With all of the talk about Instagram making its platform more about videos and reels, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the pull of social media.
It seems to happen cyclically — photographers I know move from one platform to another. It’s happening now with Vero. We’re all just lemmings, apparently.
You really need to evaluate what it is you want from social media in the first place. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional with a business to support, if you don’t know your reasons for being on a particular platform then why bother being there?
Here are some questions you should ask yourself.
Depending on where you are in your photography, the benefits of social media will be different for each of us. Is spending time on social media helping you to get clients? Is it creating income for you and your business? Is it strictly a social outlet for you? Maybe it’s just the place you go when you need a 15-minute game break from your job. Are you using it to learn and grow your photography?
Asking this question is important if you’re trying to move forward and find yourself not having time to work on your own photography, business or hobby. Start asking yourself, what will posting this here do for me and my work?
What is your time worth?
Have you ever sat down to figure out how much time you actually spend on social media? Yes, some of you are very good at being disciplined and not spending hours upon hours scrolling through streams.
There are plenty of us out there though who do not use it wisely I’m sure. I’m guilty of that from time to time myself. Oh, pretty pictures, who shot that, where is that, what gear did they use and so on down the rabbit hole. What is your time worth?
Am I reaching the right audience on social media?
This can be a tough one depending on what you want from social media. Are you selling to clients directly? Do you sell online via a platform that you need to constantly market yourself in any way you can? If you’re strictly just sharing with friends and family then no need to try to create posts that market your work.
If you are a photographer and the majority of your followers are other photographers, are they really who you are marketing to? If you are selling your artwork, they are not likely the right audience for your work. On the other hand, if you lead photo tours and workshops or mentor other photographers, then photographers could be your audience.
Do you ‘live’ on your own website?
Marketing 101 says to get people to your website. What I have a feeling most of us do though is constantly post on social media first. How is that bringing visitors to your site? Will they just randomly go find you and subscribe? Having your own space that you know isn’t affected by algorithms and the latest trends is really the only way to be in control of your content.
Is there a good answer to any of this?
I don’t think there is a good answer. We are so entrenched in the social media world, that it’s difficult to feel like we can leave it. In the end, when we put our proverbial eggs in the social media baskets that are out there, we are at their mercy. These networks are free (mostly), they owe us nothing. So, my suggestion is to take control of your own content in some way.