So far this Blog has been about events I’ve attended and shoots I’ve gone on but I also want it to be about my experiences and success (or not) as a photographer and where better to start than social media platforms?!
Please vote on my Flickr Poll – At the end of this post.
So, why? Well, there’s so many different ways to get your message or art out there, it can be confusing sometimes trying to work out what websites and platforms you should use. Here’s my two cents on the platforms I’m using but first I’ll tell you why I decided to write this Blog now!
A couple of days ago I decided I needed a Facebook fan page to increase my audience. I already use Redbubble, Twitter, Blipfoto and of course WordPress, so why do I need Facebook as well? I’ve used Facebook in my personal life for years now and find it a great way to share my life with friends and to keep up to date with what my favourite brands, companies, celebrities, bands and artists are up to. I thought it wouldn’t hurt for me to create a Facebook fan page for my work, it wouldn’t be too much extra work because I could update it the same way I update Twitter but I would obviously need to provide different things on my fan page to keep people interested.
Over the last few days I’ve only attracted a few likes and that’s from people who are already my friends so it’s obvious I do need to work harder to advertise my fan page, maybe a Facebook ad is required? I don’t know and to be honest, unless I can start attracting more fans (possibly with album updates about ongoing projects) I don’t see the point in using Facebook to gain interest. I’ll let you know how it goes but in the mean time here’s what I feel about my other social media platforms. Oh and make sure you jump over to Facebook and like my page :-)
I couple of years ago I joined Redbubble:
When I first joined I have a feeling there were less people using it and so I had more ‘success’ there. When I say success I mean more people seemed to be interested in my work, I still didn’t have any sales but at least people were commenting on my work and giving me their opinions. Well, cut a long story short, I neglected Redbubble until quite recently and have definitely noticed that it has become more difficult to gain interest in your work; I’ve been placing images in groups and am starting to get involved in competitions but to keep up with everyone else (who mostly seem to be full time photographers and artists) I need to spend a few hours every day on the site and even more hours on my photography which can be difficult when you’re not doing it full time.
Anyway, my main thought about Redbubble is that, with the research I’ve done on other sites such as DeviantArt etc, Redbubble seems to offer more. I do think however that they really need to develop an App for HTCs, IPhones etc just for us keep up to date with what’s going on, I seem to spend more time on Twitter, Blipfoto and Facebook just because of their Apps.
That moves me pretty perfectly on to Twitter:
I’ve been Tweeting for a while now but only really got stuck into it around a year ago when I bought my HTC Desire. Twitter is perfect for sharing interesting things and giving short, to the point messages about what I’m up to, where I am and if I have new work on Redbubble, Blipfoto and WordPress. Really I’ve found it to be the best way to promote my work, it’s a way to drive traffic to my other platforms but it’s also great for keeping up with what going on in the photography world and other artists.
Next in line is WordPress, which I joined in June 2010 with not a clue how I was going to use it:
Since then I’ve not used it much but am trying harder to post more often now. Again it’s a great way to drive more traffic to other locations, such as my Redbubble (which is where I want everyone to go because that’s is where, eventually, I will start making money) but I also want to use it to showcase my photographs and experiences from events I’ve been to and projects I’m conducting, I’m also trying to turn it into a place where other photographers can get ideas about how to create audiences for their images (that’s what this post is about).
So far I’ve had bits of interest on WordPress but not too many comments; I would like people to let me know what they think about my work but with so many other places for them to do that perhaps WordPress just isn’t the right platform?
Ultimately I want to learn from others and hear what people think about my work and although Redbubble has been okay for that (less recently), Twitter has been good for letting people know about me and I think WordPress will become a good place to share fuller stories and events, I recently realised I wanted / needed something else, so in the New Year I got my Blip on!
01st January 2011 was my first Blipfoto Journal entry and I’ve been shooting a new photo for it every day since:
Blipfoto has been great, the most supportive online community I’ve found in a while, a great concept and a really elegant system to show case your work. It’s pushed me to find a new subject every day and it’s beginning to help me find my unique selling point or work out exactly what my photographic style is. It has become the perfect place to find out what people think about my photography and has really rejuvenated my passion for photography and my resolve to become a more accomplished photographer.
All in all, each of these platforms have their place:
Redbubble: Show casing, selling, learning, communicating
WordPress: Sharing experiences, events, places and stories
Blipfoto: Inspiration, sharing, learning, communicating
Twitter: Advertising all of the above and sharing interesting things
Lastly, Facebook: All of the above (I think) apart from selling, we’ll see how the next few months go.
I hope you’ve found all of this interesting enough, and please go take a look at all of my places. Oh and to answer that question at the beginning ‘Social Media – A photographer’s best friend?’: Yes most definitely, if used correctly and kept up to date all of the platforms I am using can be a great way to build your audience but I’ve got one last thing to ask you; with all I do on all of these platforms should I do more? Is Flickr somewhere I should be or are all of these enough? Please vote on this post’s Poll!
Thanks for visiting,
© All images featured copyright JJFA 2011