Social media networks connect people across the world in real time. Sharing has now become second nature. This new paradigm has many businesses spinning. With the objective of building brand awareness and enhancing business growth, businesses embark on many different social media strategies. With the help of data analytics, businesses can determine which of the strategies are most successful in meeting their objectives. The world of social media is continuously evolving. It is becoming more and more difficult to remember a time when the world wasn’t sharing.
As a powerful tool utilized by businesses to market their business and generate sales. Some of the key benefits include:
- Heightened brand awareness
- Increases in sales generated by successfully targeting existing and potential customers
- Heightened communication with customers leads to improved customer service
- Heightened customer engagement opportunities
Social media has had a strong impact on the photography industry. Some may argue that the impact has been negative as the high usage of photography apps with various filters has diminished the value of quality photography. On a positive note, social media has also provided photographers with an opportunity to share their photographs with the world and to establish a fan base using affordable marketing tactics. Instagram has become one of the most powerful tools used by photographers. The social media platform gives photographers across the world an opportunity to have their work viewed by thousands, if not millions of people and fellow photographers. Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest have become vehicles for photographers to share their works with their peer group and inspire possibilities for marketing collaborations.
Another popular social media tool used by photographers to market their businesses is Youtube. Youtube photo galleries and Youtube Channels are developed with the objective of showcasing photographic prowess and providing tutorials with valuable photography tips. The channels provide photographers with an opportunity to build brand awareness, develop a fan base in addition to giving their followers an opportunity to share the posts and contribute comments.
Photography by Nataal is a lifestyle photographer operating in the lovely town of Stratford, Ontario. As a trained graphic designer, Nataal Colalillo always had a natural passion for photography and a camera in her hand. Her love for photography took a turn after the birth of her son. Her focus shifted from everyday artistic photography to baby & family. As he grew and started school, Nataal threw herself into developing her brand (connection and emotion, in the moment) and launching the business, focusing on family and baby lifestyle. Her vision was to create images that she would want of her own family in an artistic, documentary style.
Social media tools became the key focus of her marketing and business building efforts. Word of mouth and continuous use of social media has helped Nataal make connections with businesses in her community, build brand awareness and stay top of mind to families in the community.
In a recent interview with Nataal, I asked her to provide some insight on her use of social media in her business building efforts.
What are top 5 ways that you have used social media to market your business and generate sales?
Facebook: As a high percentage of people on Facebook are moms and mompreneurs, it has become my quickest and easiest way to build traffic and post my recent work. This platform has helped in building awareness of my brand and style of work. To market my business and book sessions, posting frequently to stay in peoples’ feed and minds are essential, especially during peak times of the year. Also, liking and commenting boosts interest which in turn generates more followers. I am noticing a spike in both followers and likes.
Instagram is a secondary avenue used, however I find it is more international and connects me to more photographers rather than clientele. This leads to education and learning, staying on trend and connecting to top photographers in my field.
Content Marketing: I have a blog which is a great story telling platform and I recently created an online newsletter to keep clients in the know and now about my business and its direction. Content marketing provides me with an opportunity to share information that my potential clients may find valuable. For example, I can use my blog and newsletters to promote contests, share “how to style your session” articles, provide information on photography products such as canvases, prints and photobooks. These are all points of interests to my clients and potential clients.
Collaborations: Through my social media network, I’ve been able to make some creative connections that have led to some strategic collaborations in the promotion of my business such as partnering with a high-end children clothing boutique, makeup artists and hair salons. As a community, we share each other’s promotions or news on social media which provides me with access to a greater volume of potential clients and ‘fans’. The outcome of such collaborations has helped be to build a larger client base, book more sessions and increase sales. .
#Hashtags: everything from #newborn #stratfordON #love (being one of the most popular hashtags) #familyphotographer #newbornphotographer, etc.. This has increased my number of followers and interactions. I search for trending hashtags and use them.
How do you plan to use social media in the future?
Video is being used by photographers to promote to other photographers in the field, i.e.: education on processing and products, and the marketing of materials for photographers. I am currently looking at producing a video to be posted on vimeo (a video-sharing website in which users can produce high-quality tools for hosting, sharing, and streaming videos in HD and 4K) that can be shared across social media.
Do you visit and comment on other bloggers in Stratford and has it lead to any collaborations?
Yes, I recently partnered with a Doula, promoting newborn/baby and birth photography to her clients.
How do you use social media to retain existing relationships as well as explore new potential markets?
As a way to retain existing clients I am currently using contests on Facebook. Social media is the window through which I communicate to my clients/community. It is the easiest and quickest avenue for me to communicate directly and receive feedback.
As families expand, maternity sessions are becoming increasingly popular. Mothers want to document their journey through the most important time of their lives. It has been a natural progression in my own journey as a family photographer.
Has social media helped you connect with new clients outside of your community?
I have not only connected with other photographers across Southern Ontario and the world, but clients as well (I even had a request to come to Australia!). Photographers love to travel. Capturing new clients in new locations is a creative buzz.
Lessons for Others
Some key takeaways:
- Before a social media strategy can be determined, businesses need to clearly understand who their potential clients are and which social media platforms they actively engage in.
- With social media, everyone is accessible. Your business is not limited to your community
- With the use of social media, your market reach is extensive and can lead to fruitful marketing collaborations
- Content marketing via social media provides an opportunity for businesses to build new relationships and brand awareness by creating on-line content that if valuable to potential customers
- Social media is an effective tool used by businesses to “defend” or retain existing relationships and explore new potential markets
Photography by Nataal
Name of Organization Contact: Nataal Colalillo
Authored by: Diana N. Oddi
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.
Wooddall, Dusty. (2017, March 16) Is social media helping your photography business or is it a waste of time. Retrieved from: https://fstoppers.com/business/social-media-helping-your-photography-business-or-it-just-waste-time-169482
Green, Mitch. (2017, February 24) Instagram for photographers the good, the bad and the ugly. Retrieved from https://petapixel.com/2017/02/24/instagram-photographers-good-bad-ugly/
Osmann, Murad. Has social media helped or hurt the photography industry. Retrieved from: http://www.colesclassroom.com/has-social-media-helped-or-hurt-the-photography-industry/