DO YOU WANT TO BE THEIR FRIEND OR HAVE THEM BE YOUR FAN?

Facebook and other social media sites have been around for a while now and business people are becoming more familiar with using these new forms of media for their professional benefit.  With so many business people who are new to using social media as a marketing tool there is a great deal of confusion about which site to us use and how to use them effectively.  As photographers, Facebook has become the site of choice as a marketing tool.  Facebook gives you the ability to have longer posts (twitter is only 140 characters), as well easily posting photos and video that can be seen in the post, (instead of just a word link to the photos/video).  The thumbnail of a photo for an album or video is important in getting anyone on social media to see what you have posted.  I won’t click on a worded link unless I know the person that posted it very well because I have been unpleasantly surprised many times.

When using Facebook there is some confusion about the difference between your profile as a business “person” and a page for the business itself.  Both personal profiles (friends) and business pages (fans) have their place in using social media.  Many studios just set up a business page and ask potential clients to become fans.  While business pages have many features that make it easier to advertise to your “fans” they also have many drawbacks in functionality and appeal.  There seems to be two types of people on Facebook, those that become fans of everyone who they know and/or asks them to become a fan (just see the many high school seniors that have several photography studios they are fans of) and those people who don’t become of a fan of anyone.  Everyone should have a business page for their studio, but they really go against the idea of social media and that is the ‘Social” part.  The basic idea of social media marketing is really “friendship marketing”.  People like doing business with people they know or at least know of.

Personal profiles give you the ability to be seen as a person, as well as a business owner.  By posting interesting things that you are doing both professionally and personally (not too personal or boring) you allow your “friends” to become familiar with you, which in turn makes them more comfortable doing business with you. Another benefit of personal profiles is the ability of advertising without advertising.  People who often use the internet (which almost everyone on facebook would be) hate advertising, at least unsolicited advertising.  When someone receives an email or a post from a business page, they look at it the same way they do an email or mailer from your studio.  When someone receives a post from a “friend” it is more readily accepted.  You just have to learn to get your message out, without sounding like a non-stop infomercial.

I think both personal profiles and business pages have their place, but  if I had to pick only one it would be my personal profile.  It gives the business person the ability to post content and have it viewed by potential clients that are friendly and less guarded.  So if you only have a business page, set up your personal profile and start making friends that could be clients not just advertising to those that might have an interest.

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~ by jeffsmithbooks on January 31, 2010.

One Response to “DO YOU WANT TO BE THEIR FRIEND OR HAVE THEM BE YOUR FAN?”

  1. Love your work. Thanks for sharing your
    god gifted talents.

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