The Power of Social Media when Marketing Your Dog Photography Business
Gone are the days where you have to pay for mailing lists and market research. Forget about shelling out your hard-earned cash to direct mail companies to make your clients come to you; you can go to them, and do it for free! Social media is a marketer’s playground, and it’s time you joined the game.
If you’re not on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and/or a blogging service, you’re missing prime opportunities. On these sites, millions of people interact every day, not only with each other but also with companies. You need to be there. Set up a business page and then get creative!
But realize that clients won’t come just because you build it. You have to create a space that not only represents your business but also provides a lot of interaction (remember, this is social media).
Social media is all about building relationships organically, so don’t expect much business to come out of it directly or immediately. Social media is more like brand-building or customer service. It’s a chance for you to connect with your clients in a real way, which usually leads to long-term relationships. That can be more valuable than selling a session to a one-time client who doesn’t feel connected to the brand.
Here are some tips and hints for making your social media effective:
Include lots of photos. You are a dog photography business, after all! Make sure you have lots of photos for people to see on your Facebook wall, and add new ones frequently (at least every week, but more if possible). If you’re blogging, always include at least one photo.
Include short videos. Posting YouTube videos that you make or that you find elsewhere on the web that are funny, cute, or poignant (but relevant to your business) is another great way to keep your fans engaged (just make sure you give credit where it’s due).
Keep it casual. Part of the power of social media is that people can interact with you on a personal level (and you with them).
It kind of feels like being a member of a secret club or something, so you can feel free to use casual (but appropriate) language and even unpolished media when you post, like a cellphone pic of a behind-the-scenes look at your booth at a trade fair, or a self-portrait that shows how happy you are after a great session. Your fans will feel like they know the real you.
Name drop and cross-post. Always track back to relevant people, pages, organizations, and companies whenever possible. This helps build community and introduces your business to other populations.
Stalk your own page. Don’t just set up your page and forget about it; you have to interact very frequently to get this to work. When you’re just starting out, ask friends and family members to be “plants” on your page and help you generate discussions.
Edutain. Make sure your posts and blogs are a combination of entertainment and sales-oriented content. Your fans want to have fun, but they also want to be in the inner circle of your brand, so offer discounts and updates on your business in between all the other stuff. Be sure to strike a balance.