One Photographer's Guide to The World of Social Media- Part 4

Curators’ Corner

One Photographer's Guide to The World of Social Media- Part 4

I am wrapping up this discussion of social media with facebook and linked in. I actually think that a “friend” on facebook, or linked in, is more valuable than any of the other services so it’s not a reflection of my feelings about the services but rather what I found to be a natural progression in the discussion.

So what about facebook friends being more valuable? The thing about facebook, and linked in, is that the friendships are synchronous. That means the other person has to approve you before you can follow them. By necessity that means that people are more engaged and more selective about who they approve. That makes it more valuable. For contrast twitter is an asynchronous relationship and it means that people have very little engagement unless you really make yourself visible.

Knowing that the relationship is more valuable I like to really keep facebook personal. If you go back to the first article you may remember that I said I don’t set up business accounts and I use my real name as much as possible. That means my discussion of facebook is not going to include setting up a business page. There is nothing wrong with doing it that way but, like I said before, I want people to know me. I believe that the better people know you the more likely they are going to be to hire you and the more successful the relationship is going to be. So go ahead and post things that are a little more personal and a little less informational on facebook. Just remember you are living your online life in the public eye so be personal but not too personal.

The way I structure my social media life is that I use twitter to post most things and it’s less personal, I use flickr to post my images and interact with other photographers, and facebook is the most personal. If you are a facebook friend you can get to know me pretty well. And that brings us to linked in. For me linked in is another tool similar to flickr. I collect contacts there but what I really use it for is double-checking my marketing list. You can link your twitter account to linked in as well so it is another opportunity to stay fresh in people’s minds but I see the real power in being able to see names and titles for people in an organization. If you’re more of a retail photographer this may be of less use but for a commercial photographer it can be gold.

That brings us to the end of my discussion of specific services and I want to close by revisiting the reasons for doing all this work because it’s important to always keep the why in mind. The idea here is that you are always promoting yourself but you are doing so in a way that doesn’t feel like constant promotion. Go out in the world and meet people, talk to them on the phone, shake hands and show your work. Then use social media as an opportunity to always be sharing new information and new work with those people. Remember it might not always seem like people buy Tide because they see the commercials for it but when you are in the store looking at all the detergents you look at the Tide box and there is a certain affinity that you don’t even realize as you reach for the box. Social media is how you can build that affinity but it all falls apart if you are not shooting the pictures to show people and interacting with the people who you want to buy those pictures.

The image for this post is one of the images I shot for a new project I am working on. This project is about runners and it’s rather personal. Because of this I am working hard to make sure I am friends with everyone involved in the project so that I can tag them on facebook. It’s more effort than I typically go through but just like the twitter work it has opened me up to lots of new people, strengthened my relationships, and it has been very successful in creating buzz. I hope I was able to help you navigate the social media landscape a bit and I look forward to seeing you online.

This article was written by Josh Ross,, if you are interested in sharing your experiences, trials, tribulations, and information please contact for more information on how to do so.