This is a message from me, a reformer altruist. We’ve covered several social media changes for photographers in 2022, including VERO vs. Instagram discussionThe The time we should be spending on social mediaAnd how Instagram is shifting to a more video-focused feed. I’ve been thinking long and hard about the use of social media for photographers, and I think I’ve solved part of the puzzle. What I’ve found to be particularly helpful when it comes to mindfulness and mental health and here it is:
I’m on my way on social media
My social media journey really started when Instagram was very young. I’ve already had more successes Flickrincluding exploration by Getty Images. I was happy to get involved there and notice what other photographers are creating, drawing inspiration from all over the world. I sold photos, and added items to my travel photography bucket list.
Everything was going really well. Instagram was there, lurking in the background, but I was hesitant to join. I think the comparison I can make now is like many photographers’ hesitation about joining TikTok. We know it’s out there, and we know it’s great, but we think maybe it’s not quite right for us. I pushed it aside and jumped in Instagram, and it took me a few weeks to get my bearings and figure out how it all worked. Then I posted my first photo.
My first picture did well. I got a few hundred “likes” and that made me feel good. It made me feel like my image was appreciated, so I did it again. This process is repeated, each time gaining more and more traction. This was followed by likes, comments and followers. Lots of followers found me, and I hit 10k very quickly. 15K came and went, then 20K, and it’s been slowly going up since then.
Brands are taking over social media for the photographer’s space
This put me in a position where I was able to sign up for an agency as an influencer, which gave me access to income and products, and flipped a shift in my mind that made me realize that this was, in fact, a career. I was living in London at the time, and soon found myself taking selfies in Trafalgar Square Fresh box Coaches and launch parties. It amazed me that I had become one of those stereotypes.
All along, I had been working hard to make progress as a travel photographer, but suddenly, I was shooting pictures like this:
BMW, Skoda, Wilkinson Sword, Häagen-Dazs, Byron Burger, Chivas Regal, I’ve done them all. My bank balance was steadily rising (I had won £90 for the bottom right photo of a beer can, for example), but I couldn’t see why to shoot. National Geographic was my early photography inspiration, and none of these pictures ever fit my criteria. I’ve been able to get some of my travel photos into the mix, like these two:
The photo on the left was of Waitrose (a British supermarket), and the photo on the right was of the National Lottery. The photo doesn’t scream branding at all, but the caption does. You will notice a hashtag that complies with Instagram policies. #ad has been in a lot of my posts, and has been subtracted from hashtags that I use to promote my work. Time to sit down and talk to myself about all of this.
Why was I doing this? Was it about the money? Or was I devaluing myself for the sake of short-term financial gain?
What was my intention?
What I was doing here was keeping the influencer agency in the business, becoming the product they were selling to brands that were looking for influencer promotion like me. I’m sold. There was definitely a “cool factor” to what I was doing, but it wasn’t really developing me. if something happens, He was hurting me. The time and effort I put into creating product images was time I could have invested in images that I enjoyed taking. Not only that, it has changed my perception of social media. Instagram was moving away from being a social platform for sharing and liking photos, and becoming a ‘business’.
That’s when I got really deep and thought about a time when I enjoyed browsing and sharing on Flickr, writing posts for my blog, and enjoying my photos. There was no intention of making money at the time, which was cool. This translates to where we are now in the world of photography-focused social media. The emergence of micro-influencers and the growth of this method of marketing has changed the landscape. More and more people are sharing posts on social media platforms as if they are influencers, ignoring sharing in good faith and focusing instead on the number of “likes” they get.
Moving laterally to the platforms themselves, they realized that money was changing hands as a result of their platforms, and they weren’t getting any. Throw in ads, sponsored posts, partnerships, and heavy throttling and shadow bans for accounts and posts that appear to bypass the rules enforced by Meta et al.
Here’s what it should all be about:
When we post on social media, the intention should be to share. It must be the community. We should share because we want to share, not because we’re trying to grow. Not only will this open the door for natural, organic growth, but it will also positively affect our mental health. Building a community and spreading goodwill will sparkle and give us a great opportunity to grow. Building a community is much more important than looking for “likes”. I recently heard someone say, “Your network is your net worth.” That hits the nail on the head. Here’s a hard, cold truth:
Community > Likes
The percentage of our audience that engages with us is much more important than the size of our audience. It’s called “Our Level of Engagement.” If we have 100 followers and 10 of them interact with us, we have 10% engagement. If we have 10k followers and we have 100 engagements, we have 1% engagement. 10% share is more valuable for influencer agencies, but more importantly, in terms of growth, it’s even more valuable for social media platforms.
When we post a piece of content, only a specific part of our followers can see it first. If it is well received by this group, Instagram will show this content to a larger group. And engagement isn’t just the metrics we can see, like likes and comments. Instagram also cares about metrics that we can’t see. Metrics such as the time people spend pausing in their feed to look at our content and possibly other behavioral signs. Raw performance in these groups is measured as fractions of our audience. That 10% suddenly becomes much more important than the hard number behind it. This is why we need not look at growth and likes but at community.
my instagram Floated around 35k followers, having grown by about 10k followers since I stopped being an influencer. I’m so glad I did, and I had a much better experience that way.
#Social #media #paparazzi