We are starting a new series here on the Ed Kashi blog, one that addresses the questions that come in to Ed from aspiring and new photojournalists. Our hope is that by publishing these FAbP’s, Ed can pass on his knowledge and experience to a broader audience, one that is made up of many photographers, novice and seasoned, who share the same struggles related to lifestyle, art and craft.
Frequently Asked by Photojournalists #1:
“I’m struggling with how much time is needed behind the computer v. the camera. The more I invest in Social Media, the more my personal vision and craft are hijacked. I mean, when you’re home and not shooting, are you spending quality time with the family—or is it an inordinate number of hours behind a Mac? With Social Media taking up a little more of my daily ‘pie,’ I’m looking for solutions to maximize my time behind the lens. The confounding thing about Social Media is that we have fought tooth and nail for most of our careers to tell the stories of others and get them published and now we’re spending more time promoting who WE are rather than the stories of our subjects. I have a problem with the ME in Social MEdia. It’s a delicate balance between this ‘ME’ and our subjects. They, too, deserve transparency and authenticity–exactly what we ask of them.” Steve Shelton
Our studio manager, Kristin Reimer, had something to say in response to the value of social marketing and how to manage it; “As social media moves from being purely guided by tech-savvy teenagers into effective business marketing, it becomes yet another item to check off on our never ending to do list. Is it necessary? Is social marketing going to provide a direct sale? Necessary? Yes. A direct sale? Not necessarily. Social media is like other forms of advertising in this regard; it’s about becoming recognized. A client may not always be able to cite exactly where they saw your name, but if they continue to see your name everywhere they go, think how easily you will come to mind when they do have need of you. Just like in-person networking, social marketing is about leveraging and nurturing your relationships and networks. And those tech-savvy teenagers will become the eyes and ears of your work tomorrow so it’s only extending your reach to become involved now.
I realize it’s yet another thing that has to be done, but if managed properly it doesn’t need to overwhelm you. Fortunately Ed has the luxury of having staff to help him out so that he can spend his time behind the camera or with his family more. Even if you can’t outsource, there are ways to lessen the time spent behind the computer. For instance, there are ways to link your accounts together (visit Links Alpha for linking service) so that with one blog post, it will post to your Facebook, Twitter and many others. Have a plan. Set aside time specifically for social marketing and stick to it. At the start of the month, plan what you want to post and assign them dates to post. Create several posts in one day/night and save them as drafts that just need to be published with a click of the button when needed.
Remember that this is a time of short attention spans, so you need to deliver quick messages on a consistent basis. By pushing for more people to follow you, it translates into more eyes following the issues and stories that you are trying to spread. Isn’t that the ultimate gain?”