DUDE, Stop Using Facebook Like a Dope!

My intention is not to make fun of anyone here, alright I am making fun of some people here, but sarcasm seem to be one of my strong points!  After taking a few day away from Social Media, My blog and basically my online life, I came back to discover I had over 150 friend requests, over 100 page suggestions and countless Farmville, Mafia Wars stuff to sift through.  In my 20 minutes of accepting and ignoring friend requests I had a look into many photographers and models approach to using social media/facebook and it wasn’t pretty.

First of all, let’s talk about profile photos.  You take a profile image to achieve a result, which you are in control of.  In my facebook profile for my studio, I am holding a camera (cheesy but effective in identifying I am the “jeff smith” my clients are looking for) but the camera is on the side of my face, not covering my face.  We are dealing with “social” media and the focus is on relationship marketing, do you want to build a relationship with a guy that is hiding behind something?

Second mistake that is worse than hiding and that is thinking we are something we are not.  Have you ever been at wedding and seen a woman on the dance floor (who probably has had a little too much too drink) who is doing her sexy dance moves (puckered up lips and all) that she used to do back in high school and college, but that was 20 or 30 years and about 75 pounds ago?  You think to yourself, one of her friends should explain that sexy dance moves don’t work at this stage of her life and quite frankly she is scaring the small children on the dance floor!

Some male photographers tend to fall in to this catagory.  I have never seen so many overweight and/or balding middle age men convince themselves that they have “still got it” with the young ladies.  If you are over 28, if you have over a 36 inch waistline and if you have to rearrange your hair to cover where hair used to be, you haven’t got it, you are not a rock star, the young ladies aren’t looking at you because they think you are a hottie they are looking at you because you remind them of their father or maybe even their grandfather!  If you no longer have it’, which most male photographers don’t, you have two roads to follow, the nice guy photo, which makes you look like a nice professional or the funny guy photo which makes you look like you would be fun during the session.  Take off the sun glasses, get off the Harley, loose the leather jacket, cool doesn’t sell unless you are young enough, thin enough and good looking enough to pull it off!

Some of the other dopey things I saw in my early morning Facebook session were countless photographers who were new to Facebook not have a profile photo.  This is just wrong, this is what you supposedly do and you don’t have a photo of yourself?  The last thing with profile photos is putting up a photo that has no meaning except to you.  If you show your profile photo to ten friends and you have to explain anything about it, it only has meaning to you!  You have two choice, put a clients photo which explain the type of photos you take or put up your own photo, which identify you to your clients.  Don’t try to be artsy and confuse the very people you want to attract.

In my list of things I didn’t understand is the countless models from all over the US and the world that want to be my friend.  I don’t hire models, I am in California, if I hired a model, I don’t think I would have to look very far!  Another strange thing is the number of people that wanted to be my friend which had a limited grasp of the English Language (or no grasps at all).  I am not bringing this up as a “political thing” here, it’s  more as a matter of common sense.  I write in English, most of books are sold in English, we are not going to have much to talk about if you don’t understand English!

My point here is that everything you do in Social Media needs to be planned, just like you design and plan your offline marketing.  Many photographers that are great with offline marketing do some really dumb things when using Facebook  because they don’t use the same fore-thought in their social media marketing strategies.  Many photographers feel it’s free so they don’t have to worry as much about it.  Your time is far from free, so think and plan before using social media!

For more on Social Media you can download my new book, SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS, that comes with a 20 minute video tutorial, Today Only, $14.50

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~ by jeffsmithbooks on May 10, 2010.

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