I’m not going to say I’m the Facebook master, or even a guy who really has a handle on the power of social media. I’m on it, and it’s very sporadic and out there – and I wouldn’t exactly say I have a big audience. I do however seem to have the most interaction on Facebook. Between the couple of photography groups I am involved in managing and the ones I’m just a member of I see a lot of photographers really missing the boat when it comes to what a profile photo and cover photo should be.
First I think personal expression is important – but I also think your potential clients are going to look you up on Facebook, and whether or not you have it open, partially visible, or totally locked down you want them to connect your name and your business. The first thing is that a lot of the photographers I see seem to either have no Facebook business page, or their personal page is their business page. Now Facebook makes it next to impossible for a business page to get seen easily, so I get why people don’t have them. It is however against the rules and you should be legit. If I have to be legit, you should have to be legit too. Your last name is not “photo.”
Alright so that little box on the left is called your profile photo. In my esteemed opinion it should be a photo of you. Even if you don’t like how your face looks you can’t hide it forever from your potential clients, so put it up there. And make sure that photo is of professional quality. I can never understand pros who don’t have decent profile photos. Don’t use your phone, take a self portrait or make friends who other pro photographers and get a headshot. Your business is not run by two affectionate toddlers. If you’re all about your kids, use your cover photo for them.
If you have a “kause” you support – use your cover photo for that. Not only do you have more room to potentially explain what the cause is, you are probably not actually clipart.
So whose Facebook is this anyhow? Want a photo with your BFF? Make it your cover. Don’t make it a challenge for people to figure out you are not a conjoined twin.
Nothing screams fake account set up to distribute sunglasses spam more than a cartoon graphic for a profile photo, and a landscape shot that looks so horribly pixilated that I have to question who actually took it. Benefit of the doubt that this photo does actually belong to the account owner – but honestly it looks awful. Make sure you are following Facebook’s recommended 851 x 315 px guidelines. And if your photos looks like absolute garbage, don’t use it.
I had an associate shooter once who decided to put his religion status on Facebook. Now I find religious declarations to be completely unnecessary, but to me if it really means that much to you to put something in that box, just put what you are. Put Christian if you’re a Christian, don’t put “Jesus.” Christians are the only ones that are weird about religious stuff. Anyhow I’m not religious, but if I was I’d keep that off Facebook. I definitely wouldn’t list my occupation as “Servant at Jesus.” That’s where your business site is supposed to be linked.
All of these profiles are people representing themselves as professional photographers, yet you would have no real way of finding this out if you were to look at their profiles. I don’t understand why anyone would want to make it more difficult for clients to figure out who they are and what they do. Anyhow I realize I don’t write the rulebook for Facebook – just my opinion. Carry on.