So you have a Facebook account. Who are your friends?

Many people tell me they just don’t get social networking. They have a Facebook account, but they aren’t getting any business from it. They love it and are on it every day – but where’s the business?

Who Are You Talking To?
Spend some time walking through your friend list. Who are you talking to?

If you are talking to your family members and best friends, they already know you. They understand your business and know you are looking to grow it. They tend to ignore your business talk.

If you are talking to other photographers, they are in the same boat as you. They won’t buy your services, and they won’t increase your business. While its nice to talk to fellow photographers and share stories, you won’t get immediate action from other photographers on social sites.

The only way to succeed is to find your niche, and get active within that niche. Let’s say you photograph commercial work specializing in food. Joining food networks, advertising agencies and reps, and other food related groups will put you in front of the people that hire. That’s where you need to be.

What Are You Saying?
Now that you’ve looked at your friends, and hopefully found some ways to look for different people to follow, lets spend some time looking at your posts. Do you post things like:

Had a great lunch today at MJ’s Restaurant.

Or

Hi Mary, Your new pictures are so cute.

If so, you’re missing the purpose of social networking for business. Sure, you can sprinkle in personal messages once in awhile, but make sure they have a purpose.

Had a great lunch today at MJ’s Restaurant with Robert from ABC Company. I’m so excited to be photographing his menu for his new advertising campaign.

Or

Hi Mary, Your new pictures are so cute. I just love the baby sweater you found for Rachael, and can’t wait to photograph her in it for her 3 month baby portrait. You’re going to love our new props – I’m so excited to try them out.

See the difference? Your posts end up going to all of your friends’ newsfeeds, and with Facebook you don’t have a character limit like Twitter. Use it to create a complete thought, and showcase what you do without selling. You’re simply commenting to a friend – and happen to mention a small piece of your business. And maybe someone else will have a similar need, and contact you for the same service.

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