As almost every photographer, I also try to be quite active on social media. But probably as for everyone there, there are some practices some photographers do, that should not be tolerated and should stop. So I thought I put together this little list, to give few pointers what to avoid. This is mostly specific to Facebook, but some are applicable also to other networks.
1. Don’t beg. Never beg for likes, views, shares, comments, and so on. I don’t mean one can’t ask for it in the description, but there is always a line, after which it looks out of place and it shows that you are not confident in your photos.
2. Don’t spam. For every social networks there is usually a certain number of posts per day, that look acceptable. It’s hard to say how many are ok, but in my opinion for Facebook pages, it’s between one and 4 posts a day. Just take into account how many pages an average person is following, and you see why more is too much.
3. Don’t invite people to empty pages. This is something I see a lot of times with photographers who only start on Facebook. They just created a page and already they want a huge following. No-one who does not know you personally will like your page if there is nothing there. First add at lest few posts, a good cover and some photos. And don’t forget to create a good address for the page under www.facebook.com/username .
4. Don’t buy followers. This is never worth it. The followers sold are always fake. I seen reports that not even the followers bought directly through Facebook advertising are always real. Organic growth from good content is always the best.
5. Don’t post to multiple Facebook groups/pages at once. This behavior I always reward by unsubscribing from the person immediately. Just think how Facebook works. You post to 10 groups and people following you will see 10 identical posts on their feeds. A nice photo is great to see, but when you see it 10 times, it becomes spam very quickly.
6. Don’t post/message links to your page asking people to like. Do this only if you want to look amateurish and desperate. You want someone to check out your page? Post a good photo to their page and if they like it, they will check out the rest of your work. I always do.
7. Don’t just say Hi. If you message someone, another photographer you don’t know personally, write why you message them. Just writing Hi, sending a link and similar, will be ignored most times. Say why you message them right away, and what you want (if you want something :)) and I guarantee, if they have time, the chance for a reply is much higher.
8. Don’t ask stupid questions. Better said, think and read before you ask. I give an example here. If I name a photo “Dubai Marina”, mention in the description that it was taken in “Dubai Marina” and tag the photo location as “Dubai Marina” and I still get a question where the photo was taken, I will definitively not reply, because I know the person does not care about the answer.
9. Don’t tag un-relevant people. This is a favorite tactic to get more views on photos on Facebook. My reaction to this is always un-tag and un-friend immediately. And I think everyone else should reward people who do this the same way.
10. Don’t steal photos. One would think that this does not have to be repeated, but it seams that it has to. So never steal, never post other peoples work without a proper credit. And if you are not sure, ask them first. You will always get caught. And never try to submit other peoples work into contests under your name (yes, a person did this with one o my photos).
11. Don’t connect every account to your Facebook. It’s very easy to have your Facebook page updated with everything you do on the internet (500px likes, flickr uploads, instagram updates …), but again it gets into the territory of spamming. You can easily get a huge number of posts that your followers just don’t care about.
12. Don’t overdo it on the watermark. I know that everyone tries to protect his/her work, but think about what you are trying to show. Is it really the watermark? If no, then why it is more dominant than the photo?
I think I could continue even more, but there is a simple rule. Before you do anything, think first about it. Do you want to be taken seriously? Do you wan to be taken as a professional? Than behave like that. And even if you don’t want to be a professional, try to behave like a decent human being. If something bothers you, it will also bother other people if you do it.