don’t get a response, I’m sorry, I’m working on it, sometimes I make a mental note of the regulars and give them an occasional personal thank you in the comments)
- Ask lots of questions when you are sharing your own content and when you find interesting content or comments from others.
- Do seek out the influencers that inspire you and try and strike up conversations. You can do this by saying something thoughtful on their posts or asking them intelligent questions.
A great way to get someone’s attention is to read all you can about them, find out what makes them tick, then write your own spin on the subject inviting them to comment or asking them for a quote before you publish. The more you find out the better, remember you are trying to establish real relationships, the more you have in common the better, the more personal your approach the better. We are not talking bunny boiler here, but if someone has just posted about an amazing holiday, you could bring that into the conversation. If they have a grievance about something that you share, it can provide a good way to connect.
Story from Marketeer Extraordinaire Dave Trott
Here’s a story that I love. I heard it from creative marketer Dave Trott famous for many memorable TV ad campaigns over the last few decades. My older UK friends might remember “‘Ello Tosh, got a Toshiba?” or “Ariston and on and on” or “Lipsmackin’ thirstquenchin’ acetastin’ motivatin’ goodbuzzin’ cooltalkin’ highwalkin’ fastlivin’ evergivin’ coolfizzin’ Pepsi”. Younger readers might wonder what the hell I’m on about. Anyway here is one of the stories he told when I heard him speak. It has stuck in my mind and at the time I thought about how relevant it was to social and digital marketing today.