During my off-time not working on photography, I’ve been learning what I can on social media and observing the trends and changes in top social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In the age of algorithms, it’s sometimes tough to gain the right exposure because things are constantly changing; especially within Instagram. I’ve also had a chance to observe what doesn’t work as well as others, and what each social media platform is best used for.
We’ll begin with the obvious and most pertinent social media platform out there: Instagram. Instagram’s algorithms are always changing which makes it beyond frustrating and almost a craft in itself to learn how to make the platform work for you. In fact, social media managers will primarily charge a more significant amount to manage Instagram compared to Facebook, Twitter, and the like.
- Curated posts – Instagram feed aesthetics are still a part of the social media trends, so it’s important to consider a theme such as colors and the type of content that’s being posted. My feed is considered a puzzle feed since every post connects with the other posts arounds it and so on.
- Animated posts and stories – I’ve already mentioned this briefly in my Photography Trends & Social Media in 2019 blog post, but video/animated content is going to continue being a major trend within social media, especially in Instagram.
- User Interaction through Lives and Stories – Instagram has been rolling out so many new features and it really doesn’t seem to end there, however they’re all geared towards your Instagram following interacting with your content whether it be through polls, Q&A, live videos, and more.
- Live Stories – Live stories during events or behind the scenes content is also trending, though curated content is still king.
What doesn’t work:
- Day by day content – I consider day by day content to be posts that would be used on Facebook (aka the posts meant for friends and family). However, that makes Live Stories a bit of a fine line to distinguish. Live Stories should be used for content that will complement your feed or objective for your account. If your thing is to do concert photography, your stories would go in line with that unless you’ve established that you’ll post about other items.
(My posts starting this year have related to what I blog about and on occasion, my kitten, Happi. I’ve made a resolution to measure time by the amount of concerts I photograph, which includes traveling to locations – especially if they’re out of state – and improving on the go content since I also [will] blog about social media, marketing, and branding. My objective, though it’s mainly to continue with concert photography, is also to showcase myself and my interests; to live and be as authentic as I can be). In more technical terms, my content would be 90% blog related, 10% (or less) outside of that world.
- Content with links – Links in descriptions are still not a possibility within Instagram, so as an alternative, any new website post/portfolio/etc. is very difficult to keep track of and sometimes annoying unless you have over 1k in followers and can do the Swipe Up function (and even then, sometimes it doesn’t work the way you need it to!)
As a brand, it’s important to keep a Facebook Business Page rather than to promote a personal account. Think of Facebook Business Pages as a gallery to keep your work and showcase to potential clients/followers. With the share to other platforms feature on Instagram, you can keep the same content on both platforms as well, making it much easier to manage content.
- Brand identity building – As a rule of thumb, keeping a cohesive brand identity on social media will help show your brand as more put together and with clearer intent. Though it may not seem like much, having everything in order for a potential follower or client to find information about you is very important and saves a lot of time. Take advantage of the Cover, About, and Story features when building your brand identity on Facebook.
- Events – This is more important for venues and workshops, but having a place to keep and promote events is a feature that still isn’t available on Instagram outside of tagging a location.
- Content with links – The opposite of Instagram, it’s easier to share your same content from Instagram to Facebook and add your link to each post so that it’s easier for your followers. Back in 2009 we used to ask if other people had a Facebook (in the early years when Facebook was just starting out), and now the obvious question is who doesn’t have a Facebook? Chances are everyone you have on Instagram following you has one, which means they can easily find your page on Facebook and follow each post and go see your content easier with the use of links on each post.
What doesn’t work:
- User interaction – Much like a gallery, most people on your Facebook business page won’t stop and interact with you through polls and other questions unless you have a bigger following; In the meantime, it’s best to leave this to Instagram.
- Day to day content – Simply put, leave all of that with your personal Facebook account.
Twitter is the older platform of the three and not very well used, however it’s still powerful when it comes to cross-posting your content. Unfortunately, video content isn’t as easily shared on the platform and will only show up as a link instead of embedded in the way that videos appear on Facebook. Regardless, Twitter is a way to still showcase your brand and show a more human side to it. Keep reading to know what I mean:
- Cross-posting – As I mentioned, cross-posting through other social media platforms is still a very useful tool. Whether or not your followers or clients have a Twitter account, your posted content would be getting exposure through one more platform than choosing not to use it (and in my opinion, that’s a very good thing, especially if you’re still starting out).
- Live Tweeting – I first learned about live tweeting when I was a radio DJ for an online station. Other DJ’s would go to events and tweet about the music that the bands were playing at the time. This is easier now because you can embed parts of songs through Spotify and Apple Music, which will create a post with 30 seconds worth of the song. This is actually a really useful way to help local bands that have a band account on either platform since typically how things work is a band will receive a certain sum for every song played from beginning to end.
What kind of works:
- Day to day content – Generally, it’s still best to keep your private (friends and family) content away from your professional content, but Twitter can make this work as long as you do it right. Twitter is known now to be the one space where you can post your thoughts without much spotlight. A brand can use this to their advantage by posting behind the scenes content or off and on daily content that still somewhat has to do with the brand. Doing this will still gain certain exposure through the use of hashtags and will keep you from repeating the same hashtags over and over.
What doesn’t work:
- Videos – We like pretty things and Twitter doesn’t post embedded videos.
There are still other platforms that work depending on the industry like LinkedIn and Pinterest, even YouTube. I primarily like using Instagram, but will eventually move to create a Facebook Business Page and Twitter account for my brand as a concert photographer. What social media platforms are you comfortable with? Why do you like to use them?