Our latest contribution to Agency Access’ blog The Lab is posting today. It tries to answer the question of how much time photographers need to spend on social media. Be sure to link to the blog directly to read answers from industry experts on many more questions.
Question: How much time should I invest in social media to establish a presence/get a return?
There is no magic amount of time spent on social media that will guarantee results. Rather than concentrating on effort, it is best to concentrate on relevance.
It is no secret that social media is the new word of mouth and a powerful tool through which people seek out recommendations and search for inspiration for nearly everything. It is about personal connections and sharing ideas to a select and targeted group of people. And, most importantly, it is about finding your voice as a creative and sharing it with not only your friends but with people in your industry.
If the goal of your social media participation is increased awareness, than your time spent should be on finding your voice. And, when you find it, make sure it is genuine. Miki Johnson, social media guru, said once that the internet is the real world and you should act in the internet world as you do in the real world. Just be yourself.
Once you find your voice, time management is indeed important. It is very easy to get caught up in posting, reading and reposting. Here are some tips to help keep the amount of time manageable:
1) Keep it simple. If you find yourself spending hours writing your next blog post or considering your next status update or tweet, you are over thinking things. Consider communicating visually instead.
2) Use an app/tool. Get to know tools such as HootSuite and Sendible so that you can schedule posts in advance and not be tied to your computer.
3) Subscribe to other people’s blogs. It’s easier than checking each one out individually. That way, when they post something new you will receive it right away – try Google Reader. Keeping your finger on the pulse of what conversations are happening out there will make it easier to quickly share the relevant content you find.
4) Focus on content. Do not get caught up in SEO and chasing the statistical parts of social media. It is important, yes, but not at the expense of content.
5) Stick to a schedule. It goes without saying, but is necessary to state. Put a time limit on your interaction.
The people who are most successful utilizing social media for their business are those that have found a genuine voice and share relevant information. They realize that it shouldn’t be about just getting more work – while that is a nice benefit when it happens – but more about sharing their own story. Those that do so successfully see an increase in the awareness of their work, who they are as a photographer and those issues that are most important to them
. Ultimately, all things necessary to increase business.