Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest… When you start thinking about social networks, your head starts to spin. There are so many of them, and it’s not easy to decide which ones you should use as a photographer. Using them all takes a lot of time. It’s sometimes hard to distinguish what makes the use for business and what’s just for fun. In this video, Joe Edelman gives you an A to Z of social media use for photographers. Meet their pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, and learn how to prepare images for social networks without wasting too much time.
Let me ask you a simple question: Does your investment in social media generate business income?
For most of the creative professionals I ask, the answer is either: “No, not really” or “I don’t know.”
The more I invest in social media, the more I get the feeling that this social media thing is just one big giant fraud – an elaborate ruse designed to do nothing more than monopolize time and energy chasing after likes and followers.
If you listen to the social media gurus, they’ll tell you straight up – your business MUST be on social media. You MUST engage your followers – the more active you are, the more likes and followers you can acquire…ergo the bigger audience you have the more crap you can sell them.
It gets even worse (as if investing your time isn’t already enough, they want your money too) – they’ll also tell you that you need a hook. You have to offer free products, discounts, contests, pay for ads – anything to drive interest and get more likes and secure more followers.
Who exactly benefits from all of this? The social networks sure do. The social media gurus do to.
But what about your business? How much are those thousands of likes and legions of followers really worth to your business in real world $$$?
Because here’s the thing – I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the return on investment for social media is ridiculously small – or in other words, social media is probably not worth the time and effort you put into it.
Facebook’s been expanding like no other social network before it for quite a while now; with the acquisition of apps like Instagram, or companies like Oculus, it’s clear that this is a website relentless in its business strategies. Just about a year back, Facebook attempted to purchase Snapchat for $3 billion, and Snapchat declined. After that, they successfully snagged WhatsApp in exchange for an unbelievable sum of $16 billion. And I’m not too much of an expert on the matter, but if a company’s paying four times what the Star Wars franchise was sold for for an app, it’s safe to say they’re not messing around when it comes to expansion.
Considering Snapchat turned down the company’s offers, Facebook decided to develop something of their own: a new app called Slingshot. Designed to be similar to Snapchat in terms of its basic concept, Slingshot has now officially been unveiled.
Instagram hasn’t really been much of a photography app, lately. When it started off, it was a great way for the average smartphone user to give their photos a vintage Polaroid look. But with how popular it’s gotten, especially after its acquisition by Facebook, Instagram’s been keeping more of a focus on social networking than it has on actual photo editing. Today, a new update just released for the app that might change all that.
The latest update, Instagram 6.0, brings improvements to what’s already there – straightening, cropping, rotating – and then it adds on more. This time, the social networking-focused app is coming with tools that have been essential for any photographer up to this point; with 6.0, we get options to adjust brightness, saturation, contrast, and more. No word yet on how those features compare in quality to their counterparts in apps like Snapseed, VSCO, or Afterlight, but considering it’s one of the fastest growing social networking apps out there, it’s great to see Instagram bringing tools like this to mainstream attention.