Eye on Business | Calling Out the Silent Stalkers!

Today’s installment is more of a business PSA.  Consider it a “USE WITH CAUTION” warning from your “photography big sister.”  I’m the baby of my family so I quite enjoy the opportunity to play a big sister role, even if you don’t want to hear it   😉

Have you seen the shiny new “Pages to Watch” option that Facebook recently unveiled?

To be honest, I didn’t pay much attention at first because I try very hard not to get preoccupied with what local photographers are doing and quite frankly, there are just too many to keep up with, even in my small town.  It’s exhausting.  However, a discussion on a FB group I participate in prompted me to consider the implications of this new FB whistle.  It seems harmless, right?  On your business fan page, you may add at least three local business pages to your “watch” list.  Facebook generates a list of suggestions that are based on your geographical location.  Or are they?

Seems innocent enough.  Why not watch a few pages so I can see what I’m up against, right?  It’s one more way to stealthily silently stalk watch my local competition.  But wait…

That photographer receives a notification like the one above that they’ve been added to a “watch” list.  Wait for it……YOUR page will show up as one of the suggestions from FB.  How do I know this?  Because a photographer friend of mine added me as a test and she is based in North Carolina.  That’s not local.  And, it’s not anonymous either   😉   Oh, no more silent watching for you!

So what’s the verdict?  I love FACEBOOK.  Like seriously, LOVE it.  But, did our industry really need one more way to amp up the cattiness and competitive edge?  I predict that this will not only encourage more undercutting to compete, but it will encourage us to compare ourselves and our businesses to other photographers.  You KNOW what comparison does to your self-esteem and your productivity.  I don’t need to give you the big sister, tilted-head, raised-eyebrows look, or do I?  I, for one, am not going to give up my FB addiction because it has been an amazing asset to my business.  However, I am not going to build my own “watch” list.  If I choose to follow a page, it’s because the business inspires me and pushes me to keep moving forward, to keep improving.  If that’s your intent, then totally build a kick-arse list of your own!  But do NOT let that list drag you down every time you scroll through your newsfeed.

I hope you’ll do the same and instead of silently stalking, TELL that photographer that you admire their work or love their latest website design.  We all need a pat on the back every once in awhile!