Sharing photos with the world, or your social media following can be quite scary. The question becomes to share or not to share? It is a big decision. What can you get out of it when you do it? There are a few things to consider.
Last week on U4D we looked at social media in a general way. Today, I thought we could look at it for photographers and how you can use it. I have been trying to find lists of the top 5, but it seems everyone has a different opinion on the matter. Also many articles are quite old and social media is changing so quickly that what was relevant a year ago, is not now. Perhaps, I will just talk about what I use and why.
This would have to be the number one platform for me right now. It is amazing, and is bringing lots of new opportunities. It has provided a good incentive to work on photos and put them up. It has been one of the best social platforms I’ve seen as far as the social side goes.
It has been around for a few years now. When it started it was for putting photos from you mobile phone up on it. It still really is only for the phone. Though some things have changed over the years, and you can view photos on the computer, you still can’t load photos, except on your phone.
The photography has come a long way as well. While there are still many people who use photos taken with their phone, there are many more putting up images taken with their cameras. It means that the variety is incredible and really inspirational.
There is a real social side to it, in that I have met so many other photographers from Melbourne through it. I’m finding out places to take photos and then meeting others as well. It really is a social platform.
While many don’t include it in social media, it shouldn’t be underestimated. Blogging platforms give you an opportunity to let people know more about you. You can say more, and show your images.
More and more people are writing and using blogs to showcase their work. There are so many out there now that it is hard to stand out. Still worth doing and finding your own niche in the world.
One aspect that really helps is the ability to use your blog as your website as well. People can find out information readily as well, especially if you are trying to run a business.
While people seem to be turning away from Facebook, it is still a fairly important platform. Though, I’m not sure for what. My experience is that it seems fairly ineffective these days, except to keep up to date with friends. It is hard to be social when you only see a fraction of what people actually post. The messenger or chat function is probably the best thing about it.
Some of the problems with Facebook are the way it is monetised now and how do you find people to follow you. The only way, it seems, to get people to look at your posts is to pay to have them boosted. I haven’t found that boosting works, but others say it does.
Most social media platforms have a way to almost advertise yourself, hey I am here. However, that doesn’t seem to be something that Facebook have. You have to let people know about your page on other platforms, or, pay for it. The second option is not something that is recommended.
This is quite an under estimated platform. It is easy to forget that Google is the biggest search engine in the world and then there are Google images. You want google to find your images and show them in searches that people make. They won’t tell you how they do things, but it can’t hurt to have an account and put your images up there.
Google+ are pushing more for their collections now. They want you to create collections, which are basically galleries of your images. You will get more hits and it is shared more. It isn’t that hard to do either.
Google+ is said to be great for photographers, and it is. You get to see some wonderful work. There are also many groups and such that you can join as well. There also don’t seem to be pay to use things that Facebook have.
There are the rumours that Google are going to shut it down, but since they just created a whole new interface that does seem unlikely. Though I asked my husband about it and he said the rumours have been around for years.
I’m putting these together because they seem to work the same. They both show your work beautifully and can be used as a portfolio of your work. Though with so many other places it is hard to see how they are going.
Flickr is a more general platform and you will find people of all sorts of levels there. Those that are photographers and those that aren’t. I am not sure how effective it is anymore, but it still looks good. I tend to only put my best work up. I was told it was a great place to get work, that has never happened for me, but I’ve heard it has for others.
The platform for 500px was designed for photographers to use. I have used it and do have an account, but I don’t use it. I found the whole competitiveness aspect of it a bit of a turn off. I didn’t need that, but there are many people that think it is wonderful.
Which is for you?
Only you can decide. The reality for many of us is that you can’t do it all, unless you don’t want to have a life. It is recommended you pick about 3 and concentrate on those. So you can see what my three are, the first three. I post on the others, but rarely. I like to see what happens from time to time, but I know that I have to work on the sites that bring me the most reward.
This is a just a brief overview and in the coming weeks I will try to do more comprehensive articles on most of them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?