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I'm wondering if anyone "advertises" their Alamy photos on social media, or do you leave all the marketing up to Alamy? If you do, which platform? Does it help? If it does, how do you know?

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I don't hawk my Alamy images on social media - but I do use twitter (where I have just over 7K followers) and my FB page (just over 1K) to publicize my POD images and I find that I can attribute sales directly to that (per google analytics). Part of that effort includes regularly sharing others' work and them sharing mine, so I get the benefit of several other thousands of potential viewers' eyes on my work too. My POD sales net me and average of $$$ per sale, but even then it's a lot of effort for the return, although the cumulative result over a few years has left me with regular sales even when I'm not active, and better sales when I am active. I have a very small instagram, still skittish sharing my work there. 

Back in the early days, one of the micro sites used to automatically tweet and show on FB one of the images that I sold each day (You could set it up that way). Back then, whatever image it automatically chose to show would inevitably sell at least once again the next day. I don't know why they stopped that but I did see a drop in sales after that. It was some years ago and that site still licenses images from my tiny port daily, but the landscape for stock images has changed dramatically, and the social media landscape is also far more crowded than it was then (I think the auto posting stopped back in 2012), so I'm not sure it's relevant.  

Most of my efforts are organic (posting myself) Twice I tried paid ads on FB for my POD images around the holidays. Once I broke even & once spent more than I made. Worse, once my small budget ran out my organic reach dropped dramatically; it took months to recover (they want you to keep buying ads) If I had a larger budget it might have been different and again, it wasn't stock I was publicizing.

My conclusion is that having your work out in the social media sphere does help sales build up over time, but like anything today in an oversaturated market, it takes a lot of effort to be seen.  

 

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Thanks for that, Marianne. I also belong to a POD site, but have not had much success for some reason. I might look into my facebook page and spend more time on it. I do agree with you that whatever you do, it will be time consuming.

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The vast majority of my photography is hard news; Downing Street, Westminster etc.  I use Twitter several times a week for both current stories and if a story reappears for some reason I will tweet @ianandmj the news item plus my relevant picture and an Alamy link.  I do occasionally find this leads to zooms and sales.  I do not tend to use Facebook much.  I have been using Instagram and some colleagues have told me they get work from this platform.

 

I certainly think one should market your Alamy work and not expect them to do it all.  

 

I suspect that social media marketing is particularly important if you have a niche specialism - you may well have different contacts to Alamy in very specialist fields

 

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51 minutes ago, JSaunders said:

Thanks for that, Marianne. I also belong to a POD site, but have not had much success for some reason. I might look into my facebook page and spend more time on it. I do agree with you that whatever you do, it will be time consuming.

On the other hand, if you can attract interested buyers, you could sell to them directly, which would only be fair.

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Posted (edited)

I'm happy to let Alamy do the marketing. But then I'm too old to understand social media. 😎

 

That said, I can see where social media might be a good place to show off your POD images. I actually tried that myself at one time but didn't feel comfortable with using social media for selling -- i.e. it didn't seem very "social" to me. Again, it's probably a generational thing.

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell

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20 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

I'm happy to let Alamy do the marketing. But then I'm too old to understand social media. 😎

 

That said, I can see where social media might be a good place to show off your POD images. I actually tried that myself at one time but didn't feel comfortable with using social media for selling -- i.e. it didn't seem very "social" to me. Again, it's probably a generational thing.

 

 

 

LOL, John, our generation is not too old...if you can master Photoshop you can master social media ... but in terms of our generation, I get where you're coming from on the social media front...I think that's why I'm more comfortable on twitter ... it's more impersonal...I don't use Facebook as much because my friends (who are not photographers or other artists trying to sell their work too) are on there and I don't want to seem like I'm pushing too hard.  

 

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41 minutes ago, Marianne said:

 

LOL, John, our generation is not too old...if you can master Photoshop you can master social media ... but in terms of our generation, I get where you're coming from on the social media front...I think that's why I'm more comfortable on twitter ... it's more impersonal...I don't use Facebook as much because my friends (who are not photographers or other artists trying to sell their work too) are on there and I don't want to seem like I'm pushing too hard.  

 

Yeah, my Fb friends don't have any need for stock (almost all people I kn ow in person, plus a few stock togs) so no point in posting there.

Twitter, I just seem to tweet into the vacuum, but I don't like the platform much and only have one real life friend there (who isn't on Fb) so I hardly post. My POS is set up to automatically tweet when I upload something, but in my case, I doubt if anyone ever sees the posts! Obviously other people have a better handle: you have 7k followers - wow!

I was doing a bit better with Instagram followers, but something muddled up my accounts there and I can now only access the least used of my three accounts. But I think my insta followers, like me, just like looking at wildlife images; they, like me, aren't buyers.

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Some people seem to have a knack for social media marketing and get lots of followers and do well. Others have to work really hard at it. I think I fall into the work really hard category. I have done best on Pinterest with 50k monthly viewers, about 1500 followers and some images get as much as 1500+ views per month but they don't seem to be selling. And if I take time off from daily pinning (which only takes a few minutes) then the numbers fall. So I need to re-assess and put more time into another platform and see if it will increase sales. It's encouraging to hear that it does work for some folks. I agree with not wanting to ask friends to buy my stuff. Marianne, 7K followers on twitter and 1K on Facebook is quite an accomplishment!

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I've had some people friend me very obviously to promote their work (one young writer in particular.  I don't like to be marketed to on FB other than some ads and information in specialized groups (photography groups, orchid group, general gardening group, some expat groups).  I'm not going to bother with a person who friends me and who only posts promotional material or wants me to like their art page.  I follow maybe one person because I've always liked his writings, and I blocked another writer who told me he'd done CIA work in Russia in the 1990s.  Either he didn't, and I don't really want to read some guy's fabrications, or he did and I can't afford to know him considering where I'm living now.  He also sent me his latest book manuscript (pdf file) without asking.   Trying to promote to me on FB tends to put me off rather than interest me.   The exceptions are simply exceptionally good who I found rather than who friended me to promote themselves.

 

I put photos up on Flickr, haven't tried Pinterest or Instagram?   I do put up photos on Facebook, but they're more "I was here" or "I did this" or "my cats did that" rather than attempts to build a following as a photographer.

 

The idea appears to be that having lots of followers on Pinterest or instagram would show photo editors that the work have a broad appeal.  Do photo editors consider that?  Do they look at the most popular photos and then go to Alamy to find the photographer or to buy the photos they've seen on Pinterest or Instagram?   Seems like if they want to buy from Alamy, they'd do searches on Alamy and judge for themselves.  But I could be wrong.  

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