I read a recent blog post (That moment when museums realize that arts need to be shared) that talked about two new exhibits in Vancouver that ask visitors to take pictures and share them on social media. It reminded me of conversations I've had recently about social media strategy when I've been asked, both as a freelance consultant and volunteer, to do a social media audit. Social Media is this huge buzzword right now and everyone wants to figure out how they get some of those eyeballs. In some ways it reminds me of the early days of the Internet when everyone was creating a website so they could have an url to promote. But before you get out there and set up your Pinterest or Instagram account there are a couple of things to consider:
1) Know your audience (aka Marketing 101). Not every social media site is appropriate for your business, so do the research to find out what social media platforms your audience uses. If they are older they may spend more time on Facebook, if younger then on Instagram. If you're a small tech company should you be focusing on LinkedIn instead of Pinterest? Probably. Only you know who your audience is and, moreover, who you want to target. It's better to start off and focus on one or two social media platforms then create a presence across all of them. If it doesn't make sense to be on Instagram, then don't.
2) Update your content regularly. Just because you have an Instagram account doesn't mean they will come. I'm thinking of a cultural organization where it absolutely makes sense they have Instagram presence, but they haven't updated their images in months. If you're promoting the Instagram or YouTube logo on you website make sure you have content to populate otherwise you risk looking irrelevant. And if you don't have the resources to update your social media platforms then pull them down until you do.
3) Engage with your users. They are interacting with you for a reason - they want to promote you and it's free promotion. I can't tell you how many times I've seen missed opportunities for viral marketing. The joy of social media is it's the start of a conversation and relationship with your audience. They are your fans and they want to share your brand/message/content. Let them help you.
Give your audience a reason to visit, contribute and share!
Not specifically for artists/cultural organizations, but for anyone thinking about their mobile strategy. From my experience on the mobile side I concur: '...firms can’t win the battle for a mobile moment with a technology platform built for the Web era.'
Reposted from Readwrite.com
Guest author Ted Schadler is a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research and co-author of The Mobile Mind Shift.
Mobile has increasingly become the go-to device to fulfill a consumer need. What's tomorrow's weather? Is the flight on time? Where's the nearest store, and is this product cheaper there?
Whatever the question, consumers increasingly expect the answer to be on the phone. This is the mobile mind shift: The expectation that you can get the information you want, right there in the moment when you need it.
The new battleground for customers is in this mobile moment—the instant in which the customer is seeking an answer. If you're there for them, you’ll gain their loyalty; if you're not, you'll lose their business. But while both entrepreneurial companies like Uber and huge corporations like American Airlines are winning in this mobile moment, the majority of firms still think "we’ll build an app" is the solution to serving customers in their mobile moments.
How To Lose A Customer In 30 Seconds This approach, quite simply, will lead to lost business. Why? Because firms can’t win the battle for a mobile moment with a technology platform built for the Web era.
Mobile is not small Web. It’s an entirely different experience based on simple steps and deep engagement, not self-service catalogs of transactions. Bolting a new interface onto an old technology stack won’t close the engagement gap that separates a company from its customer in that mobile moment of need. Rather, firms must completely re-architect their business technology platform to win, serve, and retain customers in their mobile moments.
The technology platforms for mobile moments are different from the traditional systems of record that companies use to run their businesses. Systems of record, the transaction systems that companies use to manage their back office and core operations—like Nordstrom’s inventory system or American Airlines’ reservation system—were designed to be rock-solid indicators of truth in a business. But these systems, and the business processes they support, aren't optimized for the speedy, frequent, and granular tasks that people with mobile devices demand.
By contrast, mobile apps focus on people, not internal processes. They draw on mobile, social, cloud, and analytics technology to deliver service directly to a customer, in the context of what that person wants or needs at that particular moment.
Google Now can warn that you will miss the train unless you walk a little faster down Park Avenue. That takes technology that can deliver on what a customer expects on his mobile device in his immediate context. To win in the mobile moment with its unique requirements, business executives and technology managers must fund, create, and manage a next-generation technology platform based on the following four imperatives.
1. Master A Slew Of New Engagement Technologies Mobile, social, cloud, notifications, analytics, in-app feedback, content management. These are the technologies of engagement. You must absorb and aggregate them to deliver engaging experiences.
2. Build A Cloud-Based Integration And Delivery Platform The three-tier Web can’t handle the diverse and complex needs of mobile moments. Enterprises must embrace the cloud and a new four-tier “engagement platform” that separates the aggregation tier, carrying API management and business logic, from the delivery tier, running at Internet scale and living close to the responsive edge when a customer taps an action button. The cloud is an essential component of this new architecture.
3. Simplify Data Retrieval From Existing Transaction Systems Existing transaction systems and processes are too bulky and ungainly for the small actions and rapid response needed in a mobile moment. Firms will have to atomize processes and expose just enough data through well-crafted APIs that can work on mobile devices and in any channel.
4. Implement A Comprehensive Analytics Capability Building a mobile app without instrumenting it for analytics means flying blind into the mobile moment. The app spins off data on performance and usage as well as location data that should improve a customer’s experience according to her context. This analytics capability is the most difficult and potentially the most valuable outcome of a mobile moment.
As you see, a great technology strategy and a new generation of capabilities lives behind every great mobile moment. CIOs and technology managers have a powerfully important place in this brave new world. But building this next generation technology platform won’t be cheap, and it won’t be easy. But it is essential to business success as more and more consumers make the mobile mind shift.
Great article for photographers on balancing the creative and business side. Agree that if the business side, and particularly marketing, is not your area of expertise then consider hiring a marketing expert. A short-term upfront investment will be helpful in the long run.
Originally posted on WPO - World Photography Organization
Make no mistake, this is one big jump and you will have to accept the fact that managing your new business venture will consume far more time than you ever imagined. That will be time that you won’t be spending working on image production.
While you continue to shoot and develop your skills, you should also be learning the rules that apply to not only the photography industry, but also general business practices. If you don’t learn those rules, and play by them, the day will come that the referee calls. In Canada, that referee will most likely be an auditor with Canada Revenue Agency – also less than affectionately known as the tax man, or worse.
In your research you most likely learned two important things: 1. The opportunity of earning a sufficient income by contributing to a micro-stock agency are quite limited, and 2. There is a horrendous over supply of stock images available to the potential buyer. Well, here is a reality check: the affects of point number two will continue to exist once you hang your shingle. How you decide to carve your niche to combat the over-supply issue is something you will have to discover on your own.
Be wary of every friend in the world who offers free advice, and live by the credo that you generally get what you pay for. Should those friends be so convinced that your new venture is the recipe to success, ask them if they would like to financially invest in your business. You will soon discover how convinced those friends are, and how much you should invest in their free advice.
Topics you will have to consider is insurance: you will require errors & omissions, liability, equipment and building insurance for your business. If you are planning on managing your business from a home office, speak to your current insurance broker and learn if your existing coverage will accommodate a home based business? Does your existing home policy cover all peril on your equipment now that you will be identified as a professional photographer – usually identified as one that earns an income from their pictures. And the questions continue; make a list and speak with your broker for expert advice.
Many of the other questions regarding legal representation, accountants, and other professional designations can be further explored in the earlier posts Calculation Cost and Going into Business. However, what those discussions don’t raise are two critical components of establishing a stock photography portal. Some might argue it is not necessary, and I would be of a contrary mind, but you will have to consider Information Technology and Marketing expertise in your operation. You can be sitting on the best collection of niche images in the world, but if you can’t, or don’t know how to get them to market, all your other efforts will be for naught.
Most photographers are just that – photographers; we make pictures. What do we know about SEO, how do we maximize key wording to have a positive influence on web based searches. Do you understand the demographic that is using each mobile device, and how they are using those devices. Should you base your business and image catalog on a home based server –and if so, do you have the bandwidth capacity? Or, should you explore the value in cloud or subscription services? Unless you already thoroughly understand the IT world, my suggestion would be contract independent expertise to assist you in this capacity.
The same can be said of marketing. Unless you can manoeuvre your way around social media with effective confidence, you may also want to seriously consider contracting a new media marketing manager. The bottom line is that if potential clients can’t see you material, they will most certainly never license your work which ultimately results in revenue.
You will want to spend a lot of time finding the right people to support your business. As any successful business manager knows: You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with.
Now get to work.
By: Dale Wilson