5 Tips on How to Utilize Facebook for Your Photography Brand

5 Tips on How to Utilize Facebook for Your Photography Brand

In this post by Julia May PhotoInterview.ru we look at the topic of how Facebook can be used by Photographers. By the way – don’t forget to ‘like’ the dPS Facebook Page to keep in touch with our latest updates.

facebook.jpegMany of you have probably been hooked with Google+ lately and no wonder why. Featuring a unique approach to images, this social network looks as if it was created for photographers.

Thanks to James Brandon you already know why photographers should love Google+ and Twitter, but what about Facebook? Does it have anything to be loved for? Hell yea! Facebook’s appeal for your photography career is too big to be ignored. Let’s study some of the key benefits Facebook provides for photographers and some simple tactics to promote your photography brand on world’s largest social network.

Go where people are: many of them are on Facebook right now!

With its recent phenomenon, Google has snatched a big piece of cake from Facebook and even Twitter. Some public personalities and celebrities fuel the fire by officially ditching Facebook for Google Plus. However, there are at least two reasons why you should not abandon Facebook in favor of Google+:

  • It’s still an early stage for G+, and it’s still got a lot to do before it can challenge Facebook in terms of user base and functionality.
  • Facebook and Google+ are complements rather than substitutes to each other. Google+ has circles, Hurdle and Hagouts, which makes it great for networking and learning. Facebook has Pages, Apps, and Ads, which makes it great for brand building and interaction with your audience.

You already know how to get the most out of Google+, now let’s look at some technics for increasing your brand visibility and influence on Facebook.

Create a page and customize it

As opposed to Google+, Facebook gives opportunity to create public presence to both individuals and entities. “But it’s just me and my camera, do I still need a page besides my personal profile?”, you may ask. The answer is yes, definitely. As long as a brand is concerned, a page gives several advantages over a profile, including public visibility on the Internet, unlimited number of people who can connect with you and receive your updates in their news feeds (you can have 5000 friends, and countless fans – isn’t it cool?), and ability to customize your page.


You can find “Create a Page” link in the bottom of any page on Facebook.

The latter is especially relevant for photographers, as you can have your portfolio right on Facebook. There are lots of Facebook page editors available on the Web now, but I’d like to suggest one that I believe fits photographer needs perfectly. It’s MotoFanPages, a free app that allows adding a full-fledged Flash website on your Facebook page in literally several clicks. You get to choose from a variety of design templates, which you can then modify and fill with your content using an integrated content management system. The entire setup takes three steps, and you can also add a so-called fan gate to your page, which enables you to address your new visitors that are not yet fans with a call-to-action message. That’s pretty much for a free tool, isn’t it?

MotoFanPages is a quick way to publish your photo portfolio on Facebook.

Make the most out of Facebook’s internal apps

Unlike Google+, Facebook hosts an enormous directory of applications. However, Facebook apps aren’t limited to Zynga’s opiate games third-party products, some of them come standard on your profile and page and it’s up to you whether to take value out of them or not. Here are a few tips on how photographers can utilize Facebook natural apps:
– Don’t leave the Info tab blank. Fill it with your biography, contact info and testimonials. Facebook pages are indexed by search engines, so plugging keywords here and there might work.
– Tag your clients and relevant pages in the Photos. This will automatically send your picture in their news feeds and keep the circles on water going. Note, that you can’t tag people when you are logged in as Page. Pages can tag pages, people can tag people – this is how it works.

Tag Photos.jpg

Use Facebook suggestion feature to tag clients, related pages, and communities in your photo.

  • Ask Questions to get advice from your fans and friends. Asking something interesting or even holy-war questions, like “What’s better, Canon or Nikon?”, you can get your question really viral and put your name in front of many pairs of eyes.
  • Add Notes and open Discussions to interact with your audience and receive feedback. Why not use Notes to post some short photography tips, for example? Give value to your community and peeps will most likely give it back to you by subscribing to your updates and spreading the word about your business.


Di Fruscia makes a good use of the Notes app on his page.

Do Facebook ads

Most likely, we will all see this coming to Google+ at some point. Meanwhile, you can give your photography brand an additional boost using Facebook advertising. Don’t worry, it doesn’t necessarily mean big expenses. With the right targeting and message, you can get it be as much or as low as you want. Facebook ads deserve a separate post. A few tips to help you get started:

  • Have something cool to advertise. Exclusive photo session, discount on services, or print giveaway are good causes to run an advertising campaign. Linking your ad to your home page you’re likely to waste your money.
  • Set your Max Bid to a bit lower value than Facebook suggests you. Facebook’s suggested bids are often exaggerated. If it recommends a $1 bid, you may safely make it $0.25 and see the results. If you have set a very specific targeting, you can have a fairly good exposure for 25 cents.
  • Make use of Facebook targeting options: by addressing smaller groups of people, you can have higher click-through-rate.

Advanced Demographics targeting is a great way to increase efficacy of your ads. Wedding photographers, for example, might want their ads to be only displayed to people with relationship status “engaged”.

  • Use compelling images for your ads, as Facebook conversions depend primarily on images. I recommend you to create about ten versions of your ad, varying images, titles and copy, and run them by turn during equal periods of time. This way you will see which ads are the most effective and worth spending money.


Your ad should be compliant with Facebook Advertising Guidelines.

Create polls and contests

According to various surveys, from 34% to 57% of people like a brand on Facebook because they want discounts and special offers. Sweepstakes and contests are proven ways to attract people’s attention to your profile. However, remember that quantity is not always better than quality. Giving away an iPad you will probably get twice as more fans as you would get giving away your limited edition print, but the effectiveness of the iPad-driven crowd is questionable.


British horror photographer Daniel Tunstall gives away a limited edition print to everyone who posts a creative idea on her Facebook wall or Twitter page.

Add Facebook social plugins to your website and/or blog

Facebook offers a line of nine social plugins, but there are only three of them I would recommend you to install on your photography website:

  • Like button. Of course! The mechanism of social proof is becoming an inevitable part of the modern Internet. The recent Google +1 button is another proof of this trend. Adding the Like button next to your photos, you kill two birds with one stone (seriously, who came up with this metaphor?) – you get people to share your works and at the same time, you have another source of feedback.
  • Comments. Many respectable blogs and newspapers, such as TechCrunch and Boston.com, have switched to Facebook Comments and are quite happy about this decision. The matter is that Facebook’s commenting plugin involves a unique comment syncing mechanism. Basically, if a person leaves the “Post to Facebook” box checked when they post a comment, a mention about this appears in their friends’ News Feed, and if someone responds to the discussion by liking or replying to the comment in the News Feed, this actions is displayed on your website as well. In other words, people can leave comments on your posts right from Facebook – imagine the potential of this feature when applied on your site!


Facebook Comments is a great tool to share your content with max efficiency.

  • Like box. This is a good way to notify visitors to your website that you are presented on Facebook. Unlike the Like button (I hope you like wordplay), this plugin enables people to like your Facebook page without visiting it. Another two birds are killed with one stone – users like your page and don’t go from your site. Just make sure you disclose Stream and Show Faces options when generating your Like Box plugin code. This way, your website visitors will not get distracted by photos and links displayed in the like box, and thus, are more likely to stay longer on your website.

In conclusion I’d like to say that the best way to promote your name on Facebook or any other social network, is to provide people with great content. They come there to see your amazing images, and once they are amazed, they will like it, +1 it, and tweet it, for sure.

Julia May is a social media enthusiast and blogger, whose interest in photography results in PhotoGalleryCMS project and PhotoInterview.ru, a blog dedicated to the interviews with talented photographers from all over the world.

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Some Older Comments

  • Julia May January 18, 2013 07:59 pm

    @Barbara, there's no way to do that for the entire page. What you can hide from the non-fans is a seprate tab on your Facebook page. For instance, you can run a giveaway on a separate tab and only make it visible to the visitors that liked your page. Most apps that offer FB page customization (such as MotoFanPages) offer a fan-gate option.

  • Barbara January 17, 2013 01:50 am

    I would love to make an intro page to get visitor's to like my page before they enter...
    I haven't a clue as to how to do that.

  • Julia May October 25, 2011 07:42 am

    @Paul vS, thank you for sharing your experience. I think it's normal that FB Ads have become more expensive - more businesses start using Facebook ads and competition in every particular segment grows. I would suggest you to vary targeting and see if you can get a better exposure for the minimum bid in another segment. However, the conversion rate you stated is quite impressive as for Facebook Ads, so it looks like the cake is worth the candle.

    As for the "myth" that you suspected me telling, you are right - users can't tag non-friends in a picture. Even though I didn't claim they can, I should have mentioned that, so thank you for the notice. And, here's the message to read between the lines: ADD ALL YOUR CLIENTS TO FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK! :)

    @dPS peeps thank you for commenting!

    Also, many thanks to Paul Parker (http://www.parker.mk.ua) for allowing me to use that great romantic photo for this post!

  • Boudoir Photography October 22, 2011 10:19 am

    I have somebody who handles Facebook full time for the studio and I still find myself hating Facebook LOL .. I can't wait until the general public embraces G+ ... I don't mind networking on it at all

  • Mandy October 10, 2011 08:00 am

    Thanks for the links Julia I'll get on it straight away...

  • Paul vS October 10, 2011 07:48 am

    Facebook Ads have become more expensive compared to last year. Last year I paid $0.62 per click and this year it's $1.35 for the same target group (~55k people that are engaged in the San Francisco Bay Area [50 miles around SF that is]) and basically the same ad. On average I got a new client/request per every 50 clicks.

    One myth that seems to find it's way to every of these "how to use Facebook for your business" articles: You can NOT tag people in a picture that are not your personal friends (they liking your page does not work for tagging!).

  • Just In Focus Photography October 6, 2011 03:28 pm

    Just wondering if anyone has done facebook ads, and how much extra traffic / likes that had on your facebook page? Wondering if I should do it for Just In Focus Photography on facebook -


  • Jason October 6, 2011 12:12 am

    Good information. This day in age and with the economy as it is, we could all use a little help to figure out how to market ourselves. I've been using Facebook for a while but really appreciate the added insights.

  • Fxman October 3, 2011 11:56 am

    Thanks for the tips about advertising on facebook ! very interesting ,and i hope to apply what i have read here to improve my exposure as well !

  • Jeff Sinon October 3, 2011 09:31 am

    Some very good tips. I'm always looking for more and better ways to get my name out there. I just got done setting up my MotoFanPages site on my fan page. One of the features I liked was being able to make the new content under the "FANS ONLY CONTENT" tab available only to fans, while not blocking the whole page from future fans.


    Of course you will have to "Like" my page in order to see it, and find the little "Thank You" for my fans :-)

  • Julia October 3, 2011 02:44 am

    Thanks everyone for taking time and commenting, I'm happy that you found this post interesting and useful!

    @Jason St. Petersburg Photographer I liked how you use your page status updates to give tips to your fans - great practice! When it comes to giving discounts to those who subscribe for your newsletter, that's a tactic many businesses are implementing on Facebook, but in my opinion pushing people to join your newsletter by giving them some cookies is not the best practice. Think of this email subscription form on your FB page as a way to single out your "true fans" - those who visit your page, check that tab with the subscription form, and joins your list naturally, and not because they will receive something for it. You may get 10 subscribers instead of 100, but those 10 are more likely to be your "brand advocates" in future.

    @Mandy better sooner than later ;) Besides, Facebook is changing the way the profiles look and I belive Pager may change as well, so soon we will all feel like dummies on FB :-) Anyway, here's a few resources for you to check:

    http://thesocialsnowflake.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/facebook-for-beginners.pdf - it's a pretty straight-forward intro to Facebook in general and Pages in particular, still if you are a beginner facebooker, it may come in handy.

    two interesting posts on how to optimize your Page with your brand in mind: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-ways-to-optimize-your-facebook-page/ http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-optimize-your-facebook-page-for-visual-branding/

  • Monique October 3, 2011 01:38 am

    Can anyone confirm who has definitive ownership of the pictures one posts on FB?

  • Mandy October 1, 2011 08:00 am

    I'm probably the only person (never mind photographer) left who hasn't got a facebook page!

    I'm going to have to get one, any good resourses for beginner facebookers?

  • Kenton October 1, 2011 04:13 am

    Hans, the only problem with Google+ is that it is personal. There is no easy way to have a professional presence there like you can with a Facebook page. I think everyone should join Google+ if you haven't because it is an excellent way to network with other photographers, but at this point I don't think it is a replacement for Facebook.
    Nastasia, I agree that the ability to stop people from downloading your pictures on Google+ is a great feature. IT means you don't have to publish low-res photos, but still have some protection. IT still can't stop someone from taking a screenshot, but there is no perfectly secure way to publish your photos online.

    Feel free to follow me on Google+ - https://plus.google.com/105635031252803626892/photos?hl=en

  • Nastasia September 30, 2011 10:27 pm

    I agree with you Kenton. I love facebook too, except for the fact that one a photo is posted on facebook, anyone can download it and post it as their own. I don't like putting watermarks on my photos, but recently I noticed one of my photos appearing on someone else's wall without a photo credit. Snapshots I don't care much about, but anything in a portfolio I would like to remain mine. I like that about Google +, you can link to it, and people can't download.

  • Michael Cilyer September 30, 2011 11:01 am

    Interesting info.

    I found it unusual that you discorage Flash (and agree with you) but you recommend MotoFanPages which is flash based?

  • Erre Castillo September 30, 2011 06:59 am

    Wix also works for Facebook pages, like mine:


  • Hans ter Horst September 30, 2011 02:01 am

    Well, it looks like all photographers have abandoned Facebook in one fell swoop and are now on Google+; if you haven't checked out Google+, join and do a search for photography and start adding people to your circles.

  • Laurie Young September 30, 2011 01:48 am

    I can't stress enough what a good idea it is to tag potential customers in photos you upload of them. You do need to be careful about only doing it for people who are not going to object, but this way they get a clear, unmissable message that there is something of interest to *them* (and it actually *is* interesting for them). I use this approach in Frozen Event (http://frozenevent.com) to help connect event photographers and customers, and it works great

  • Difort September 30, 2011 12:17 am


    From the October 1st all Facebook applications need to support OAuth 2.0 and HTTPS to make the platform more secure. I'm sure they will update it to HTTPS and this problem will disappear.


    By the way, I've just registered new website at MotoFanPages and there is no Backup feature there. It seems they are testing it out. I really need it there, hope they find and read this )

  • macdane September 29, 2011 10:21 pm

    @v: Yikes! I see one reason to avoid MotoFanPages. I just tried your page and got this...

    Turn off secure browsing?
    We can't display this content while you're viewing Facebook over a secure connection (https)...


  • Jeet September 29, 2011 07:32 pm

    P.S.: I am putting a watermark on what I upload to this page.

    Any advice regarding IP?

  • Jeet September 29, 2011 07:30 pm

    What a coincidence - I just decided to set up an FB page for showing my photographs.
    I am not a pro Photographer, just working on my hobby. I set up the page as I would like to share the photographs but not personal details.

    Here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jeet/163550653733694

  • Mackenzie September 29, 2011 11:44 am

    I just took every single picture that i have on facebook (that is of my photography) because the fact that it is sooo easy for people to steal your images, and now that the privacy settings have changed you get no ccontrol over anything. Make sure you are realllllly careful when posting your pictures people!

  • James Wilkinson September 29, 2011 11:37 am

    Great article, however you should ammend it as the contest example you have used is against the facebook platform policies. You are not allowed to have promotions that encourage any acts on facebook other than checking in, or liking a page.

  • v September 29, 2011 11:31 am

    okay i gave one of the suggestions a try. how's it look. some of the features on the plugin for moto don't work, like the backup feature. don't forget to like my NEW page.


  • Mindy September 29, 2011 11:09 am

    Be careful with giveaways on Facebook -


    I see a lot of people who don't do them the "right" way according to Facebook's terms.

  • Focx Photography September 29, 2011 09:57 am

    Similarly to Verena I am only publishing my blog posts on the Facebook page. That way I don't have to give them my pictures, people can still use Facebook to follow my photography (as one option among others, choice is good!) and people come to visit my page. I am using a separate page instead of my user account because I want these posts to be visible for everyone and not necessarily linked to me personally.

    Btw, I'm also using a Creative Commons license but it's BY-NC-SA, so it keeps commercial use out :)

  • Heather Ipock September 29, 2011 09:17 am

    Enjoyed this article... I also use my page to post sneek previews of photo sessions I'm currently editing and people really seem to like that.


  • Kenton September 29, 2011 09:11 am

    This is a very handy article. However, there is one reason why I will not use Facebook for my photos:

    "For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it."

    I publish almost all of my photos with a Creative Commons license so I'm not losing money if they use it but even then, I don't think Facebook should be allowed to use my stuff without asking or attributing.

  • WGMPHOTOGRAPHY September 29, 2011 07:52 am

    This was a fantastic article! Well researched and provided such a large gamut of options for those wishing to utilize the wonders of social media in their advertising and online presence. Well done!

  • Verena Fischer September 29, 2011 07:38 am

    So far I only publish my blog posts also on facebook, but I guess having a facebook page could be good too. I was thinking about it already, but your article actually gave me a good starting point, thanks!

  • Focx Photography September 29, 2011 07:29 am

    I'm already trying to make the best out of my page :)

    One simple thing that's missing here in my opinion is the basic thing people will sign up for: sharing your pictures, not too few and too many and regularly. I'm working at around one photo per day or two days and an interesting link or two per week. The last thing people need is a timeline clogged up with stuff!

    You are welcome to have a look, Focx Photography is about nature and culture photography:


    Thanks! :)

  • v September 29, 2011 06:55 am

    good info. i don't understand the workings of FB at all. I will try these suggestions. oh yeah, can you like my page on FB for now

  • Marco Rossi September 29, 2011 06:26 am

    This post is very interesting, I just started building my website AND Facebook Page, so It's just what I needed! Thanks!

  • Jason St. Petersburg Photographer September 29, 2011 06:10 am

    Thank you for the well organized and very specific tips to get more out of Facebook. I had been offering discounts exclusively to people subscribing to m weekly photography e-mail newsletter, but I think I will now expand those discounts to be included on my photography business Facebook page:


    I have thought about the idea of holding contests for awhile as well, and I think I will put a plan together for that too. I agree with the author, giving away an iPad will appeal to anyone, and therefore may not generate traffic that leads to people who want to buy photography like offering one of your own fine art prints, etc. would.