Social Media vs The Photographer

Social Media as a Photographer

I've been a photographer for over 5 years now, and I've found that one of the biggest problems inside the photography community is social media. Many photographers spend so much time on social media, so so much time. Between the Facebook groups, the Instagram comment pods, personal pages, business pages, Pinterest, hashtags and more. There are just so many different ways to spend way too much time on social media, and many of the photographers I know do. Here's my take on social media these days, and my top 3 tips for photographers and content creators using social media. 

#1 Stop wasting time online! 

Why did you become a photographer? It probably wasn't to spend half your day online. Really, how much time do you spend on social media? Years ago I would catch myself spending all my free time scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. I'd get online to answer a message, or post an image, or such and catch myself 30 or 45 minutes later scrolling and scrolling. The biggest thing I realized one day, was how DEPRESSING it was to scroll through my feeds. There is always some photographer better than you, there is always someone doing something more fun. Always. Get off the internet and get out and create something for yourself. Also, while I'm at it, those feeding frenzy posts (you know the ones, where someone posts a referral and 5000 photographers leave their website) need to stop. Your chances of getting a job off those is like 0.005 percent, and they make you look desperate. Overall, stop spending so much time on social media. There really is nothing good to come from scrolling through your feed. Get outside, get creating. 

#2 Leave the comment pods and create content. 

The new rave right now is Instagram comment pods. I get it, IG recently changed to an interaction based algorithm like Facebook. Sucks, doesn't it? But not. Now when you create something rad, IG will show it to more and more people. But do you really want to spend hours responding and commenting on others images? I totally understand supporting the photography community and your friends, but wouldn't you rather go out and shoot something with your friends, than comment on social media? Refer to the point above about spending too much time online. Rather than spending an hour of your day commenting on Insta posts for other photographers, use that hour to create something new. Create a portfolio piece. Something cool. Something that will get better comments than 'cool shots' and 'great capture' from a bunch of local pod members. You followers will love the new, unique content! Or, go spend the time with your family. Either way, I've yet to hear a great success story off of a comment pod, and being totally honest, I'm pretty sure a bunch of 'great shot' comments won't get you anywhere. 

#3 Content is king. 

If you haven't notice, I'm all about putting great content online. As photographer, film makers and artists we are content creators. We are a huge reason people get online, to look at the cool new content that someone made. Be that someone. If you want to be successful on social media and as a business owner, you need to learn that content is king. Not comments or likes. I don't have 10k followers on any of my accounts, but I still get business off my pages each week. If you're putting out content each week, or more often; content that your followers like, you will get business. Social media is about getting business, not likes and comments. If you want to push you social media, then get out and work on personal projects. 

To wrap things up, if you want to run a successful social media campaign you need to get off the internet and create interesting content. In the past year I have drastically scaled back my energy on social media and put that time towards personal work. I thought I'd get less work off social media, which was fine with me because I'd have less stress in my life. In an interesting turn off events, I have gotten a lot more work off my social media in the past 6 months. If you want less stress and more business online, make your post and leave. You can thank me later. 

Mike Johnson Photography

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