A Healthy Approach to Social Media


Last year I went to one of Scott Kelby’s conferences in Lansing. I’ve been to several of his teaching events and every one has went great. Last year’s was no exception. While I was there I started talking with one of the fellow attendees. She was newer to photography and wanted to learn more about the basics. I told her about the Michigan Photography Network facebook group. I told her that many people ask photography related questions in the group. She was very anti-social media. I explained to her why I made the group. She responded with “Well I guess we can justify anything.”

I have came across several others over the last few years who have similar anti-social media views. Old friends who have wanted to hang out, but refuse to get on Facebook to see when our next get together is. Fellow entrepreneurs who have to call several people to find out when local networking events are, despite the info being clearly accessible on Facebook. Most in this camp seem to have a sense of superiority because of abstinence from social media.

On the other extreme I have came across several in entrepreneurial circles who act as if you aren’t documenting every minute detail of your life on several social media networks then you are being lazy.  

I try to avoid both of these extremes.

So how do I use social media?

I primarily use social media for business purposes. I’ll use Facebook,Instagram, and LinkedIn primarily to build awareness about Ryan Watkins Photography. Clients will also private message me on these networks. This leads to work. I also have business Twitter and Pinterest accounts. I use Buffer to schedule my business related posts. Using Buffer to schedule posts has saved me a ton of time. Now I don’t have to interpret what I’m doing to post on social media for my business.

I also use social media for networking with others in my industry. I primarily do this thru the Michigan Photography Network facebook group. Other Michigan photographers and I frequently answer people’s photography related questions in this group. I also post twice a day to this group with edifying content of some sort. Usually this is articles or videos. Dank memes seem to be the most popular content though. These twice daily posts are also posted via Buffer and scheduled in advance.

I’ll also give businesses I frequent or have had positive experiences with good reviews.

I’ll use it for meeting with people in real life such as my friends from high school, networking events, and Michigan Photography Network meetups.

For personal use I’ll use goodreads and untaped to keep track of books and craft beer I like. I also use Feedly to keep track of blogs I follow. I have an anonymous Twitter for following some interests. I have never actually sent out a tweet from this account.

I avoid posting about everything I go out and do. If I go to a networking event or hangout with friends I usually don’t post about it. I don’t complain about things in my personal life. Nor do I argue with people about politics or other contentious issues on social media.

In summary, I try to maintain a happy medium between the two extremes of approaching social media. I’ll schedule posts in advance using Buffer to my business accounts to build awareness for Ryan Watkins Photography. I’ll use personal accounts primarily for keeping in touch with old friends and following various hobbies and interests. Thus far this happy medium approach to social media has worked well for me.

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Photographer/Retoucher at Ryan Watkins Photography
Ryan Watkins Photography specializes in portrait and wedding photography catering to Clare, Mt Pleasant, and Midland, Michigan. Ready to travel anywhere in the state. 

Graduate from the Hallmark Institute of Photography and Highest Academic Honor recipient. 

Published in several magazines including Shutterbug, Digital Photo, Outdoor Photographer, and PDNedu. 
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