white swan at Disney

Photos by LaTease

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in social media those thousand words can quickly become hundreds of thousands of viral shares.  That’s why photographers have to remain creative with their social media offerings.  Just like any good advertising jingle, your pictures need a “hook” or something that attracts the eye and the mind at the same time in a moment’s notice.  People love eye catching graphics, and oftentimes want a back story to go along with them.   It is our job as photographers to give the people what they want because social media now demands that of us.

tiger in a tree, at st louis zoo

Some photographers are very serious about their craft and refuse to ‘give in’ to the masses concerning their work, that is, photographers can be stubborn because creativity is an individual sport, never needing true acceptance from the rest of the world, however, if no one is paying attention to your ‘art’ it can be a lonely world.  That’s why it’s important that photographers learn how to use the various social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and even Blogging in order to go where the audience is.  If you offer good quality shots, no matter the genre, you will attract a niche following sometimes that will keep your work unique and appreciated.  Also, make sure you protect your intellectual property, ” “Watermarking photos is one option. If you use a professional photographer, include the right to publish the photos across digital, social media and print options in your contract.” And learn how to optimize your photos for search, take a look at Google’s recommendations according to the Social Media Examiner.

tiger coming out of water, at st louis zoo

Photos by LaTease

 

The work comes in not with the shooting and post production editing of an image, no that’s the fun stuff.  The work begins when you have to become a business person alongside being the creative director of your work.  In dealing with social media applications, make sure you have a clear understanding and operate within the Terms of Service (TOS) of the social media site(s) you are using.  You don’t want to have your account deleted because you failed to play by the rules.  In addition, make sure you monitor all activity concerning your product, particularly user generated content.  If there are concerns surrounding your work, like where you shot it, even if it is offensive to someone, address these matters with care and concern in an expeditious manner.  Don’t let your users control your brand because before you know it, your reputation will go down the tubes and it is a difficult to it.

Silverback Gorilla

Photos by LaTease

 

This brings me to the benefits and risks involved with going public and putting yourself on display before a global audience. It’s a daunting task and if you happen to be an introverted creative sort, then pay particular attention to this advice from Tech Republic: “The potential benefits of social media for businesses are clear: an ability to market and advertise in a direct, interactive and usually free way to a potentially massive global audience. But as social-media use increases, businesses are becoming aware of the risks.

The ability of users to post comments and opinions on social media networks provides a platform for criticism, whether or not justified, and the misuse of a business’s brand and content.”

Cockatiel bird

Photos by LaTease

 

One of the most important attributes from the above quote, that while having the ability to market and advertise in a direct, interactive and usually free manner to so many people is exciting, however, with that much potential power, risks lie therein.  Treat your social media activity the same way you would if you were running a brick and mortar business and advertising for clients in a newspaper, radio or television ad, with ethical behavior, good customer service, always serve your audience.

 

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