SOCIAL MEDIA SUICIDE or Effective Time Management

Recently, I was confronted with a social media dilemma.  We specialize in high school seniors and have been on Facebook for quite some time.  As our list of friends has aged, so have our past clients. Now many of them are in college doing some very adult, very college things and sharing them of Facebook.  Being one that likes to think ahead, I could foresee phone calls from upset parents telling me their high school student had been ‘scared for life’ by something that was posted to my wall that I didn’t remove fast enough. (We work with many high schools and this is a conversation you don’t want with a high school administrator!)

We had to act quickly to avoid any problems. I had to basically say goodbye to my past seniors, but do it in a way that wouldn’t offend them.  If I “de-friended” them they would take offense and we photograph many of their younger siblings and even families in the future, not the mention how long it would take to actually de-friend that many people.  I decided that knowing what I know about social media, I could cancel my account and have the friends that I wanted back to a new profile in one month and be done with the problems that could be caused by my old friends having their “girls and guys gone wild moments”.

At first I was scared to death, but then I thought of how much better I could make my new profile and business page and how I could target just those seniors I wanted to be friends with rather than just collecting numbers of friends that in some cases could be my client even if they wanted to.  This has worked out very well, since the change a few days ago we have received over a 100 friend requests and the numbers are growing quickly.

To prepare the seniors that mattered, we made lists of all current seniors that have done sessions and those that have scheduled sessions.  For the upcoming sessions, we told each of them of our new profile when we confirmed their appt. and again after the session was over.  For the seniors that have already done sessions, I simply had one of my staff send friend request to them. Once the new profile was up and going we started Facebook ads for the studio (which we would be doing anyways), in this economy it’s important that passed clients don’t think you went out of business.  We also recruited our senior models to spread the word about the changes we were making.

The path we took was a little extreme for some people, but we can’t jeopardize our relationship with our schools for a source of marketing.  Don’t worry, I have no plans of re-establishing my Facebook for Photographers, you are all old enough to handle the occasional R or NC-17 rated comments!  I share this because in social media things can happen and you have to be able to change as your situation changes.

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~ by jeffsmithbooks on August 10, 2010.

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