As part of the never-ending process of brand marketing that every photographer must practice, I’ve reached that point when it is imperative that I employ the social sites that will push said branding to the next level.
This form of Social Marketing is vital to your growth if you plan to compete with the hundreds of shooters who have already learned to embrace the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram trends that your potential clients prefer.
Starting with my favorite watermarking program, a few dozen of my favorite ‘catchy yet generic’ images are converted to Web-friendly lightweights with a prominent watermark both low and easy to read, while at the same time faded to 50% so as to not distract from the impending messages to be added later. These then become my templates for the quotes and statements that will serve as the actual message of the shared image.
The template shown here is 650 x 750 pixels wide to comply with the standard format of most Facebook and Instagram image preferences.
In truth, Facebook users seem to prefer their images of this type, commonly known as “memes” to be 650×650 pxls, because it displays best with the new ad features that FB is cramming into their mobile screens. However, I chose to stand out just a bit by adding the width that I think displays better on tablets and computer screens, because my target audience is a bit older and prone to browse more casually on the tablet.
As you can see, the basic message has a rather wide appeal among adults of all ages, and you can target your audience even more closely by selecting quotes that will tap into their individual perspectives.
As with all other forms of promotion, you also want to keep the basic principles of marketing in mind that will apply here, especially the K.I.S.S. rule: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
These branded quote images are exploding on all the big social sites, and while the vast majority of your clients and competitors continue to call them memes, should you take the time to market them right (sparingly, maybe 1 per week, per site) you will soon see them as Me!Me! s that tend to scream your brand as they are shared hundreds, or even thousands of times.
As with nearly everything else on social sites, you can reasonably expect the lifespan of your new meme to sputter after 30 days, and to fall to the wayside after 60 days. This is why you are launching a new meme every week.
You will soon realize that you have created a constantly evolving web of branded images, being shared by your friends, your page fans, and their friends as each image cycles down to make room for the next. This social promotion cycle is the 21st century equivalent of the affiliate marketing phase that swept the Web in the 90s.