Build and Maintain a Presence on Social Media
What are the best ways to gain exposure for your images online?
Learn the best ways to build a presence on social media and gain a following online, avoiding the potential pitfalls
Many of today’s successful photographers’ careers can be attributed to the internet and the rise of social media. There is such a range of platforms out there that it can be difficult to know where to start, or how each site differs from the others in terms of the content you should be sharing – but pitch things correctly and global exposure can be hugely rewarding. The main difficulties are understanding content overlap between sites, ensuring your content reaches the intended audience and standing out from what is now a very crowded digital marketplace. Time zones are also another factor you have to consider – posting at the wrong time will mean your images are missed, but you have to guarantee people in each time zone see your shots at the times that matter. On this page we’ve provided a condensed guide to boosting your online presence, and just as importantly, keeping it long term.
Stick to a theme
Once you start uploading images to any social site, keep a regular sharing schedule. It’s possible to have an immediate reaction from audiences, but you will lose them if you disappear for months – show dedication. It’s good to show range, but you might find it a hindrance rather than a benefit to upload photos in multiple genres. You might not want to be known as a ‘wildlife photographer’ or ‘landscape specialist’, but audiences will follow what interests them most.
Engage with your audience
A good way of maintaining a community of followers is to show that you are interested in what they have to say and appreciate their interest in you. Building relationships starts with replying to comments, answering questions (such as explaining technical aspects of your images to beginners and recommending locations) and reciprocating by reacting to their images. Tone is important – be constructive in your comments, but remember that not everyone takes criticism well.
While quality, strategic posting may seem complex, in reality you should interact with your audience as you would in-person. Be friendly, honest and informative and don’t ignore them for
months at a time.
Make your images visible
Select images carefully
You might have technical skill, but if you don’t carefully choose the images that you show to people, they will never see your true potential. Treat social sites as portfolios and upload your best work. Don’t post poorquality content for the
sake of posting itself. Uploading your images without any information attached can be equated to putting a print up in your window and hoping people in the street notice it. You need to actively display your work to your audience by adding hashtags, captions and location tags to aid their visibility.
Post at the right times
Each social platform has its own peak times, when most users are active online. 1pm to 3pm on Friday will often get the most clicks on Facebook; around midday is best for Twitter, with Thursday often stated as the best day; and 5pm on weekdays will produce the most success on Instagram. Instagram has the widest posting ’envelope’ with less peaks and troughs. Generally around 4pm has the weakest reaction on all platforms. Be sure to time your uploads well for maximum views.