As a full-time virtual assistant and social media manager serving wedding photographers, I know firsthand how frustrating it can be to watch your insights decrease on Instagram. It seems like Instagram has an algorithm that only a handful of people can crack, and it’s definitely not us, right? I AM WITH YOU! From endless hours researching online forums and studying Adam Mosseri’s latest videos, to listening to every single Goal Digger episode, it’s exhausting. So if you’re tired of watching your insights trend downward, it’s time to establish a killer social media strategy.
Social Media Strategy 101
Before we can dive into creating your incredible social media strategy for 2023, we need to understand the ins-and-outs of them. What is a social media strategy? Why do you need one?
Defining Social Media Strategy:
According to HootSuite, a social media strategy is a document outlining your social media goals, the tactics you will use to achieve them and the metrics you will track to measure your progress.
Establishing a social media strategy is key to not only making goals, but tracking them. Think of it like this: you have a goal to lose 10 pounds by July. You write your goal down. How are you going to achieve that goal? Are you going to eat healthier? Are you going to bike to work instead of driving? To keep yourself accountable, you’ll need to write down how you are going to achieve your goal. Do you plan to solely rely on the scale? Or do you want to also measure inches lost? These are the metrics that will help you measure your progress.
Why You Need an SMS:
By thinking of your social media strategy like a new year’s resolution, it’s far more achievable (since we are pretty much programmed to come up with goals each January 1st). You can’t expect to make your new year’s goals without writing them down, right? You also can’t expect to achieve your goals in your biz without writing them down! ‘Nuff said.
5 Tips for Your Social Media Strategy
Define Your Target Audience
Defining your target audience is the best place to start! From a photographer’s stand point, it’s easiest to start by building your dream client avatar. Are you wanting to capture couples, families, seniors, weddings, or elopements? How old is your dream client? Are they between a certain age bracket? What kind of wedding are they having? Is it luxurious and grand or is it understated and intimate? Consider your target audience throughout the process of creating your social media strategy.
Set Your Goals
I want to challenge you to look beyond numbers for this one. When people are asked what their goals are on Instagram, they frequently reply with a number of followers they are looking to gain. It’s not wrong to want more followers on Instagram, but these numbers are often referred to as ‘vanity metrics’. But spoiler alert: The number of followers you have doesn’t make a big difference if your followers aren’t engaging with your content.
But let’s talk about some other kinds of goals. Are you hoping to book 20 weddings? Is your goal to capture an elopement in Italy? Host 2 workshops? Attend 3 styled-shoots? Write ’em down, baby! And like your new year’s resolutions, write down how you can achieve those goals. If you’re wanting to attend 3 styled shoots, you need to think of a few variables (location of the shoots, your availability, your budget, sacrifices included in attending the shoots, etc.). Write those variable down, too.
Establish Content Pillars
You either love ’em, hate ’em, or don’t have ’em! To establish a rock-solid social media strategy, you need to establish content pillars. Content pillars are 3-5 areas in which your brand will discuss, magnify, and put out content for consistently. The best part of establishing content pillars is that you will have 3-5 different topics that you can discuss – which really means that you shouldn’t have a shortage of content.
Jenna Kutcher created an incredible method that she refers to as the JK5 Method to help her establish a memorable online presence. Content pillars and the JK5 Method both ensure that you create a diverse feed, beyond just your business. By diversifying what you post about, you are going beyond your brand by creating a brand for yourself. With the JK5 Method, Jenna talks about selecting 4 topics that you resonate with and 1 topic that sells. On a recent Instagram webinar, she suggested to open up your camera roll and look at the things you naturally capture. Put those into pillars or buckets. Here’s a few examples of content pillars for photographers:
- Education for Brides
- Marketing Tips
- Self Care
Audit Your Accounts
Before you can pivot your content and establish a better social media strategy, you need to take a good look at where your accounts currently stand. To audit your accounts, you want to start by making a list of all the accounts associated with your business. Make sure your branding is consistent across all platforms.
How to Audit Your Accounts
Does your bio have the appropriate information? Your bio on Instagram should look like this:
In my bio, I included my title, my name, who I serve, what I specialize in, and a link to direct traffic off Instagram. If you’re a photographer, include where you’re based out of/if you travel.
Do your images meet the guidelines for size requirements? You can click here to view the image requirements for Instagram.
Other things to consider:
- Are your usernames consistent across platforms?
- Do all links on your pages link correctly?
- Are your pinned posts up-to-date?
If you answer ‘no’ to any of these questions, update your accounts! Wanting to do a deep dive into your accounts? Check out HootSuite’s audit template here.
Create a Schedule
Alright bestie, it’s GO TIME! 🎉 Once you’ve done all of the above, you can finally start creating a schedule. I personally choose to utilize Planoly for my scheduling my content, but Later is also a great option!
But creating a content schedule isn’t as easy as just putting in graphics, captions, and videos into a planning app. You need to establish how much time you have to dedicate to posting across different channels. While consistency is definitely key to seeing growth, I don’t recommend posting everyday. A Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule or even a Monday-Thursday schedule works. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s a schedule that you can keep up with.
Looking for more helpful social media or marketing tips for photographer? BINGE THE BLOG HERE. And as always, I’d love to be friends on the ‘Gram (@cpproductivity).