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Where do things stand? When you look at social media sites, there is always a hip site or a popular site. If you're in photography, you've probably heard a lot about Google+ and how important it is. Well, I'd like to point out that some sites are bigger than others. Size sometimes matters if you're trying to attract a larger audience or get your work seen by the most people. Find a careful balance between where you put your efforts. 66% of all adults use Facebook. Now this number is different than the one I am about to share, but this comes from the Pew Internet report.
And what they're finding is incredible growth in Facebook usage. 20% of folks use LinkedIn. So if you're trying to find connections from clients of clients, or friends of clients, LinkedIn is the way to go. Most creative people I know don't use LinkedIn. The site is pretty boring. It's just a bunch of text, really no way to share your videos or photos conveniently and it seems kind of pointless writing references for people you kind of know. But the truth is that people do look at those, and one of the most useful things you can get out of LinkedIn is start to look at the connections that your clients have or when you're researching a potential client or somebody who asks for a bid, see if any of your contacts are related to them.
These shared connections will open up opportunities for increased references and referrals. And of course, Twitter; most folks don't understand it, but it's actually quite useful. Now we're going explore almost all of these sites in a series. Over time, we'll be rolling out courses on Facebook and Twitter and Google+ and other new sites to help video and photo pros get the most from them. The course today, is just an overview; trying to help you understand the decisions you need to make and how important it is that you actively use social media.
Just having accounts and being registered, doesn't do a lot. It's the continuous daily active posting and engagement that leads to the opportunities. Now research done early in the year 2012 show that about 54% of people are on Facebook. These numbers will always vary depending on who's surveyed and who's doing the surveying, but the truth is, is that easily over half of all Americans are on Facebook. A lot are on LinkedIn and the recent economic problems that only push that number up and believe it or not, people still use MySpace, but I don't think you need to worry too much about it as a photo or video pro.
Twitter and Google+ are meaningful, but they are paled in comparison to Facebook. I recommend a healthy mix. By employing multiple platforms and engaging with different people in different places, you'll see the return on investment. I recommend that you embrace all of the platforms and experiment with them. Some of them are going to work better than others for you. Some are going to seem more active but don't confuse a lot of noise or traffic from people who are already your friends as being opportunity.
A lot of folks get into Google+ a lot and they're excited, because the vibrant photography community. Or they hangout on Vimeo, and they engage with other video pros and have really in-depth discussions about work. That's great, but are those people giving you money? So you have to find the balance. Sometimes, hanging out in the broader place, like a Facebook leads to that opportunity. I've never had a client comment on one of my videos on Vimeo. I've had hundreds on Facebook. Think about the opportunities to connect and share with the people that are going to hire you, as why you want to be there.
To really drive this point, realize that social media is a global phenomenon. It's not just something happening in the US, but all markets, all economic and social areas. The Asian markets are actually the market leaders and they create more content than any other region. 57% of all people have joined some sort of social network, and in fact, this number just keeps going up. Many people upload photos and many more upload videos.
This type of usage is going to mean that people are looking for photos and videos online.
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