Don’t Just Sit There! Start Using Social Media to Influence Buyers for Your Photography Business

social media leads for photographersAlmost 27% of accumulated time online today is spent on social media sites. To be sure, 85% of today’s online users have a Facebook account and nearly 50% have active Twitter accounts as well. Social Media has clearly become the behemoth of marketing lead generation, responsible for a doubling of the number of leads when compared to the more tried and true methods of outreach marketing like direct mail or trade shows.

What does this mean for your social media marketing efforts? People love to share their personal experiences and they especially enjoy sharing their experiences with things they have purchased and used. Care to recommend a great movie or a new restaurant? Customer feedback is key to anyone who is selling products or services…both online and offline.

Today it is becoming impossible to sell products without offering customer reviews. Amazon has had a tremendous influence on the products people buy through allowing their customers to leave reviews and feedback on their recent purchases. Modern, savvy internet shoppers demand these reviews, read through them religiously and factor the information into their purchase decisions. One-way marketing will soon be a thing of the past. A product or service has to have the right features…and real experienced consumers have to agree.

Conversations on Facebook and Twitter are no different. Social media traffic about great products and services will reliably be rewarded by increased sales. Of course this is a two way street and bad reviews will hurt future sales. Which end of the spectrum do you want to be on?

Social media accounts are essential for anyone offering modern products or services. Sure you will need positive customer reviews, but there needs to be a place for those hopefully positive customer reviews to live and help grow your business. Offering high quality products and great customer service via social media can easily allow you to brand both your products and your company online.

Twitter becomes extremely active when people start retweeting about events that are making news. While products or services themselves may not have such huge traffic impacts, Twitter users can also help spread the news about you and about a customer’s most recent experiences with your products or services.

Pinterest is the newest social media “kid on the block” and is already credited for directing more user traffic to 3rd party websites than YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+…combined!  Traffic to your website is the key requirement for disseminating information about your company as well as its products and services.  Pinterest is based entirely on attractive visual imagery and it will continue to advance its dominance in the area of product and service referral. People are extremely willing to click thru a Pinterest link and find out more about a product.  It also seems that Pinterest users like to spend money.  Pinterest referrals are around 10% more likely to buy than other social referrals and, in addition, there is also some data that suggests that they will generally spend at least 10% more as well. Pretty compelling demographics!

Obviously it is long past time to incorporate Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest into any successful internet sales and marketing effort. These sites cost nothing to use and once properly set up; you can easily find someone to post for you if you lack the free time.

Consumer online research is going to be the backbone of internet shopping, especially where “freedom of choice” products and services are concerned.  People love to shop and supplying them with real and insightful customer experience data is now an essential component of virtually any successful sales and marketing campaign.

Things will never be the same.

Georgia-ProfileGuest post by Georgia McCabe follow her on Google+ – As an author, speaker, trainer and social media and photography evangelist, her perspectives on social media appear in print in her newest book entitled “SocialMorphosis – Transforming Your Business through Social Media”. Georgia is also a co-author of the book “The Relationship Age”, with social media guru Mari Smith. Georgia is a frequent guest blogger for our professional photography lab.

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