Today, social media has exploded all across the board. It is used for almost everything from connecting to advertising. As a photographer, utilizing these social media sites are crucial for exposure and growing our businesses.
Social media is a great way to get your name out there, second to word-of-mouth. For the most part social media is free to set up an account or page, however, many social channels now have paid options for advertising. Below I have elaborated on some of the social media accounts I think every wedding photographer should have if they do not have it already.
Instagram is by far one of the fastest growing social media platforms in recent years. If you are not familiar with Instagram, it is a photo and video sharing app. It has become widely popular as nearly 60% of those age 18-29 (target market for weddings) use Instagram. As someone in that age bracket, I only know about two people my age who are not on Instagram, that's pretty crazy. As wedding photographers, it is crucial to be present on this social media platform.
Instagram is great for visual artists (photographers, filmmakers, graphic designers, etc.) because it is so heavy on the visuals, unlike Twitter which is very text-heavy. Time and time again I hear that a post with a photo will yield a higher percent-rate of engagement. As a photographer, we always have photos, thus this medium works in our favor. Instagram has also recently been acquired by Facebook. One of the advantages of this is the ability to pair up your photography Facebook page (assuming you have one) and your Instagram photography page. Instagram now allows monetized advertising where you can pick target audiences. This will allow your work to show up in the feeds of those engaged couples.
“Pinterest? Isn't that for teenage girls?” Not quite! If you are a long-time listener of the Improve Photography Podcast, you may remember Jim Harmer talking highly of Pinterest. For those who don't know, Pinterest is a digital cork board where you tack up everything that interests, inspires you, etc. How can we as wedding photographers use this? Find other photographers work and pin it to our Photography Inspiration board? Sure, you could do that. It could be really beneficial to nailing down that style you are going for. However, there is a better way to use this platform.
Let's use my sister for example. She made a Pinterest account back in high school. She had all kinds of boards with titles to the liking of Hair, Nails & Makeup, Words & Quotes, Puppies, Horses, Food; the list goes on. However, now that she is in college and is engaged, she has added quite a few different boards: Wedding Day, Dream Home, Date Night, and Landscaping Ideas. I am sure some already get going on a wedding day Pinterest board even at a younger age, regardless of relationship status.
Once users find a style they like for their board, Pinterest does a pretty good job at suggesting similar Pins to the user. This is where we step in as photographers. If your wedding photography work is not on Pinterest, how will it be discoverable? It won't. Make an account, post some photos, use proper tags, and get your work out there!
Having a Facebook page is the classic first step in having a social presence as a business. I often hear that Facebook is for the old people now, but I beg to differ. Facebook has become the king of social media. Nearly everyone has a Facebook account, and checks in with it from time to time. Often times photographers will make Facebook pages just to have a Facebook page. This is better than not having a Facebook page, however if you are going to make one for your business, use it!
Posting photos from weddings on your Facebook page is a great way to get exposure. Every single couple that I have photographed thus far has had a Facebook account. Often when you post a photo from their special day they are quick to share it with their friends and family on their Facebook timeline. This is great exposure and often leads to more jobs down the road!
If you have a Facebook page, us it!
This site isn't quite as big as your Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, however, it is arguably just as important. Wedding Wire is a website that helps engaged couples prepare for their big day! It is essentially like having a big search bar for just wedding-related searches.
Wedding Wire pulls together vendors from all across the board. Couples can look for anything from photographers and filmmakers to DJs, caterers, venues and more. Everything that couple could need or anyone they would need to hire could be found within the site.
Unfortunately for photographers, to really get seen on this website you have to pay. I spoke with a representative from the Colorado region recently; she explained the three plans that Wedding Wire offers:
Spotlight: The best of the best; this plan puts your name at the top (among other spotlight photographers, limited amount) of their search for the entire region. All of this comes in at about $200 a month.
Premium: The premium account puts you near the top of the regional search, after the spotlight accounts. They let you have a feature image to show your work at a glance. This plan comes in around $100 a month.
Free: A free account gets you on the site, and that is about it. Free accounts do not have their own logo, as the Wedding Wire logo will be placed as the thumbnail instead.
You might be thinking that the price for that a month is ridiculous, and it kind of is. However, think about how much we as wedding photographers rake in per wedding. The services pay for themselves afterabout twobout two weddings, depending on the plan and your prices. The ROA is actually pretty good, you just have to be willing to front that kind of money in the first place.
If you are charging under $1,000 for weddings, you might want to get a few more weddings, and price increases under your belt before considering WeddingWire. Having an account like this is not for every wedding photographer, but could be very beneficial if you can afford it.
If you are interested in WeddingWire take a look at The Knot as it is almost an identical service.
Google “My Business”
I just recently did this for my wedding photography business. It's not so much of a social media account, but I highly suggest making an account. Signing up for Google My Business puts you in Google's system as a wedding photography business.
This is super helpful when couples are searching for a wedding photographer in your area. For example, with Google My Business, when people search for wedding photographer in my area, I become discoverable on Google Maps, with photos of my best work, and contact information.
It is really simple to do this. Just go to Google My Business, sign up for an account, fill out all of the information, including you address. Google will then send you a secret code to that address of the business to confirm its physical location. Simply type in that code once you get it, and you're good to go! They also sent me a sticker for your window that says “Review us on Google.”
If you have any other comments, other accounts you like, or input, please comment below!