Social media, networking and the photographer.
Although web sites and the ability for an art buyer to find a photographer using a few key words has opened many doors, more action is needed. The new media photographer knows the rules of networking have not changed. Successful networking involves being engaged and following up. Social media offers the photographer the opportunity to gain the attention of people not accessible just a few years ago.
Social web sites such as MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter offer the photographer an opportunity to search, connect and keep in touch with prospects at a level unheard of in the past. Social networking also offers the ability to learn more about your prospects and clients such as personal life, special interests and dislikes. A nice benefit is the ability to connect with friends and associates of clients. People that also may need photographic services.
MySpace started out as a place for bands to display their wares, post show dates and connect with fans. Today it’s open to everyone and is a standard “space” to occupy with younger people. Over the last few years, Facebook has become more accepted as the standard home for social networking. It’s a place for people to share photos and updated information instantly with people they connect with. LinkedIn is all business. It’s designed to connect business people with prospects by embracing the concept of Six Degrees of Separation. Each site has its own advantages.
Twitter is about what’s happening. This service is what is called a microblog; it gives the photographer an opportunity to share new information with his followers. Twitter only allows for 140 words per entry, forcing the content provider to be concise. It is a great way to share a little extra information about the life of the new media photographer. Statements, updates, links to projects and sharing items of interest are all productive uses of Twitter.
Keeping your information on social sites updated is important. That is the idea. The more opportunities a potiencial client has to find a specific photographer, the better the results. But, if old or incomplete information is offered, it can have a negative effect.
Social networking is about connecting with people. A new media photographer understands that the spaces she occupies on the internet social sphere represent her story. Neworking rules apply. Be polite, keep information updated, and follow up on promises made. But, the most important rule is understanding the power of networking and that the best networkers follow the Law of Givers Gain.