Everyday I see the same photos posted over and over again. I see the same shot of the same temple posted in almost every one of my Facebook groups, on Flickr, 500px (which then gets reposted back to Facebook) and Google Plus. We have all done it, but the question that you should be asking yourself should be “is this really working?” I am going to take a stand and say “No, it is not working and you should just stop… NOW”
Who does the sharing?
Too often we think that if we share to a ton of places, get a bazillion likes, then you are going to make it and be a world famous photographer because that is what world famous photographers do right? WRONG. I follow a lot of photographers and I am sure that you do to. When they take a photo, who does the sharing? Their fans and followers, that’s who.
The best thing that we should do as photographers is to post material that people want to share. That means going beyond posting your photo for a virtual “pat-on-the-back” and creating content that people will want to post to their own pages with a comment like “look at this!” We all take great photos, but it is not about that. It is about sharing the kind of content that people find interesting enough to share. That is what is going to give your photography traction. That is what is going to give your photography the edge over the other 800 photographers sharing the exact same photos from the exact same place in the exact same groups.
When to Share?
If you absolutely have to share the same photo then stagger your posts out over the course of the week rather than all at once. Choose times where different groups of people are going to see it rather than posting at the exact same time as all of your other posts. Posting to 15 groups at the same time might be easier but you won’t have the same effect as posting to a few select groups at a select time. Find out when the groups are the most active and reserve your post for only those times for only those groups.
What to Share?
Gary Vaynerchuk advises people to “respect the platform” and that means choosing content and creating post designed for facebook, google+ and so on and not just the same thing splashed all over. Also the types of posts that you make are also important. Albums are good for your facebook page but the days of the “Dump and Run” should be gone. My advice would be to choose a few photos and post a different one to a different group and link back to your main album, website or page.
Choose images based on content that you think really grabs people’s attention and then pull them into your album or portfolio. Don’t just post whatever you have just taken as it just comes off as a desperate attempt at getting more likes. Trust me on that one because it never works for me.
What’s your Plan?
Please drop that “I’m just a regular guy (or gal) who just likes taking photos” crap if you spamming the entire internet every time you take a decent photo. If you really want to make it as a photographer then create a plan for your posts and post regularly. During the past month or so I have started posting photos and links at least once a day to my facebook page. What I noticed was a sharp jump in page likes and interaction. However, that is not saying too much because I think that my mom and my wife are the only ones who consistently follow/comment on my post. The point being is that if you actually have a plan to your posts, it will pay off.
Basically, you want to create a story around the photos and engage people. Give them a reason to share your stuff. Understand that in smaller communities (like expats in Korea) will be all a part of the same photo groups, so posting everywhere is not effective at all because it is just the same group of people see your photo over and over again. Choose which shots will work the best in each group. Just remember that the top photographers these days are not always the best photographers in the world but they are the ones that understand and respect how social media works for them.
With all that being said, if you look at my work, you will not see a huge explosion of likes and interactions. That is because I am still struggling with trying to understand how to market myself and my photos. Regular posts help and targeting groups with specific photos and really helped. Interacting with people also helps. The newer photographers that are running around the country meeting people and getting shots are the ones that are making the most news these days. Utilize your time well and see what happens.