The Benefits of Pinterest & Google+

 

Developing a Social Media Strategy for Photographers

 

Lesson Info

The Benefits of Pinterest & Google+

- [Colby] So Pinterest and Google+, these are the last two. I know that we still have a lot to cover, but I condensed these down into two different segments. And I don't go in-depth into either of them because I don't feel that they are nearly advantageous as the rest of the platforms out there. So Pinterest, 110 million users, contains over 50 billion different types of pins, 60% of users are from the U.S., it's a high percentage, 71% female, 29% male. Again, market demographics. Good to know. Being a predominantly female network, market demographics and stereotypes aside, it's also a great place for wedding photographers or people that do portrait work because of those demographics. Seventy-five percent of Pinterest traffic comes from mobile, which has drastically increased. A pin has 1,680 times longer shelf life than a Facebook post, because pins and how Pinterest works with pinning content and putting them into your different little sections have extended searchability for people ...

to find this stuff later on. So, the stuff that you use, you can create a pinboard and you can have tons of your best content or whatever it is, that valuation to you in terms of people engaging and finding it is going to be exponentially longer than most other platforms. Before I jump into Google+ last, like I said, Pinterest is a really interesting one because of its visual nature. It can be fun. I pin a lot of stuff, to be honest. I'm probably on Pinterest more so, just to see what do-it-yourself stuff my wife is interested in doing at our house to make sure, see how much that's going to cost me. But to be fair, again, there are benefits to it. I know photographers that have done quite well with Pinterest. It takes a little bit of work to curating, to create interesting boards and to share them out, and share those boards at different social platforms, and define that valuation. But if that's something that you enjoy doing, and again, if it's something you're doing already, I recommend following through with it and giving it a shot at the very least. So, Google+. Right now, probably has less than 20 million active users at its height. Google at least said there was 350 million. That's dropped off quite a bit. And what has happened is that it evolved from what was typically more of a stereotypical social network, like Facebook, into more of an interest network. And what I mean by that is, essentially, the idea that you don't go there to find people that you know, because on Facebook everyone that you...a lot of people you connect with are people that you have some connection with already, personal, business, relationship, whatnot, you go there to find, to connect with people that have interests. So shared interests, passions like photography. There's a large engaged photography community there, or gardening, or science, or whatever it is. And the best way to describe it is what it's become, or what it's transformed, or evolved, or devolved in, depending on how you want to look at the changes that have happened over the last two years since the Google+, is that it's a combination of Facebook and Pinterest. So what they've done is they've created Collections and they have stuff that is essentially building into this idea that you're collecting content that have common themes. Hopefully, most of it's yours, but you can also add other stuff to your Collections. And then it has the social aspect more so like Facebook, where there's comments and there's re-shares and things like that, which are a little bit different than Pinterest where you can re-pin boards and stuff. And the focus right now is on that idea of communities and connection. So, if you're a photographer that's looking to engage with other photographers, I highly recommend you still check up Google+. A lot of engaged people out there, I still post there and get pretty good interaction rates, good conversations, it's an interesting place. It's a place that I still find benefit from an SEO standpoint because Google owns it. So it helps promote my website, I get a lot of traffic from it still compared to some other sites. It's a fun one. But it's also started removing some of its products and services. So, who knows? Maybe it won't be around for a few more years. But right now, it still has value in terms of a photography community. So if you're a photo educator, you want to sell products and services to photographers, you're looking for inspiration or education, Google+ is a good place to go. They've removed Hangouts on Air, which was a good feature where you used to be able to do live-streaming stuff for small amount of people. And Google Photos, they become their own platforms that are separate. So there's still some benefit to it. Again, it's worth checking out. I know, again, we didn't do a deep dive into how to build a following and do those things, but I wanted to bring it to your attention because it still does have value. So I think that's it. - [Drew] Cool. Do you want to take a question? - I would love to take a question. - We have a question. Actually, a couple of questions came in about specific times of day when to post on social media. Obviously, we have people watching from all over the world. This question came in from Hawaii. Does it depend on where you are in the world, target market? How do you figure all that out? - How do you determine? - Yeah. - The answer to that is less dependent on where you are and more dependent on where your followers are. So, depending on where your followers are, and again, this is probably going to take some experimenting, is that the idea that you're sitting there and posting...do that idea that I said, where you're posting out, every day you're changing your posting time by two hours and start at 8 in the morning your time, and then go. Now, living in Hawaii, I'd honestly probably set it, if you must be doing a lot of local work, I'd actually set it for Pacific Time. So, set it for 8 Pacific Time and schedule your posts out. And then do it every two hours and see where those engagements are. But a lot of the time, I find, again, in my experience in talking to other people, is that mostly, it's either on the ends of the bookshelf of the day, life of a day for your average worker, eight to five, or it's going to be at lunchtime. That's where I find generally have been the sweet spots, depending on where your followers are, depends on which time zone that equates out to. So just experiment, and that's the only way you're going to find out because statistics probably have some value to them in terms of saying, "Oh, in general, it's midday," but it's like, "Well, what's three o'clock to you?" It's going to be different. And the only way you're really going to able to find out is to try, experiment with it. - [Man] You mentioned cross-posting from your Instagram to Facebook. And I'm just curious. Maybe you're going to go into more of the robust big picture of your social strategy. What I heard you say is that you didn't do that, when you post it to Instagram, but you go back later so you don't overwhelm your feed. But then I'm just curious about how you strategize. You have this photo that you want to share on your Facebook and your Instagram and you're talking about scheduling your posts on Facebook, just the big picture of how you're going about all of those things. So, I don't know. That's a big question. But I'd just love to hear you speak some of that. - It's a big question. I think I do explain a little bit of that as I go on, I think. But let's dive into it for a little bit. So, for me, I look at each of my social platforms and I try to figure out, "What are the benefits to me? What are the valuation? Why am I on these social platforms?" That's a question I think we ask in the next segment. But the reason I'm asking that is, I'm trying to figure out what my intent is. So for Instagram, I'm generally going for more interaction rates. So, I generally want to post at certain times of the day. They work out for that. Whereas Facebook, I'm generally looking for more valuations in terms of, not necessarily direct customer or consumer marketing, but I want to sit there and be able to put links into my posts that drive people to go to my website that ultimately buy products and services. That's generally the proposition to me. Twitter is more for those general conversations. And so, my overall strategy is dependent on those choices, is determining where and when and how I post. So, for example, again, if I want to sit there and I want to maximize my potential for Facebook and Instagram, I'm going to post my photo to Instagram maybe at 12:30. Lunchtime is pretty good for me. So I'm going to post it at 12:30. And then for Facebook, when you post a photo to Instagram, you have the option to share it immediately to your Facebook or to Twitter and stuff like that, I don't like doing that, because at least I find a lot of people that following me on one network follow me on a lot of different networks. And when I follow someone and I sit there and see six posts across multiple different platforms, it just turns me off. I don't like it. So, I don't want to spam my followers with that. And the benefit of also extending that day, as we talked about before, and posting on a different time is you're hitting different people. So what I'll do is I'll post Instagram midday, wait a little bit, maybe around five, or six, or seven o'clock, I'll take that same photo and I'll share it to Facebook. Or maybe I'll wait a couple of days, maybe they'll be stagnated. So, I'll sit there and that day, I'll share what I had two days ago on Instagram. So there's going to be some crossing, but I'm hitting different people, different times of the day, so I'm maximizing the potential, at least in my mind, for the type of stuff that I'm doing. And all those choices, again, come down to that question of what you're trying to get out of it, I think is really important. And we do a deep dive into that very soon. So, excellent. Any other questions? Yes? - [Woman 1] Do you think that horizontal photos work better for Twitter than vertical? - It's a good question. So, horizontal photos more important in Twitter? I think out of all the social networks, Twitter has less value, or I've found there's less penalty for posting non-vertical photos on Twitter. Maybe it's the user base, maybe it's how people are used to the situation but I've had great engagement for vertical photos as I have for horizontal photos. There's much less correlation in my experience between doing that on Twitter than it is, say, on Facebook or Instagram. Instagram's the biggest by far, and Facebook generally, I still do find that it's starting to get to the same point where vertical images are becoming more engaged. But with Twitter, I haven't seen a ton of correlation. I think it's more on the quality of the work, and what time of day you post, hashtags you include in because, again, a lot of people still have that real-time mentality with Twitter, even though it technically is a curated feed now. And they've gone away with that instant stuff. So with Twitter, I think you can get away with it. I post whatever I want to on Twitter. But that might also be because I don't care so much. I think it's just fun to engage there. Question? - [Woman 2] And will you change your captions between platforms? Yes. When I post to Instagram and Facebook and I use the same photo, that's another reason why I don't like to do it immediately. So if you sit there and post to Instagram and you check that box, "Post to Facebook," it's going to have the same exact everything. And a lot of the time, those hashtags mean nothing on the next network, or the tags won't port over. So it just looks funny. So I will sit there and that's why I share them individually afterwards where I have control over controlling how that's going to look. And so, when it comes to information, again, that's going to be dependent on the network. I might ask different questions, or I might have a different call to action, or I might include different information. It just depends on the benefits of different platforms and stuff like that.

Class Description

There are no shortages of online networks for photographers to share their images, but which platforms are best for you and how do you utilize them to grow your photography? Sony Artisan Colby Brown will walk you through the foundations of social media and why it’s so important for your brand as a photographer. He’ll show you how to define what you want out of your online experience and how to maximize your time on each of the major networks. 

Colby will discuss:
  • What each of the major social networks are and what they’re best utilized for
  • Tips for growing an audience or followers
  • What networks to use to achieve your goals as a photographer 
  • Tricks to breaking down the different network algorithms to maximize your engagement
  • Develop a social media strategy to build your brand as a photographer
No matter your genre of photography, be it travel, wedding, or pet photography, social media has the power to grow your audience, business, and skills. Learn tips and tricks on where and how to invest your time using these free online marketing tools.


Hoping to go beyond growing your following and learn how to grow your business using these networks? Check Out Colby's other course: Monetizing your Social Media Presence for Landscape Photographers