A Facebook fan page is an excellent way of keeping up to date with clients, sharing past and current work, while finding potential customers.
I pride myself with my Facebook fan page which I update almost every day. Because of this, it has grown steadily for the past ten months.
Very few of you know this but I actually used to spend a lot of time writing for a website on internet marketing; I know a thing or two about setting up a decent looking fan page.
Having an accessible and attractive Facebook photography fan page will do your career a lot of good.
When registering your fan page, the first thing you want to do is to select the right category. I find it’s best to list yourself as a website rather than a public figure.
There are a couple of reasons for this.
Firstly, you look a bit ridiculous when you’ve got 12 fans and you’re calling yourself a public figure.
Secondly, when you do become a massive success, there are limitations. You can only reach 10,000 fans if you’re not listed as a website, so make sure you get that right.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this changes since Facebook is now allowing subscriptions.
One of the good things about having your own fan page is that it can turn up in a Google search. This is only if they deem it relevant enough.
For this to happen, you have to include the right sort of information. To do this, edit the ‘about’ section of your page and say what you’re about.
The “About” section will appear under the profile picture, above the like counter. This can be used to attract new visitors who are viewing the page for the first time.
It costs nothing to fill in, so make sure you don’t avoid it.
The profile picture is a little bit more complicated than what you might be used to. This is where you can really try to promote your Facebook page.
What you may not be aware of is that you have 180 x 540 pixels to work with. Use that space to either display a picture, or some text that will entice your visitor to click like.
I’ve used both as you can see below but I currently prefer the simple version.
With the simple version of the profile image, I can do three different things:
- display my full name and logo at the bottom so there’s no confusion;
- include a photo of one of my models;
- include my logo icon.
The logo icon is especially important because it’s what people see when I comment on a post or write something on my wall.
My logo helps to build my brand and can do the same for you if you choose the right one. It doesn’t have to be a logo as such – maybe just your name or favourite photo – but it should definitely be something that you want to associate with yourself.
The choice of a portrait was a no brainer; I can change this once a month to a new photo, attracting the attention of new and old visitors.
You have to keep your fans entertained.
Use Your Cover Photo to Advertise
The Facebook cover is a great addition to your page. It will be the first thing that anyone who visits will see.
You can add a still image of something photographic, text-based or a mixture of the two. You can even choose to show a video if you have one.
To utilise this area, make something captivating and unique. Your logo, along with an image of what you are about and text may be a little too much in one space.
If your profile photo is your logo, then keep it free from the cover.
Using the profile and cover pictures together can make or an interesting setup. You may have a few elements you want to show, so see how they can work in the best possible ways together.
You want to give as much visual information as you can without being over the top.
Show Your Portfolio
All photography fan pages should have access to your portfolio, but I’m aware that people still worry about sharing their photos on Facebook.
So long as you take care of how you put them up, no one will steal them or use them for anything worthwhile.
The first thing to do is to learn how to professionally share your photos on the internet, you can read about this here.
Make sure you pay very close attention to how it’s done as it’s more important than you may think. Things like colour profiles and image size are very important.
If you’re worried about people taking your photos, it’s neither uncommon nor unacceptable to include a watermark. Make sure it’s small, in the corner.
If anyone steals your watermarked photo, it will be clear where it came from.
Have a look at my Facebook watermark below. There’s nothing worse than taking a good photo and putting a big garish watermark right in the centre.
It’s completely distracting from the photo and won’t do you any favours.
Only Choose Your Best Photos
What I see all the time on Facebook are a few good photos dispersed amongst a load of rubbish. This takes the attention and interest from the ones that work.
When you’re sharing photos, remember that your album can only ever be as strong as the weakest photo.
If you’re going to include all of your wonky, poorly exposed duds, you won’t go far.
I’ll give you an example:
I was at a friend’s wedding BBQ the other day. I took 761 photos but only 156 made it into a photo album.
I’m way past taking poorly exposed, wonky or out of focus photos but I still make sure that the variety I’m displaying is going to interest the reader.
No one wants to look at five photos of the same person doing exactly the same thing, from the same angle or perspective.
If you leave the viewer impressed and wanting more, you’re onto a good thing.
While on the subject of photos, you need to add these constantly and frequently to your wall.
You may have noticed that I regularly update my Facebook wall with new photos. This is so that I can keep you interacting with my Facebook and get your feedback on my photos.
You may also notice that you no longer hear from certain pages on your Facebook even though you “like” them.
This happens when you stop interacting with them, either because you weren’t interested, or they stopped posting content you wanted to see.
Keep up your interaction with regular photos if you want your fans to remain interested.
Call to Action Button
The goal of your Facebook fan page is to get clients. We need to make it simple and easy for them to like and follow us.
By adding a ‘Call To Action’ button, you can turn your page into something other than another boring and mundane page.
On the Expert Photography Facebook Fan Page, our ‘Call To Action’ button says ‘Sign Up’.
This is different to the ‘Like’ button, as it shows there is extra content than just what you show here. This will be the same for you, as the Facebook fan page is there to direct people to your website.
If a prospective client clicks here, they are taken to our website where signing up with their email gets them a free video and an introduction into what we offer.
This makes it easy for people to get more involved and look at our services. If you don’t make it easy, they will like the page and quite possibly, move on.
They will feel they have reached the maximum interaction with you, your page and therefore, your company.
Claim your Name
Once you’ve got all of the above complete, it’s time to start sharing the page and getting people to like it.
It used to be that, after you had 25 likes, you could claim the custom URL but I think that’s changed so you don’t have to anymore.
Either way, it shouldn’t be hard to find 25 fans, just bribe your friends.
One of the first things you will want to do is to claim your Username. This is what most people will use to find your page when searching.
My top tip for choosing this name is using capital letters.
Facebook will recognize where you have specified capital letters. So, when I set the URL to ExpertPhotography, even when someone types in www.facebook.com/expertphotography, it reverts back to www.facebook.com/ExpertPhotography, which looks a lot better.
All of this can be done from your “About” section.
Keep your title relevant and include the word “photography”. ‘Tim Smith Images’ doesn’t tell you that he’s actually a professional photographer even if you think it sounds better.
Keywords are very important when it comes to internet marketing.
The next step is to go into your resources tab and select how you want to connect with people.
You may want to take out some advertising or email your contacts, telling that you have a new fan page.
There are two options that I always use. The first is to connect your page to Twitter if you have one.
That way, whenever you post something on Facebook, it will appear on Twitter too, which should hopefully improve your reader’s interaction.
Slightly more complicated: use a social plugin if you use a website.
This means generating a Facebook ‘like’ box that people can click on while they’re browsing your website which will instantly make them your fan.
There are different options for different websites but one thing I would absolutely recommend is to use the official Facebook plugin.
I wasted so much time not using it because, although it’s not the best looking thing in the world, it certainly helps to gain new fans.
My page is currently growing by about 1,000 new fans a month and I put a lot of that down to this plugin.
Don’t miss this step.
When you’ve completed everything above, the very final step is to share it on your personal Facebook and ask all of your friends to like it.
I’m not one for finding fans like this because, if they’re not interested in what I’m offering, I don’t really want them on the page – it does nothing.
But when you’re first starting out, it helps to boost your numbers so you don’t look like an amateur.
And there you have it: everything you need to produce a page that will get you more customers for your photography.
Looking for more great social media photography tips? Check out our Instagram tips for smartphone photographers or our photography tips for food bloggers.