SEO Photography Tips – Part 3: Social Media

Image of many, many Terns in flight against a cloudy and blue sky at Cedar Key, Florida by Marla Meier.

It’s a social world on the web.
Flock together as these Terns do in Cedar Key, Florida.
 

Sharing is Caring

Sharing your content is a huge part of increasing visibility through organic search and can take many forms. Regularly sharing through social media is a great way of building a following that will most likely continually revisit your website, but there are many other avenues in which content can be shared for the masses to see, enjoy, and hopefully re-share. The important thing to remember is that content and images are not just meant for your website. Uploading content to sharing sites, publishing through social media, or even arranging guest pieces where it may appear on other websites are all hugely powerful directions you can leverage when promoting yourself, your brand, or simply your imagery.

The other benefit to these sites may not be so obvious. Because they are so frequently updated with fresh user content, Google re-visits them very frequently. Ensuring you have a presence on these websites will encourage Google to crawl and index your imagery right away, which might not always be the case if getting traffic to your own website hasn’t been a problem.

Facebook & Twitter

Although these platforms may seem obvious, how to do it effectively is quite often the missing piece to the puzzle. Twitter, for example, you can be more aggressive with your sharing and perhaps re-share your content daily, whereas Facebook is a little more subdued and 2-3 times a week is quite fine. How frequently you post is usually largely dictated by how much time you have available to dedicate to it. The key to these channels is knowing who your target audience is. Do your homework on what Facebook groups you should be a part of and what hashtags you should be using. The old adage stands true that all publicity is good publicity, but at the end of the day your research will dictate how effective your efforts are. Ensure you know your target.

Here are the top 10 venues that you should be leveraging to promote your content:

Flickr

500PX

Imgur

Instagram

Pinterest

Photobucket

DeviantArt

Shutterfly

Tinypic

ImageShack

Most of these websites work very similarly to each other. They are essentially online media platforms designed for the purpose of distributing content. If sharing out to all these sites sounds like more work than it’s worth, you’ll be glad to know there are some great services out there where some degree of automation can be employed to syndicate out to these secondary image directory sites automatically. Buffer and IFTTT are some great options for those that don’t have the time to micromanage their Pinterest or Instagram.

Know the Influencers

An influencer is anyone who has the ear of the general populace within your vertical. Do you know who the big players are in your industry? Who runs the primary Facebook groups in your area or even the country? Who consistently has a powerful message in the trending hashtags for your area of expertise? By answering these questions you begin to get a sense of who the first and second tier influencers are. Connect with these people by getting involved. Drop a comment on ‘their content’ or engage them in conversation. Twitter is a great platform for this due to the lack of a friends system; you have the freedom to message literally anyone.

Four baby Carolina Wrens are in their nest tweeting for food by Marla Meier.
© 2015 Marla Meier. All rights reserved.

Carolina Wrens Tweeting, Jacksonville, Florida

It is important to note that this practice doesn’t always bear fruit, but a single retweet or re-share from an industry influencer can mean significant traffic. Continued engagement via social media simply increases the likelihood they will remember you next time.

Blog Like You Have Never Blogged Before

In today’s info driven world, a blog is a necessity. There are a million and one image sharing sites, so simply having a portfolio website without a blog won’t garner the desired result in organic search. Blogs are a hugely powerful tool that either get overlooked and ignored or abused to the point of being against Google’s guidelines. If done properly your blog can be a vessel in which your ever-growing readership will be able to view and share out your content. The covert effect of fresh content and regular visits from readers is that Google will more frequently revisit your site in search of any new content, significantly increasing the odds of having your content appear in search.

Similarly to engaging social media, there is no universal number of posts per week or month that you should adhere to. As a rule, once a week is typically ample, however it is largely dependent on how frequently your competition is blogging. Although not always feasible, trying to either mirror or one-up their efforts is recommended.

Although this all may seem like a lot to remember, once you get in the habit of uploading, posting, sharing, and blogging it will all become second nature fairly quick. The nuances of keyword selection and decisions on target audience will flow as naturally as water once the right thought process is achieved. Like I’ve said before, there is no right or wrong way to promote your content, only varying degrees of effectiveness. Your level or research into keywords, target audience, and messaging will directly impact your result; meaning there is no such thing as too much research.

by Todd Mumford, Riverbed Marketing
Article: © 2015 Todd Mumford. All rights reserved.

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