Oh we all love Facebook right? We can put up images from recent shoots, tag our clients, and get exposure to all their friends. But there is a downside to this social openness and fake friending that can be putting a hurt on your business and possibly it’s your own need for big friend numbers that is going to ultimately hurt you.
Who You Should Friend
One thing I see all the time is photographers begging other photographers to like their pages. In my case, this makes some level of sense because I am trying to market my content, and sometimes products, to other photographers. What doesn’t make sense is friending up other photographers just to increase your friend count. If you want to follow a popular photographer because of their tips or blog posts, you can do this without friending them by subscribing to their posts. The full reason not to friend other photographers will be discussed in more detail in just a moment.
You should certainly friend up your clients, this is a simple way to create exposure. Tag your clients in their images, if you can get friended with an entire wedding party and tag all of them then you have scored a major one.
the ultimate goal is to create a friend base made up of your customers and potential customers.
Why Not Friend Other Photographers
Every day now I see an ad for some photographer pop up on my Facebook timeline advertising some special or another. This isn’t some randomly placed ad based on the fact I like photography, I got it because the photographer paid for Facebook to place the ad on everyone’s timeline that likes that photographers page AND all of their friend’s timelines.
Let me explain this again…
Take this ad for Rosetta Stone:
The Rosetta Stone Facebook page (at the time of this writing) had 1,774,997 likes. When Rosetta Stone paid for this ad placement, all 1.7 million people who liked the page AND ALL THEIR FRIENDS got the ad. This is most certainly several million additional ad views than just the people who liked the page.
Let’s Go Over This Again
If you have friended another photographer, and they pay for a paid post, their ad will be seen by you and ALL of YOUR contacts. That’s right folks, simply friending a competitor gives them full access to directly market to your customers.
Don’t Be Friend Greedy
I know it’s very tempting to try to build your friend numbers by exchanging likes with other photographers but you do need to remember that at some level they are your competition and you need to ask yourself how willing you are to give out your customer base to them.