By Linda Whitehead
Out of all the great information being shared on Clarion Call 2011, I found Jack Hollingsworth’s interview on Twitter to be some of the best. Out of all the social media channels, I think Twitter is the least understood, as far has using it to promote photography businesses.
Jack definitely has the inside scoop on using Twitter to grow a business. In 2 years he’s been on it, he’s amassed a following of 22,000. Here’s a recap of his interview, which will hopefully give you some ideas or improvements for your own Twitter presence.
What is the audience currently tweeting on Twitter?
How would you describe Twitter to someone who never heard of it?
- According to wefollow.com, 8 million people have tagged themselves as photographers
- About 25,000 of those people are working, commercial photographers
- Many are emerging artists, but more and more established photographers are joining now
How would you suggest that a photographer use Twitter?
- It’s a social media platform with over 200 million users and is growing faster than Facebook
- Microblogging, you get only 140 characters for your message
Once I do that, how do I get clients to follow me on Twitter and do I follow them back?
- Assume all your followers are potential clients and use an appropriate tone
- Be humble and answer people as quickly as possible
- Takes time to become comfortable with what to say and how
What do you do in creating a bio as a photographer?
- To engage your followers, you must provide valuable content that encourages potential clients to pay attention to your tweets
- Twitter is an in-bound marketing channel, which means customers have to find you
- Put out the best content you can and engage in authentic conversations
What’s a hashtag?
- You only have 140 characters, so don’t be too clever, cute or kitchy
- Your bio should not only say what you do, but who you are on the inside
- For your avatar, use a simple head and shoulders shot that shows a friendly, smiling face
Is Twitter a sales platform?
- It’s a naming or tagging convention that aggregates content around a theme
- Popular hashtags include #togs (for photography issues) or #stock for stock photo issues
What would you define as good social conduct?
- Traditional media isn’t dead and social media is here to complement it, not replace it
- Use it to broadcast what’s happening (i.e. tweet a behind-the-scenes- shot of a shoot you’re on)
- There are different rungs of participation: your blog is your hub and you can add Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Flickr
- But use only the platforms that work for you and that you’re comfortable with
- Use Twitter to celebrate your photography, not to sell it
How do you separate the good Twitter content from the bad?
- Answer all personal and direct messages you receive
- Retweet the content of others
- Listen more than you talk and spotlight the work of others
- For every self-promoting tweet, send 10 pieces of great content
- Jack doesn’t really follow his timeline because it’s just too chaotic
- He pays particular attention to mentions and DMs, plus he auto-follows everyone who follows him
What’s is your best advice for photographers looking to use Twitter?
- Be inspiring, daring, hopeful and passionate
- Help promote others because the more you do, the more they reciprocate
- Use new technologies and platforms to reinvent your business, it’s very exciting
I chatted with Jack following his session and asked him for his key words of wisdom for photographers looking to get involved with social media:
"Social media for photographers is a revolution, not an evolution. A necessity, not a nicety, for business and commercial survival. And an absolute must for growing your photographic business and brand in today hyper-connected, hyper-viral world."
Linda Whitehead is Agency Access’ VP, Marketing and a passionate marketing professional with over 25 years of marketing and brand-building experience.
Jack Hollingsworth is easily one of photography’s most well known names in the world of Lifestyle, Travel, Portraiture and Stock. His three-decade commercial career boasts numerous awards, publication credits and satisfied customers.