Visitor Source #5: Social Media
Obviously, everyone is familiar with social media these days – it’s inserted itself into almost every aspect of our daily lives, and can sometimes be hard to escape!
Just think of how much time we all spend buried in our phones, attracted to them like Pavlov’s dogs just because a notification popped up or the phone made a buzzing noise.
Of course, marketers tried to jump on the social media bandwagon from the beginning, with mixed success.
Sadly, most of them got it all wrong and quickly discovered the truth about social media the hard way.
That simple fact is that social media is for relationship-building, it’s not for direct marketing.
So what can you do to improve your chances of success with social media, and how can you use it to drive more interested people to your website or blog?
Connect On Social Media
First of all, make it easy for people to connect to your social channels.
Your “about” page is a great place to display those social media connection buttons because your visitors are at a point where they’re interested in who you are as a photographer.
Your contact page is another good location, as is the “thank-you” page they might see right after filling out your contact form.
Many photographers choose to display a row of social connection buttons across the top of their website, or in their blog sidebar, but these are not as effective as you might imagine, and they can serve to send people away from your website at a critical moment. For those reasons, I would consider removing them from any site-wide spots such as headers, footers, or sidebars.
One useful set of people to connect with are the influencers in your community (e.g. other businesses, TV and media people). These can act as magnifiers and amplifiers of you social content if you take the time to build good relationships with them.
Lastly, don’t get caught up in the statistics of social media. It’s far more important to remember to focus on the quality – not the quantity – of your social media connections.
Make Sharing Easy
Next, make it easy for people to share your content by displaying prominent sharing buttons.
You can place those buttons at the top and bottom of your posts, and you might want to include some text near the buttons to encourage people to share.
However, do be careful about how many options you give because too many can look overwhelming and put people off. Instead of offering buttons for every network imaginable, choose the top 3 or 4 where you know your ideal clients are likely the most active.
And, of course, remember to share your own content on your own social media channels!
Other Social Media Tips
Quite often, the best way to get your content noticed on social media is to have other people share it for you, which is why we make use of sharing buttons for readers.
However, they’re not always going to think about using those buttons, so a great tactic is to make some of your content shareable directly. You can do this, for example, by creating Tweetables in your content to make sharing on Twitter easy and attractive. Tweetables are nicely-formatted bite-sized segments of content that readers can share to Twitter with a single click or two, and the Social Warfare WordPress plugin does a great job of creating these for you.
You can also create incentives for your clients, which encourage them to share posts that are about them or to get more comments on your blog posts from their families, friends, or colleagues.
When you do see your content being shared on social media, or talked about, make an effort to become a natural part of the conversation happening around your posts and your brand by responding to comments and answering any questions.
Do an audit of your website and blog to see where you can improve your social media connections, and consider removing social connection buttons from places where you don’t want to lose your visitor’s attention, such as on a blog post.
Next, identify the influencers in your community and reach out to them via social media to start building relationships that will be mutually beneficial in the future.