It can be tricky to post regularly on a social media account specifically focused on school photography. Between getting permission to post photos of kids and staying inspired to keep making unique and relevant content, it can be easy to fall out of the habit of regular posting. That’s why we have created this collection of ideas and inspiration to help you use your social media accounts to the best advantage of your school photography business.
Who to Address
When you’re creating any sort of posts for social media, there are some important things to remember.
First things first: decide on a defined tone that matches your brand. If your school photography business tries to focus on family-orientated aspects, then adopting a casual and personable tone in your captions is best suited. On the other hand, if you are looking to develop a more business-like style, the language should also match. Pick an option and keep it consistent, so as not to convey mixed messages to your audience.
Something that could also affect what tone you adopt is deciding on your audience. What do you want to achieve with your social media presence?
There are two main areas where you could help your school photography business flourish: either by helping generate sales of your products by targeting parents and families as customers, or diversifying and sharing your knowledge with other photographers. This can help generate revenue by enabling you to offer paid workshops or other educational materials. Regardless of which avenue you choose, you should match the tone accordingly.
To get the best engagement rates – meaning the amount of people who click or otherwise interact with your posts – there are a few smart tactics that you should employ across the board.
- Using mixed media is a great way to catch people’s attention and generate better engagement. For example, posting a range of photos, videos, or GIFs keeps your feed interesting, vibrant, and attractive to a wide range of people.
- Your social media posts should not only be diverse in terms of format, but also content. Mix it up with educational or informative content, interspersed with more light-hearted or funny posts. Furthermore, if you are always posting promotional content about services or products you offer, it can come across too sales-y and not genuine enough for people to really want to engage with your feed.
- It can be difficult at first to get the level of engagement or feedback that you might want, but don’t be disheartened! This is completely normal in building up social media content. Keep experimenting with your posts through A/B testing, or split testing. You can find out more in-depth information about A/B testing in this guide from VWO. Once you find out what works and what doesn’t, you can recreate similar content, or even reshare top-performing posts where relevant.
There are various tools that you can use to take full advantage of social media for your school photography business.
Scheduling platforms are a must-have. They mean that you can plan and build your posts ahead of time across platforms. This affords you the time and flexibility to be creative, as well as create coordinated and thought-out campaigns across several days or even weeks. It also makes it easy to collaborate as a team if you have other people working with or for you. There are a variety of options for you to use; Forbes has compiled a list of different scheduling tools, highlighting their respective pros and cons.
When creating content to post on social media, tools like Canva can also be useful in creating professional designs to support your work. Canva offers templates for graphic design posts, and you can search according to the platform you want to post on, making it easy to find the right design for your needs.
Ideas To Post
As mentioned above, you should be clear on who you are trying to target with your content before you start posting. That’s why we’ve collected some examples and ideas of social posts, and split them between the two audience groups we described earlier: other photographers and prospective customers.
Post Ideas For Other Photographers
Share Your Knowledge
Everyone loves to be in the know, particularly when it comes to the school photography industry. Social media is an excellent avenue for showcasing your expertise in the field. To really take advantage of this and build up your profile, you can put together informative posts that contain links to your various existing blogs.
Sharing your articles on social media is of course one way to generate traffic and views, and offers a greater range of diversity in the content you can share.
The breadth of topics you could discuss is wide and varied, from business tips to style advice in photography. And each of these larger topics has many more detailed areas to dive into, such as acquisition, technical set-ups, how to impress parents and schools, etc.
Live video is also a great place to go to answer questions and directly engage with your audience. Facebook’s algorithm promotes video and live content higher than regular posts – it even pushes out notifications to your existing followers that a live video is coming up. This therefore attracts more people to your page and impresses your existing followers. Similar to the topic ideas above, there are various topics that can inform a live video. Viewers can comment in real time and engage with what you’re doing, allowing you to immediately address any questions that you might have. You can also download the content from these videos later and edit them into a ‘How To’ on a specific subject – win-win!
Other photographers could also benefit from small snapshots into the ‘behind the scenes’ of your work. For example, Instagram Stories is the perfect place to show how you set up for your photoshoots, what your post-session workflow looks like, or even something as quick and easy as “What’s in my bag?”
Something else that could be popular amongst fellow photographers and get across some of your personality would be sharing a Spotify playlist you made yourself, like ‘Songs To Listen To While Editing Photos’.
If you wanted to go into more detail and offer a collective insight not only to an aspect of your work, but also your brand identity as a business, a branded video is a great way of getting this across. You can integrate clips of you in action on a session with footage of you speaking for example.
GotPhoto created our own version of such a video. It is a clear example of incorporating brand elements into an explanation of who you are as a business. This is something you can also do as a photographer to clearly show your character as a photographer and business.
To get the attention of photographers who might be interested in this sort of content, you could also do giveaway posts. Even giving away something small, like a voucher for a camera company or small props that can help out on a photoshoot can attract the attention of budding photographers. It’s also worth asking photography equipment companies or similar if they can offer you a free prize, in return for you advertising their services, so as to avoid any extra expenses on your end. Make the requirements for entry sharing or commenting on your post, so as to widen the reach of your post organically.
To create more content that is relevant to photographers, stay in tune with what’s going on in the photography world. Share links to important industry news updates, like a new camera model release or reviews of certain useful equipment reviews. The more value you can offer your audience, the better!
Create A Community / Increase Direct Engagement
Try and build up a real community with your audience. Using posts like polls, available on both Facebook and Instagram Stories, encourages your audience to get involved with your content with minimal effort from them. It also helps gather useful data from your audience that could be used to further inform future content – win win! Questions comparing angles, or choosing between the before and after edits of the same photo are just a couple of examples of what you could ask on your social media pages.
You can also try and ask those questions without the poll function. Photographers in your community will usually have an opinion on whether they like a picture more in color or monochrome, and might even leave you a comment. This level of engagement might not arise with a poll. As we said: keep experimenting!
Remember to give what you want to get when it comes to interaction and engagement as well. If there are photographers from within your industry who you respect but are not necessarily a competitor, such as photographers from another area of the country, repost their content. They might then do the same in turn for you, and spread your posts wider.
Furthermore, sharing free content, such as blogs, price lists, or tutorials, is added value to your followers at no extra cost or time investment from you. Who knows, this could even lead to collaborations, like joint workshops, that could broaden your horizons as a business.
Finally, do not be afraid to directly ask your audience for advice or their direct feedback and even suggestions on what interests them. Building a community is always important when it comes to engagement. Putting yourself on the same level as your followers and asking honest questions makes you more relatable. Keep the topics relevant and related to photography, and watch the replies roll in.
Post Ideas For Customers
For this group, generating more sales of your photography products is the main aim. For that reason, using your platform to show off your skill and the quality of your work is the driving message.
You can therefore post content such as customer reviews or testimonials from parents and also from schools themselves, of course. This allows you to get across the best parts of your business with the added validity of an impartial voice. Our experience is that most photographers are quite shy about singing their own praises. It’s important to remember, however, that it is perfectly okay to share your happiness about a satisfied customer’s comment. So don’t be shy!
If you aren’t getting a lot of reviews – ask for them! Use your platform to put out a call for feedback, either in general or on a specific aspect. For example, if you recently ran a particular service, such as during prom season, see what your audience think of some of your photos. Of course, only choose photos that you’re proud of for posts like this. It may be scary, but it is worth taking the plunge.
Similarly, you can also ask your customers for their perspective on your photos and specific details. For instance, you can edit the same photo in different ways – black and white versus color – and ask which they prefer and why.
You can also use your social media pages to advertise special offers. A parent who was perhaps on the fence about buying will be motivated to spend when they see a limited time offer. Don’t miss out on convincing those last few customers.
In the same vein as garnering attention amongst photographers with competitions, you can do the same with customers. The same rules apply: encourage your audience to share or comment on your post, and offer something of value to them. For customers, this is easy: your services! It could be something big, like a dedicated family session, or something smaller, like a voucher for money off their next purchase from your shop.
Post Ideas For Both: End Customers and Photographer Colleagues
There is of course content that can work for both audiences, but the specific content should be targeted to suit the taste of your chosen audience in particular.
A Laugh A Day
As said above, it’s best not to go too heavy on promotion. Try putting in some funny posts to keep it interesting. To post a more diverse range of content, you can also vary it between memes or gifs, so as to mix up your feed visually. Always be sure to fit the tone and the visual style of your channel.
Posting relatable content is also important. Your engagement will do far better if people can identify with the content you’re posting. So if you want to connect with parents, post content about family life or the reality of parenting. Whereas if you want to reach photographers, post funny relatable observations about the everyday life of a working photographer.
It’s all about the timing. If you keep an eye on prominent holidays, you can time content to days that people will be excited for. Of course do the big ones, such as Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, but also keep note of other relevant days. Back to School, International Children’s Day – these are always great days that you can post on to engage more with the school photography community.
Keep It Current
In addition, be sure to keep your audience up to date on the big dates in the running of your own business. Workshops, big photodays, anniversaries, the release of new content, podcasts, a website redesign, a new gallery or product range – anything that is an important milestone for you could be interesting to share with your audience.
Not only does it connect you with them on a more personal level, it also emphasizes the success of your business and enhances your brand image.
The Personal Touch
With that in mind, you must ensure your personality shines through in your posts as well. This does of course depend on what you decide for your branding: if you prefer to keep it strictly professional, then it might not fit. However, there are likely many parts of your business that are both personal and professional at the same time. They don’t necessarily need to contradict one another.
You shouldn’t underestimate how much a touch of your personality alone can help people identify more intimately and on a more personal level with your posts. Throwback posts or sharing your favorite images with a little story behind them can help to give a sense of you as the photographer behind your photos.
You could even try and inspire your audience by including tips on your technical setup or inspirational quotes to help people stay motivated. This is of course particularly relevant if you are posting with other photographers in mind, but quotes related to kids or child-related motivation will also go down a treat.
These are just a few ideas of content you could share with your audience, but the best part of social media is that it is all within your control. Get creative, dedicate some time to thinking outside the box, and you’ll certainly be able to engage more fully with your followers. Think about what you would like to see on social media, and get posting!
Do you still have questions, or perhaps some ideas of your own about what to share on social media? Share them in the comments of the Facebook post related to this article!