No, I'm not a social media junkie. OK, maybe just a little. But lets face it boys and girls; in today's connected society social media is an important venue for communicating with a wide, diverse or tight network of contacts. I do photography, as you might have noticed, and social media is important in sharing my work, communicating with my contacts, and arranging photo-shoots.
Honestly, unless you have a support structure and staff that does all of this "the old fashion way" I don't think any photographer can be efficient today without an active social media strategy. Now, don't get me wrong, I have no problem with the old fashion way, and I combine the 2 together. But social media makes the workload more efficient.
So what do I use, and how do I use it. Good question. I use the following:
- Facebook - "social" page
- Facebook - "business" page
There are MANY more social media outlets out there, but for me these are currently the best for my needs. And to be honest it's hard to keep up and stay fresh even on this many. But, I enjoy the connectivity, feedback and the ability to access a wide net of people quickly and easily
This is how I use each outlet & how to find me:
Facebook - social page (Steve Brokaw) - this is my main source of networking and staying up to date on the community. I use FB to IM contacts regularly. However, since I've recently set up a business page I use it slightly differently. I put more "social" type information on this page as well as photographic related. I use this for casting calls, watching the local, US & international industry, and following what my "friends" are doing. I DO NOT join in on or contribute to the drama that is part of the FB game, but it's great for connecting to a very wide audience. I normally do not connect to anyone in my day job company on FB, because I keep my business and photographic lives separate.
Facebook - business page (Steven Brokaw Photography) - just like it says, this is where I chat about my photography, post my blog post links, upload recent photos, IM potential clients, etc. I stay completely out of personal type posts on this page. I consider this my professional photographic social media home.
Instagram (StevenBrokaw) - I'm VERY late to the game on Instagram, but really enjoy it. I use this simply for posting or looking at photographs that inspire. I generally post a photo, a behind the scenes shot, or a simple snapshot. I normally don't apply an artsy filter, just post a photo. I use this along with InstaSize so I don't have to crop in Instagram. I use Instagram to look at photos created by people I follow using hashtags. I "follow" photographers, models, agencies & fashion houses for inspiration. I "like" or interact on images I really enjoy. I like the very clean interface and simplicity of app. I also tag my creative team in all of my photos so they get credit / see the photo.
Twitter (8888SEB) - OK, first the name...I used to live in Hong Kong where "8" is a lucky number. I figured 4 times the luck!!.. Yes, I know, stupid. Anyway, I use Twitter actively & mainly as a way to watch world news and general goings on in the local community, the photography industry, and my day job industry. I don't post as much as I used to since I started using Instagram, but I monitor my timeline regularly. I really like it for following the global news outlets. I also use it with great success to comment on and clear up customer service related issues. I've reached out to multiple companies who monitor their social media when I have a customer service issue or want to hand out props. It works. I like Twitter because it's quick, easy and clean. I generally don't use it for interacting with my photographic contacts like I do with Facebook.
Pinterest (Steve Brokaw) - I use Pinterest simply as a repository for inspiration photographs. Since I focus on fashion - themed photography my boards contain fashion, modeling photos, makeup, & hair. Sounds strange from a guy whose other life is a finance executive, but hey, I don't judge. I have 3 boards I maintain; one with my B&W model photos, one with my color model photos and one for model concepts. Right now I'm re-pinning other peoples photos. I have a feeling I could use Pinterest more effectively, but I'm not there yet.
Google+ (Steve Brokaw) - I know this social media has much more potential than I'm using it for. There is a much larger domestic & international photographic community out there I could circle up with, but honestly it's overwhelming. I think this is where the professionals hang. The images are amazing and it's easy to + a photo. However, I find the interaction not as dynamic as on FB and I just haven't hit my stride with it yet. I do like the Communities and Hangout options. I also like watching video podcasts posted on Google+.
SquareSpace (www.stevenbrokawphotography.com) - this isn't really social media, but I'll include it because this is where I maintain my portfolio website and my blog. I enjoy blogging and would like to do it more often, but there aren't enough hours in the day. When I blog I cross post the url to my FB pages and Twitter so I can share the blog post. I don't think anyone ever really reads it, but I do it anyway. I simply enjoy writing. Also, I try to refresh my photos regularly so whenever anyone looks they will see fresh content. Finally I use this for my About page (yes, this is what I look like) and a Contact page.
So there you have it. Photographers, models, MUA, stylist and generally connected people need social media. I've embraced it and enjoy the social and business uses for social media. So, Like me, Follow me, Pin me, Circle me, Comment to me, Tweet me, etc and we can start a dialogue. Let me know how you use social media. I'm really curious.