Build and Main­tain a Pres­ence on So­cial Me­dia

What are the best ways to gain ex­po­sure for your images on­line?

Digital Photograper - - Contents -

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

Post reg­u­larly

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.

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