If you’ve been involved with photography – or social media marketing – for any period of time, you’ve probably heard something along the lines of “Facebook is cutting my organic reach.” In other words, less people that like your page are seeing your posts unless you pay Facebook to “boost” or promote your posts. When Instagram changed its algorithm several months ago, many photographers noticed a drop in how many people were seeing their posts since posts aren’t in chronological order anymore. While Instagram, as far as I know, hasn’t limited what appears in the feed of people who like your profile yet, if its parent company Facebook is any indication, I suspect it’s coming in the future.
So what as photographers can we do to ensure that we still have a social media presence and ensure that our potential clients are seeing our posts and/or ensure our brand is recognized? If you follow Beyoncé or the Kardashians, you might know what I’m about to say. It’s called influencer marketing.
You know those posts where you see Beyoncé or the Kardashians with a product and they tell you to go check it out, tag the product’s social media page and might even link it in their profile? They’re getting paid for those since companies know that it works. The latest figure was $1M for a single product post. Yes… One million dollars for a single post.
Now I’m not saying that everyone has to go pay celebrities absurd amounts of money to promote their photography, but the same concepts come into play and we can take advantage of this as high school senior photographers.
Think about it this way: we all know individuals that are influencers in our respective communities. While they might not have millions of followers on social media, they’re well known in our local markets, which is all we really need! We don’t need to market our photography services nationwide. When identifying these influencers, there are a couple things to keep in mind to make sure that they’re going to help us.
- Their audience should be similar to our target clientele. It doesn’t help if this influencer has a follower base that isn’t who you want our ideal client to be because then you’re attracting the wrong type of individual.
- They should reach different people than you are currently reaching. This helps to expand your brand awareness.
- They should have good engagement. This sounds simple, but if they have 2,000 followers, but only get 50 likes per photo, something isn’t right. You want to make sure that they have a consistent following.
Here are just a few ways that you can use social media influencer marketing as a photographer!
- Are you hosting a Model Call for a personal shoot? Be selective with who you are choosing! If there’s a target school that you know has your target clients, try choosing a model that’s from that school and has a large, consistent social media following. This increases your brand awareness within their circle of social media followers, which most of the time will be from the same school or social circles. This leads to you being known as one of the go-to senior photographers.
- Partner with a business that’s an influencer in your community. This could be a boutique, prom dress store, hair and makeup salon, or another business that is related to your senior photography business. You want to make sure that their audience is somehow related to your target audience. For example, a boutique that’s clientele is teens that go to schools that you normally draw seniors from would be perfect. You also shouldn’t rule out boutiques who might cater to the adult demographic if they have kids that go to your target schools. Parents are just as important to build brand awareness with! Maybe this is partnering with them to shoot a couple product images in exchange for being tagged on Instagram, letting you place some business cards/flyers in their shop or whatever else you can think of.
- Senior Reps: This is the first thing that came to my mind when I began to think about social media influencers! Many photographers do a version of reps and this is a great way to do influencer marketing because they have their network of friends that all follow them. Every time they post a photo or tweet an image of you and tag you, it’s essentially an endorsement for you and your photography.
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about how you can use other people’s social media networks to build your following, increase your client base and more.
However, make sure that you’re ALWAYS approaching these individuals or businesses with how you can help them. If you’re asking something from them, you first need to figure out how you can help them out in their business. This is the key to making sure that you have a positive response to trying our influencer marketing. Always look to how you can help them first before asking for something from them.
Remember, be creative! Figure out what works for you and your market and go from there. Every market will be different and it’s how you use the main concept of influencer marketing to find out what works best for your business. I can’t wait to see how you use this to help elevate your senior photography business!