Using, and Leveraging, Social Media


Social media is this crazy thing. So many people talk about it and “experts” sprout every three seconds, but I–honestly–don’t think there’s a right way to use it. I will, however, say there are generally stronger ways of leveraging it for your business. Sure, you might disagree with me, but I’ve gathered my ideas on the subject and if you think they’re awful…that’s totally fine with me. It’ll push you to further define how you want to use social media in a way that works for you.

Here are a few quick tips in approaching and using social media for your business…
Make sure and draw attention to ideas, desires, and/or needs more than drawing attention to oneself. Once you draw attention, it’s best to enable people to do something with it. Basically, you want to use, say, Twitter to share and then enable. For example, an update that reads
“I got published in Inside Weddings Magazine!”
isn’t as strong as, perhaps,
“Excited for @Groom and @Bride to be published in @InsideWedding. To read more about it, visit:”
What you did with the latter update is enable three specific people to share your online voice…and extend your brand. Whether they will in fact do so isn’t guaranteed, but it’s still a potentially powerful outlet.
Try to draw attention to people and things that are social. Ideally, you want people to easily access information that aligns with their interests…this is awesome for photographers because photos are innately social. People talk about what they see…and we are the curators of this! By raising awareness to things people are interested in (oh, say, their WEDDING!), you are raising awareness to your brand. By making them aware of their photos in an online capacity, clients are likely to discuss your work online, most likely on Facebook. This is amazing.
Affinity is attracting to, liking something. You can create affinity with people by enabling them to interact, support, and communicate relevant information that is important to a person’s life. Again, this is powerfully done with photographs…and leveraging Facebook’s tagging and commenting features allows you to create affinity to your brand for the value created by the experience you enable.
By creating Attention, Awareness, and Affinity, you build an Audience who relates to your actions and intents created on behalf of the audience. In the easiest terms, this means people trust you. Because of doing steps 1-3, you’ve earned their trust…and I firmly believe trust is the currency on the web. When people trust you, they listen, endorse, and support your brand in unfathomable ways.

Let me ask you an honest question: what are your clients saying about you? Furthermore, have you created a conversation, a way for them to talk about you? That’s the key. When I first started, I didn’t leverage social media, so I only touched the bride’s inner circle (via personal referrals and slideshows), but social media has granted me access to their periphery in an online capacity.

Now, using–and loving–social media has allowed me to create ideas and conversations and empowered my clients to be the voice of my brand. We, as artists, are in the position to create ideas people are excited to talk about, so we have to make sure we’re doing that.

Happy Friday!