hether you're a professional photographer or just starting out, social media is one of the best places to get your beautiful images out into the world. Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook connect you to a global network of more than one billion people for free. While having access to such a massive active user base is exciting, there's a catch 22. You are also competing for attention with all the other photographers and content creators on the platform. So how do you stand out and build your online presence? By using these next-level social media tips to turn casual browsers into paying clients and customers.
Storytelling is a powerful tool on social media for photographers. If you can evoke an emotional response and take your audience on a journey with you, you'll create a bond and instantly become more memorable. The relationships you build and brand recall are two potent ingredients you need to get more photography inquiries via social media.
How do you tell stories on social media? Here are some ideas you can use:
- Use a mix of images, video, and text: Take your followers on a story that engages all their senses. Video and images are compelling formats on their own, but you can heighten the experience with a well-written caption.
- Showcase your process: What are all the steps you took to come up with a shot idea? How did you plan out the shoot? People love learning about what it takes to get a result.
- Start a series: Post one photo a day that slowly reveals the story. Think of your captions as one chapter. Each time you post, you could reveal a little bit more about something that happened in your life that inspired your series.
If you get stuck on captions, Plann’s Social Starters tool includes hundreds of prompts to ignite your inspiration. Just fill in the blanks with your own content and voila, you’re ready to dazzle with your engaging captions.
Post Behind-The-Scenes (BTS) Content
Giving your audience a glimpse into the person behind the lens is one of the best ways to build the like, trust, and know factor with your audience.
BTS content reinforces your brand's story and personality. It shows that you are more than just a photographer, but an artist and creative individual who loves what they do. It takes you off that pedestal, makes you relatable, and people can see the work that goes into creating your images.
Think back to 10th grade English class, when your teacher told you not to tell the audience a story. That’s exactly what you want to do when putting together your social media strategy as a photographer.
Need some ideas to get the BTS ball rolling?
Check out Autumn Rain. She's a California-based photographer who uses Reels and Stories to give a glimpse into her content creation process.
Consider Instagram SEO
Instagram is putting a lot of resources into improving its search functionality. With an emphasis on search becoming more apparent with the latest update rollouts, mastering your Instagram SEO is crucial for your social media strategy.
Here's what features are gold mines for keywords on Instagram:
- Your username: Put keywords like ‘photographer’ or ‘weddings’ into your username for maximum discoverability
- Name field: The next best place for keywords is the name field. Put your top keyword here that is related to your brand, e.g., ‘LA wedding photographer’
- Geotags: Tagging locations is another great way to get your content discovered, especially if you’re a photographer in a specific locale. You can now geotag in videos as well as images and stories.
- Alt-text: Add alt text captions to your images. It's an Instagram feature to help the vision-impaired use the app, and it also happens to be searchable.
- Hashtags: As per their most recent update, Instagram recommends using more than 10 hashtags per post, with 3-5 being optimal. Think of each one as a keyword and make sure it's highly relatable to your content.
- Captions: Instagram has plans to make captions searchable. Get ahead of the curve and make sure you're using important words and phrases related to your business in your captions.
Engage With Your Community
It’s no secret that engagement is an important part of building an active social media following. But these days, it’s about more than just liking, commenting, and following. If you’re looking to attract clients and customers from your socials, it all goes down in DMs (direct messages).
When you're having authentic conversations with people (without being a sleazy salesman), you automatically develop a deeper connection with your audience.
Here are some ways you can start organic conversations online:
- Thank each person who shares your work (bonus points if you send a thank you DM)
- Follow your ideal client and leave meaningful comments on their posts and Stories
- Share other photographers you admire on your socials. Not only does it help build community, but they may even share you back
- Reply to all your comments and ask open-ended questions to keep people engaged
- Use features like polls, question stickers on Instagram Stories to spark conversation
Build Brand Awareness with Reels
In an effort to compete with TikTok, Instagram is pushing Reels more than any other feature.
The result? New accounts are going viral every single day. People are gaining 10k+ followers in a week. The exposure is unmatched, and it's one of the best ways to grow your photography brand.
The best part is, you don't even need to lip-sync or learn any TikTok dances to keep up.
Some of the best performing Reels for photographers are:
- Editing tricks and tips
- Shoot ideas
- Before and afters
Basically, anything that people will want to save for later or share with their friends and family.
Ready to take your photography business to the next level? Sign up for a free Plann account today and put these social media tips for photographers to good use. Batch create and schedule all your social media content from one easy-to-use dashboard.