Thursday, April 9, 2009

Seeing the "Big Picture"

Seeing the big picture

I once read an interview with a man who lived in the Canadian Rockies. He was quoted as saying that "…the mountains are OK, but they sure do block the view". I'm not sure that exactly applies to my following thoughts, but hey, I always liked that quote!

Social media is great. I really like the fact that I can let a lot of people know right away when I have new material up by just sending out a tweet, or making a quick post on Facebook. Looking at the "Big Picture" however, I also realize that it is very easy to get caught up in trying to get a lot of followers, and in general, spending an inordinate amount of time perusing various posts. Some of those posts can be very entertaining, but few are actually valuable to my goals. How many SEO tips does one need to read? In one post it was guaranteed that you could be in the top 10 of search results. I wanted to ask what happened if eleven people followed those tips….

I currently have just over four hundred followers on twitter, and something like 200 "friends" on Facebook. I have seen some tweeters (don't know if I am using appropriate terminology) with something like 100,000+ followers! But even if I were ever to get anywhere near that number of followers, would it be worth the effort? I doubt it. To get the kind of traffic I want to get to my site I really need to come up very early in search results. As big a number as 100,000 followers might sound, I want that number of people, or more, landing on my site each month. Those kinds of numbers can be much more efficiently achieved with providing quality content and optimizing for search engines. Social Media can be a part of that effort, but for me it is all too easy to spend too much time scanning posts. I would be much better served creating a new image, putting it up on my site, and making sure it is well key worded; and that my site is thoroughly optimized for those search engines.

For some, who perhaps are seeking a "True Fan" base, or need a more intimate connection with their "clients", perhaps social media is a more important endeavor. For me, I believe I am better off getting back behind the camera, pushing pixels with Photoshop, and doing what I do best: making images relevant to the market for stock photos. OK, I’m off to create an image (and maybe tweet about it).


sharply_done said...

You don't mention Flickr - aren't you on there? If not, you need to be. The exposure to potential buyers (both personal and professional) is much greater than on Twitter or Facebook.

John Lund said...


Thanks for the suggestion. I will look into it. So much to keep up with!


Anonymous said...

Totally agree with your thoughts on a "true fan" base. I sense all this social networking connects more peers than buyers<->customers. Sean.

John Lund said...

Sean, that being said, I know of at least one major photographer who has decided that peers are his new who knows (I sure don't)!

MikLav said...

I started with Twitter just recently so my experience is limited; but my understanding is that the value of twitter isn't the in the twitter itself (i.e. your posts or nr of followers) but it's ability to bring more visitors to your blog/website via the network of followers and their followers.

Regarding Sean comment: it is true but not 100%. And I think it's even less true for twitter than for blogs. To my own surprise my article about how to sell stock photos (which is aimed to bring referral photographers) did bring some referral buyers too.