In March of 2011, I hosted a group meeting for our photographers to get them to start thinking about how they were going to participate in the new media market that had emerged. I challenged them with the question, “Have you picked out your new glasses yet?” The conversation encouraged the photographers in our group to reframe how they think about their business, decipher what is valuable to a client now and figure out how they can best participate as things evolve yet again.
It was no surprise that one of the biggest part of the conversation revolved around social media. It was an area that some in the group at the time were resisting and others just did not yet understand what role it played. Many wondered if it worked at all and others were worried that their “true voice” would get lost in marketing message.
A few months later, I co-hosted an event with the APA in San Francisco and realized that my group was not alone. There were so many photographers out there wondering how to use social media in their business and if their target market really paid attention to it. What we discussed resulted in one of our most highly viewed posts, 20 Important Things to Know About Social Media and the Photography Industry.
Fast forward a year from our meeting and all of our photographers have embraced social media. They have found their own way to utilize it as a marketing tool that works for them and all would report back that it has made a difference in their recognition and connection to both current and potential clients.
So, when an advertising agency in San Francisco, Heat, published the results of their social media study on how advertising professionals used social media, I thought it was a good time to revisit the conversation. While Heat used it as a cautionary tale on having the right perspective when using social media when targeting a mass audience, I saw it as proof that the people in our industry do use social media, and much more than most. (Of course, it is still up to you to use it effectively in order to see results.)
Even though The Huffington Post’s spin is that Advertisers are More Socially Obsessed than the Rest of Us, I think Will Burns, President of Ideasicle and contributor to Forbes.com says it best, “Advertising People are the New Medium.” Be sure to read the article in full, the success story examples he shares are worth the read alone.
So, if you are still doubting the power of social media in our industry, it is ok. As Hunter Freeman said, “it is ok if you are not out there. That just means there is more room for the rest of us!”
If you have questions, or want to keep this conversation going, please email me or comment. Sharing the posts are always a good idea too – you know, the power of social media!