One common question I often hear from photographers that are new to the social media world is, “How do I know if I will have any luck bringing in new customers with social media tools like Facebook?”

While it’s easy to ask the question, answering it can be somewhat more difficult.

As a business owner, we’ve grown to love numbers. So we play with our stats and watch our numbers every day, making changes when we don’t achieve what we think we should. But with social media, it’s a little more difficult to put numbers to everything we do. Does it always matter how many people “like” our page? Not always. Sometimes it’s more about quality, and less about the actual numbers.

What if you have 100 likes, and your fans are active and engaged, adding into the discussion every day? Wouldn’t that be much more beneficial than having 1,000 likes with no visits and zero interaction?

As a photographer, start out small and make improvements along the way. Don’t pay attention to the numbers as you grow; instead focus on making your Page a place where people visit on a regular basis. Here are 5 easy ways to improve your Facebook page.

1. Add value.

What makes people visit again and again? They are interested in the information you provide. Nobody likes to read sales pitches, and company information again and again. If you find yourself always directing people to your sales literature, offering special promotions, and in general trying to sell to the people who like your Page, think again. People love to interact and discover more about you first. Share your insight. Showcase your expertise. The more you share, the more valuable your Page will be, and the more people will want to join in on the discussion.

2. Mix it up.

The great thing about Facebook is its easy to share just about anything. Add photos – a great way to showcase what you do every day. Record a video when you’re out and about and share some of your ideas. Share links to things that surround your business – it doesn’t all have to be about photography. The idea is to become a fun resource to follow, and learn from again and again. The sales follow those that engage and work to build relationships first.

3. Ask questions and engage.

While you don’t have to be on Facebook all day long watching different conversations, you should check in periodically to find out what people are saying on your Page. We love sharing ideas and generating conversation. A great way to do that is ask simple questions.

By engaging people regularly, and having fun with your audience, you’ll be more likely to attract new followers.

4. Cross Promote.

People may follow you in one way, never knowing they have other options, unless you tell them. In your emails and ezines, put links directly to your various accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc. Make sure you have links front and center on your site/blog. Offer links to other social sites within the various social sites.

Cross promoting is one of the easiest ways to increase your numbers because people will gladly move from site to site if they find you offer value. We have people tell us all the time that they have followed us for years through our emails, and now gladly look forward to connecting on Facebook as well.

5. Facebook – The 24/7/365 Tool

When the strongest marketing tool a business had was a phone, they could only engage their potential clients during normal business hours. Otherwise they had to rely on voicemail, and callbacks when they retrieved the call.

Today, you can converse with your potential customers 24/7/365. Just because you choose to access Facebook at 9am, Eastern time doesn’t mean that’s when your client is there. Maybe she checks in at 9pm when the kids are in bed. Or maybe she prefers Saturday afternoons.

Don’t develop a time schedule, and ignore the other hours in the day. Play with your posts, and see what generates the most interest.

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