U4D: Social Media, a quick overview

Are you on Facebook, or somewhere else? What is your handle, or username? How can I find you? These are all questions that people often get asked when they meet people for the first time and want to stay in touch. They no longer want your phone number; they want to know where they can find you on social media.

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Social media a place where people can create their own content and share it with others via the internet. It almost seems strange when you hear someone talking about how they don’t use any of it, and the rest wonder how do they keep in touch? It has been around for some time now and love it or hate it seems to be here to stay, well, at least for as long as we have computers and electricity.

As photographers, it is a great tool and a wonderful way to share your images with the world.

There is no doubt that some platforms are much better than others. We tend to gravitate to a few and those that try to use all, end up not doing a great job. Let’s look at the 5 most popular social media platforms.

Facebook

This is the number one platform for social media. It has around 1.23 billion active users a month, which is massive. You can decide who will be your friend, you can post photos to it, and you can chat to people. It has a lot of good aspects, but the negative ones are seeing lots of people not using it as they once did.

These days if you have what they call a fan page, and you post a photo then not many people will see it. It has been said that if you post something then only 11% of those that follow you will actually be shown your post. If you want more to view it then you need to pay. It is called boosting your post. Does it work? Well, it never has for me, but there are people out there making a lot of money telling you it can and apparently how. The same happens for your profile page.

When you talk to a lot of people now they nearly all say they hate Facebook. It is too commercial and they don’t like how they can’t see everything their friends have posted. However, it is still an important platform and until something better comes along, people stick with it.

facebook

YouTube

It’s very big at the moment and millions are watching videos on it. They say it is the second biggest search engine in the world, so I’ve heard. Nearly everyone has used it, but a lot don’t post their own videos on it.

It is becoming a great place to share content and those that are trying to move up in the world should be putting videos up there. Start your own channel today and start posting some video content.

youtube

Twitter

This is still very important, but one that hasn’t really had a major impact in Australia. Australians tend to think it is for celebrities and don’t use it. However, it is big in other places and has around one billion users.

For most, the short messages and not really knowing what to do with it has been a major problem. How to connect with others can be a problem as well. Thought there are those that absolutely love it.

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LinkedIn

This platform is good for networking and many people use it to help them find jobs. It is more a professional social media site. Therefore, you get a lot of people who won’t connect with you, because you are not part of their professional network.

This platform is very different from others and you do need to spend time looking around it. You can’t just send people invitations to connect with you and LinkedIn have criteria that you need to fulfil to be able to do it.

They are always changing what they do that give you more opportunities for what you can do. It is worth considering, but remember it has been designed with the professional in mind.

linkedin

Google+

This is an incredible platform for photographers, and those that don’t like Facebook. Though, it seems to get a bad response from many. There are always rumours that Google are going to shut it down, but apparently they are just that. Google are always making changes to the platform to try and make it better for the viewer.

One aspect that many like is the lack of ads on it. It is assumed Google make enough money from the their other services so they don’t need to do that with this. Though it isn’t written anywhere there is the view that putting your photos up on G+ also enhances your chances of Google Image search displaying your images when people do images searches. That means your images are shared to a wider audience.

It really is just a sharing and networking platform. It is easy to see what others are doing and there are many groups or communities that you can join to share your images with as well.

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Finally

This is not necessarily the real top five and many put Pinterest up there as well, but I don’t use it, so I don’t feel qualified to talk about it. Most of us are using these in some shape or form.

Next time on U4D we will look at the best sites available to photographers.

Are you using some of these? Do you like them? What don’t you like about them?

38 Responses

  1. Great post Leanne and interesting stats.

  2. Excellent summary – I’m sure it’s a lot of work for you keeping up with all of this

  3. I’m on all of these except Google+. I have to say that I don’t get much business through social media but I do like to see the immediacy in which people react to your posts, images etc. I’d say I have fairly low numbers of followers across all the platforms but perhaps that’s about the time spent managing them. It takes a lot of energy and dedication to maintain several accounts!

    • I’ve found the same, though I am slowly getting some business with Instagram. but you are right, it is very good for that. It really is about time, the more time you spend on it the more followers you get, the social part. Thanks for sharing you experiences.

  4. Interesting to read your thoughts, and looking forward to your post about the best sites for photographers. I was at an e-commerce conference today and one speaker referred to Facebook as ‘Social media for old people’ – pfft!

  5. Great post, Leanne, as I struggle with whether to keep my FB page or post articles to my LinkedIn profile. I have a G+ account that my WP posts still automatically post to, but I haven’t been on it in probably a year. Same with Pinterest. I started a tumblr account, which a photographer friend of mine swears by, but engagement has been slow and I just don’t want to invest the time. Instagram, however, is a platform that I find the easiest and most fun. I’ve started up with that again with the idea of using it to be my portfolio. I’m more deliberate about what I post there and actually have deleted quite a few of my early posts so my feed better reflects who I currently am as a photographer.

    I do understand how important tagging is to building your following and I’m currently trying to find a way to make that easier. I also go back and forth about whether to discreetly watermark my images there. I’ll be interested to read your next article for any insights you’ve have about this platform!

    Gorgeous photo!!

  6. Social Media is a necessary evil. I also try to post to Instagram and Tumbler. I wish WordPress would automatically post to those two as well. I find I neglect them. It is great that WP auto-posts to FB, Google+ and Twitter. I also dabble with 500px, Tondo, Niume, and YAG.

    • It is, though I do like it, I’ve met some great people through it, especially Instagram. I’ve been meeting some great local photographers, which I love. It is good to dabble. Thanks for sharing what you use Sherry.

  7. “They no longer want your phone number; they want to know where they can find you on social media.”
    That’s true. I don’t even have my phone number on my business card. There’s no need to.

    Facebook is good for keeping in touch with people, but the image quality and censorship sucks. If you want to share
    photos on FB, the best way to do it is to post a link to the photo on Flickr or some other platform.
    That way you don’t have to compromise on the image quality.

    Twitter: too short messages to say anything substantial. Good for sharing links to articles, but that’s it.

    LinkedIn: for me this was just boring, corporate crap. I deleted my account there.

    Google+: “an incredible platform for photographers”. I totally agree.

    Flickr: an even better platform for photographers. Like on G+ you can join groups and participate in different events/competitions. You also get 1 TB of storage, plus you can set up your phone and backup the phone photos in a private folder.

    • I am the same, I don’t really give out my number. When I do I get inundated with telemarketers. Drives me nuts.
      I have to say I pretty agree with all you have to say, though I do use LinkedIn, well I have it, can’t say I really use it. I do have a Flickr account, but haven’t been using it as much as I used to. Thank you for all this Cardinal.

    • Forgot to say: Instagram is fun for the social part of it, but you can’t really judge a photo on tiny phone screens.
      Have you tried 500px? I haven’t, but I see that there’s a lot of photographers that use it. I might give it a go.

    • I am going to get to Instagram, it was interesting that the lists I was looking at didn’t have it in the top 5. That’s true, but you can now sort of enlarge the images to get a better look, which is nice.
      I have, but since it is for photographers, and I’m looking for other sorts of clients I haven’t really done anything there. I do use Flickr though.

  8. I am a regular user of twitter (@aspitweets) and facebook.

  9. Great article Leanne. My most despised social platform is FB. Next in line is Twitter. Isn’t Twit a derogatory term? In any case, Instagram and my own meager website dominate my mind haha!! Hope all is well for you and your family Leanne. Hugs.

  10. sorry, clicked too soon! Your photo with that stunning sky, and the butter yellow shack… is exquisite. Loved it!! one of my favorites of yours Leanne. 🙂 cheers, Debi

  11. I loved your post Leanne! I thought it was quite informative.
    and, yes, these social media platforms are ‘here to stay.’
    as you know, I’m still new – but working on these (WP, FB, IG, Pinterest, G+) Quite frankly… finding them so time consuming, they take up the majority of my actual “Painting Time.”
    But, this is just my own opinion. A little old fashioned. I know. 🙂

  12. Loved your photo…. amazing depth of field!

  13. I use Pinterest a lot – you have to invest quite a bit of time in training it to learn what you like and don’t like by creating you own boards and pinning stuff to them. I went in a couple of times a week for about 3-4 months after I learned that was what Pinterest needed to make more sense to me and it worked.

    Plus I found a few people who had related interests and followed their boards too and that helps populate your feed with more relevant stuff. Its really good for inspiration – if you have a concept or idea – I have LOTS of stuff tucked away for my photography and digital art.

    Its also great for recipes and I have made some tasty new treats from Pinterest too. Twitter tends to work in a similar way – the content you get is related to the feeds from the people you follow, so investing some time in curating your feed well pays off, but it does take time.

    • It sounds like too much work for me, though I know a lot of people really like it.
      That’s good to know, but it sounds like it won’t happen for me. I haven’t talked about IG here, but I do love it and am finding it really inspiring and love using it, and for me right now it is the best one. I will talk about it next time.

      Thanks for sharing that Stacey, good to know.

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