facebook & your brand
In case you missed it, Facebook held its annual f8 conference yesterday and announced a ton of new features. For most people, these new designs and features are just changes they can complain about and then get used to. For US (us meaning totally awesome photographers) it is a really big step forward. Instead of recapping the entire f8 keynote, I figured I would just touch base on the most important and relevant topics. If you want a complete breakdown, take a look at The Next Web’s article about the f8 conference here.
Earlier today, I was reading Jasmine Star’s blog post about Facebook and the fantastic link it has with photographers, and it got me thinking: there were a few really major bonuses in this layout that we, as photographers, could take advantage of.
Most of us have set up facebook fan pages for our business and are utilizing them as much as possible, but we are unable to use another major point of facebook: our personal profiles. Our personal pages have been there just for regular interaction and often are more active than our fan pages, but they haven’t really been an extension of our brand.. until now. Facebook’s new feature, Timeline, has completely changed the personal page layout and added one massive header image. Most people, so far, have been adding some photos of their kids, maybe a pet or a great photo of them, to this header. I had a different idea.
I decided to use this image as an extension of my brand:
So now, not only do I have a fan page on Facebook that represents my brand, but my personal page does as well. This is incredibly important for 2 reasons: First, there are always people that find my personal page before my fan page. Those people sometimes send me a friend request, in the hopes that I am the photographer they were looking for, and others definitely leave the page and become lost chances. Second, I have just under a thousand friends on my personal page, each of which certainly go to special events, and possibly will be getting married in the future.(not to mention the fact that they probably have friends and relative in the same boat) That is a set of 1000 new leads that I can get just from existing on facebook – and it is all for free! Naturally, this is a fantastic option for photographers (and really, any business owner or entrepreneur)
Why Timeline is your new best friend.
The rest of the timeline is a really fantastic experience. You can jump from today back to 2008, 2007, maybe May of 2006 with a few clicks. After I spent half of my day reminiscing and having a quarter-life-crisis, I noticed another really fantastic opportunity to extend focus onto my brand. After every blog post and gallery update, I re-share my post onto my personal facebook. This usually results in a huge spike of traffic to my blog, and while that is great, it isn’t a constant. The post gets buried after a few days and people rarely go back through old posts on our pages. With Timeline, these posts get archived into a fantastic page that is EXTREMELY accessible by anyone. So, the first major point here is that you should consider sharing your posts onto your personal page for more exposure.
Next is the ability to feature some posts in your timeline. This takes your post from a small box on either side of a page and prominently displays it across the entire page. Now, that great wedding you just shot and posted on your blog, gets a full page ad for thousands of your friends. To show you how to feature posts, I decided to use my post about Hurricane Irene from my blog. Here are the directions: Step 1- Choose the post you want to feature. Step 2 – hover over the top corner and click the Star to feature the post. Step 3 … there is no step 3.
Now, when people scroll through your timeline, they can’t help but stop and take a look at your fantastic photos! And when other people, or old clients, come to your personal page, they can quickly jump straight to their photos because of timeline as well!