October 21, 2010

Pancake Session: Facebook

Good morning blogworld! :)

We thought we’d kick off today with a nice warm stack of pancakes. Pumpkin ones. With walnuts. And caramel maple syrup. Wait…..what was I saying?

Oh yes….Facebook! :)

We’ve been getting a TON of questions (mostly ON facebook, but also in email and in person) about Facebook and how we use it. Most of those questions really fall under two main types of questions, so we thought we’d answer those here in the hopes that they might help somebody out there. I am sure there are people with way more mad Facebook skillz than us who study algorithms and all that jazz, and we are in no way the experts. But this is what we do, so hopefully somebody out there can benefit from it.

The first main question that we get really just boils down to how are we using Facebook. Nuts and bolts type stuff. What order do things happen in, etc.

The first thing that I will say is that we are doing most of our facebooking on our Justin & Mary page. That’s because we’ve heard more than one account of people losing their personal FB profiles (and all of their friends, settings, etc along with it) for doing too much business stuff on there. I have absolutely NO idea if it’s true. But it was enough to scare us…so we created a page. :) Also, as of now FB limits you to 5,000 friends whereas the Page is unlimited, so that’s another good argument for the Page. That’s step one.

Now that we have that going, here’s what our “Facebook workflow” looks like. The first thing I do the morning after a wedding is blog a sneak peek of 2-3 images from the day before, write something about the day, and give a quick shout out to the vendors we worked with (hey, they worked really hard to make our job easier). I will then take those 2-3 images and post them on our Facebook page with a little “so and so got married, and I have the proof :)” quip because I’m quirky like that. I then go in and tag our bride & groom (who I am almost always friends with already either from them adding us which we love, or we’ve added them when we’ve done the engagement shoot), as well as any vendors that we worked with and are awesome.

This does a couple things. The first is that it shows up in our news feed, the couple’s news feed and the vendor’s newsfeed. So it’s like putting it out on the wire that the wedding was shot. The second is that for all the people who were either at the wedding and want to see pictures or who couldn’t make it to the wedding and want to see pictures, ours are the very first ones they are seeing (that’s a big advantage of getting up early and getting it done). And finally, it gives our couple one of our pictures from the wedding day that they can instantly change to their profile picture (which we LOVE!) instead of using somebody else’s point & shoot picture. So even with just those 2-3 pictures we are making a pretty big wave.

The next step for us is when we actually blog the wedding. We break our weddings up into 2-3 posts. So after each post, we will pick around 7-8 images that are our favorites from that post and upload them to FB in a folder we have for the whole year called Justin & Mary Weddings 2010. I also give that folder the description “Photography for People who Believe in Love” which is the tagline for our business, so that each time we add images to that folder it pops up again with that tagline and acts as a kind of mini-commercial for us. Again I will tag those 7-8 images with the couple and any vendors, as well as leave a link in the comments for each picture to the full blog post. Then I do the whole thing again for Part II and Killer Details, also tagging any of the bridal party or family that I’m now friends with. (I’m a big fan of giving credit where credit is due, so a huge thanks to Miss Jasmine* for the folder/link system…she’s really smart like that! :)

It is a lot of work, but we have a system for it and you just get into the routine of it and do it. And if you will do that, if you will work that system over and over consistently, I guarantee you the return is gonna be HUGE.

The second type of question that we get all the time looks something like this: But doesn’t it kill you when your clients use one of your pictures as a profile picture and crop out your logo? Or when they upload images themselves and the color or cropping gets all wonky on Facebook?

Nope.

It doesn’t bother me at all. Like I said before, we LOVE our clients using one of our pictures as the profile pic. That’s a huge compliment to us and says to everybody else in FB world that they loved us and the pictures. And we also want them to be able to use the images however they want. That’s why they purchased the disc after all.

And the reason that things like cropping, weird color, etc don’t bother me, (for those of you who don’t know FB does some pretty weird crops and color adjustments when you upload pics) is that I know that people are finding us on facebook through one of two ways: 1) they are either casual acquaintances on FB with our bride & groom and they just see our post come up in their news feed when we tag their friends. They then click over to our site from the link I put in the comments and decide they want to contact us on their own without ever talking to the bride & groom or 2) they are close enough friends to the couple that even if they see the pictures come up in the newsfeed, they are going to want to get a recommendation from the couple before contacting us. But neither of those ways are hurt if our logo is cropped out in a profile picture or the color gets a little weird in a folder they create. Because these new inquiries have either seen the pictures exactly the way we want them on our site or they’re just going off good worth of mouth (or both!). And allowing our clients to use those pictures on facebook, just makes them happier with us and ups that good word of mouth. Also, even if a potential client happened to see some pictures in a folder that aren’t 100% the way we want them, I just try to remind myself that normal people don’t see what we (ahem, perfectionist photographers :) see. They don’t notice the color is 5% off or the thumbnail crops out our compositional vision. They just see two people they know looking really happy and in love, and natural and beautiful on their wedding day. And that’s what’s most important to them. And at the end of the day, that is what is going to get us hired.

Word.

And speaking of FB, if you liked this post maybe you’ll head on over HERE and like the J&M page too! See how subtle that was?? :)

  1. Janet Galland-Hunt

    Once again…your williness to share is invaluable. Thanks guys!!!

  2. Crista

    Very helpful info, and a great perspective about the whole logo/cropping thing.

  3. Caitlin

    As someone who felt more than a little giddy and slightly famous after seeing our photos on the facebook page, I can attest to this being such a great tool. Not only did it continue the feeling of personal touch/special connection that we had experienced all year from Justin and Mary, but it sent our friends and family over to the facebook page and then over to the main site here. I want everyone I know to have the feeling we had with you, now if someone would just get engaged so I can send them your way!

  4. Emily

    You two are so awesome! I love love love you!

  5. Debbie

    Awesome pointers!! I just started my fan page this month and was initially at a loss in how to make it work!! This definitely helps!! I was just thinking about the pancake sessions this morning – I swear we have ESP!

  6. spring

    How do you tag people on your page posts? For some reason I can only tag people from my personal page- even if they are a fan when i try to tag them it won’t let me :( any ideas?

  7. MM

    hmmm…that’s strange! I’m able to do it right there in the album. (It might need to be in an album first)

  8. Kristin

    Ah! Profile pic! But… which one to choose???

  9. Kare

    @spring – I dug around my fb fan page and got to the tagging options. It states: "Admins can always tag photos by Karen Kyte – Photographer with their own friends…" This was in the area to allow fans to tag friends (on the main page, under your photos is an option to Edit Settings). That being said, if you are an admin, you should be able to tag your friends on your fb fan page. If not, I would make someone else an admin (a friend, perhaps) and see if they can tag their own friends.

  10. Christa

    I "heart" pancake sessions

  11. Nichanh Nicole

    I love your work. Thank you for the great post.

  12. Cari Berry

    Wow! Thanks for sharing your workflow this way. Great tips for making full use of Facebook. Awesome. Your work is beautiful!

  13. Katie Lewis

    So I had a wedding on Friday and decided to stay up late and work on two images to post up on Facebook and take my clients in. The next morning I had 6 new fans on Facebook just from their friends seeing that picture. I mean, that’s crazy! Thanks for the tip!

  14. MM

    @Katie: that is so awesome!!!

  15. Kate Nesi

    I love this post! I use Facebook in a very similar way with the schedule of posting a sneak peek, tagging and getting the images in many news feeds. I also agree having a page w/unlimited followers is important than the personal site. It sets your business apart from your personal life.

    Lastly, thanks for touching on the subject of clients using images and cropping out logos. Sometimes we forget what it’s like to be on the other side as a client. They are just excited to have a great picture to share!

  16. Chris Aram

    I absolutely agree with your take on logos and posting to Facebook – I have no idea why some folks get bent out of shape about that. If people like the images, they will ask … they don’t need an ugly, invasive watermark to tell them so. :)

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