Recently Eyefi, a sharing aid to photographers, announced their list of the Top 30 Most Socially Influential Photographers, including a follow up list of 70 other socially influential photographers, making it a total of 100 very social photographers. These photographers were considered socially influential because of their presence in the cloud and the following they have established. They have developed websites, blogs, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, all in the name of sharing their love of capturing images. Apart from their stunning images, the most impressive aspect of these photographers’ work is their ability to market their images. There are thousands of photographers in the world producing millions of images every year and displaying them on multiple social media platforms, and yet the photographers on Eyefi’s list have managed to distinguish themselves from all the others. Today we are taking a closer look at some of the most socially influential photographers’ social media techniques to gain better insight into their image marketing strategies.
The photographers that were chosen by Eyefi deserve their spots by the sheer time and effort they put into social media. Quickly peruse their sites and it is easy to see it is not a half-hearted attempt to make their images popular. They are constantly updating, posting, and communicating with their followers. It should also be noted they don’t have people doing all that for them, many of them individually respond to comments and tweets, creating a more personable experience for their fans.
The foundation of a social media presence is the main website. This is where the most flexibility regarding what is featured or the content of the site is available. In most cases photographers have their main business efforts on this website, with it containing their portfolios, contact information, and books, articles, or features that they participated in in some form. Having a main website to market images also provides a hub for all your other marketing efforts. Links to every possible sharing method are available, giving your clients instant access to more of your marketing efforts, and you access to more fans.
Having a consistent branding message across all platforms is necessary, but adding some variety makes it more interesting to view all your sites. Looking at these photographers’ Twitter and Facebook accounts (fairly similar platforms), overall they carry the same message. They highlight some of the photographer’s work, give updates regarding what they are working on, announce deals and classes they will be teaching, and, to put it simply, self-promote. Sometimes the exact same messages and images appear, and other times they are different. The distinct difference comes with Twitter being slightly more casual. Rather than being all about their own work, they often retweet from fans, share random tips and articles, or ask questions to interact with their following. They effectively create an interactive environment that allows their followers to get to know them on a more personal level.
Perhaps one of the more surprising marketing tactics for a photographer that most, if not all, of these photographers utilize is writing. They do not post images expecting them to speak for themselves and gain popularity. They write about the places they visit, the techniques they use, and their favorite equipment. It is noteworthy that they are not just writing for social media. They write longer works, such as books and articles. While these photographers are giving away their trade secrets, they are really being brilliant marketers because the more help they give to amateurs, the higher their popularity soars.
Finally, each of these photographers markets their images (and themselves) well by doing something that makes them unique from the others. Obviously they all have different styles and equipment they use, but some find other ways to stand out as well. For example, Jack Hollingsworth takes gorgeous images of “People Around the World”. He’s not the only one to do this, but he has made it a focus on his website, making this series of images unique to him. On his Twitter and Instagram accounts he emphasizes “iPhoneography” and encourages others to try it while displaying his own iPhone work. Choosing to make this type of photography a focus was a way that he made himself unique and stand out on a loud platform with lots of competing voices.
Marketing images can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Following the tactics of these photographers may just give you the boost you have needed in your marketing. Utilize all platforms available to you and give it the attention it deserves. If you do that you will be able to create a unique and interactive experience for your following, thereby increasing the number of people interested in what you have to offer.
As you market your images, consider Mainstream Data as the best option for your photo and video assets with the web hosting platforms, asset management tools, and sharing buttons to help you get the most out of your digital media.