Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Marketing with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, & MySpace

You have a wide swath of options when it comes to getting your name out, creating a following, or otherwise marketing yourself. The problem is, you may not be marketing yourself in ways you want, or thought of, if you are not sensitive to the realities of todays' instant-access world. The key is to stay on the reservation - your reservation.

You are reading this blog, either on Blogspot, or via RSS, so you have a baseline of understanding. However, you may not be aware of how your presence on facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, or your tweets on Twitter, could be having an adverse effect on you, and your business.

(Continued after the Jump)

Rob Haggert over at A Photo Editor wrote awhile back "Facebook and Twitter Lost Me an Advertising Shoot" (4/22/09), while on the other hand, six days later, Photo Focus wrote "How Photographers Can Use Twitter as a Marketing Tool" (4/28/09), which illustrates the yin and yang of social networking.

Recognizing that you are a business - whom would you allow your employees to "friend" if you had employees? If your full-time office manager lists your most aggressive competition in your area as a "friend", would you be concerned? Would you allow your post-production/retoucher to tweet out things like "OMG, I have this fattie to slim down 50 lbs from a portrait shoot my boss did today"? How about the assistant who, mid-shoot, tweets "I am on this shoot for XYZ Company, and the client is a PITA!" Consider that before the shoot ends, a Google Alert for XYZ Company likely went to the PR department, and you could get a call, or worse yet, fired from the shoot, thanks to your assistant.

Stories abound about people not getting jobs because of what they wrote or photos of them on facebook, or MySpace, just as much as they are out there for people getting fired for the same reason.

Just as you would be blindsided by the responses to the above tweets or facebook status updates, you need to be very conscious about your social-networking presence, and how it reflects on you and your business. Are you tweeting "a photo a day", or maybe sending out an inspirational message, or are you just recounting the trials and tribulations of the day?

If you feel you just have to speak your mind, and If you have an account for "john smith" on twitter and EVERYONE knows you there, try an account that is not connected to you like "js12345abc" which you share only with a few friends you want to be frank with. Also, don't mention business names or other identifiers in your tweets/messages that could get indexed by Google/et al and be sent to that company's PR department. Having a separate, anonymous, twitter account for your closest friends could allow you the ability to be "yourself" without ruining your online reputation as it relates to your business.

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.


Jim Felt said...

Great fairly early adopter insight.
It might seem obvious to you but this is one of the very first professional mentions I've seen to point out the "broadcast" nature of these "innocent" seeming sites.
Anybody can track anything. Good or bad.
Good job!

Rsplatpc said...

i can see this fading out quickly, just like, myspace is now unless they pull out a big change

Anonymous said...

Very good post John. As the social networking phenom expands, what we do and say will become even more of a help or liability.

Michael Connor said...

When you hire new employees and interns, do you specifically address this now? I assume with younger people, you definitely need to have a set of rules right up front regarding all of this.

Susan Etheridge said...

In terms of the negative uses of Twitter/Facebook/etc., I wonder if there is such a thing as too much social networking/marketing. If you tweet/update too much to the point do the people you want to reach just wind up ignoring you?

Brandon D. said...

I think it'd be superficial to blame the "Facebook and Twitter Lost Me an Advertising Shoot" incident on either Facebook-ing or Twitter-ing.

The obvious reason why the photographer lost the advertising shoot was simply because he wasn't aware of the confidentiality agree. Either A) he signed a confidentiality agreement without being aware of it or B) the client held him to a confidentiality agreement that they didn't even make the photographer aware of. Either way, it can't be blamed on Facebook or Twitter because if there wasn't a confidentiality clause, then he'd still have the job regardless of whether or not he announced it on Facebook or Twitter.

Plus, the photographer easily could've expressed excitement about the job in public at a party, at a restaurant, at a bar, or at any other live social engagement. And the consequences of making it public live likely could've been the same as doing it over the internet.I'm Facebook friends with many professional/well-known photographers, and some of them publicize their upcoming jobs every week on their Facebook. I doubt they'd continue to do so if they were loosing jobs because of it. Not only that, many of them publicize their upcoming jobs/events on their very own blogs where clients can easily find out that they're making it public. So, let's be real, the true lesson with this incident is to be responsible for being aware of confidentiality terms.

Anonymous said...

Facebook is the devil.

photographer italy said...

those social network can be dangerous...I experienced on myself, like friends telling on me many private things about my shootings on fb...better, in my opinio, use those spaces to check contacts, that's all..
good article.

Raymond said...

Linkedin is really becoming a job board. Even About.com just named the top 3 job sites -

www.linkedin.com (professional networking)
www.indeed.com (agregated listings)
www.realmatch.com (matches you to jobs)

good luck to all.

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