Social media is a fantastic way to market your photography business and build quality relationships with your audience. However, it can also demand a considerable amount of your time. Finding the the best photo, writing perfect caption and applying the right hashtags takes time. Sound familiar?!
The key to marketing your photography on social media is scheduling your posts. Scheduling allows you to batch your workload by creating your posts in advance and scheduling them to post at optimal times. This article is all about how to schedule your posts on social media.
Benefits of Scheduling Your Posts
There are a lot of good reasons why you should schedule your posts but these are the biggest benefits of scheduling your posts on social media:
Eliminates Posting Paralysis
Wondering what you should post every single day can be draining. If you have ever sat there staring at your phone trying to figure out what to post and how to write the perfect, punchy caption, you know what I mean by posting paralysis. There is nothing worse than struggling to find the perfect words at the last minute.
The result is a giant waste of time! By scheduling your posts in advance, you can eliminate this last minute rush. Batching your posts gives you a dedicated window of time to organize your thoughts, get yourself in the right mindset and knock out a bunch of posts all at the same time!
Gives You More Time to Engage with Your Audience
By eliminating the last minute posting paralysis we just discussed, you can now utilize that time better to engage with your audience. Take this extra time to scroll through your feed, like and comment on your ideal clients posts. Comment directly on their stories and make good use of your new found time.
Curates a More Consistent Grid on Instagram
Building your grid on Instagram in advance gives you the ability to curate your feed and assemble a more consistent grid on Instagram. When you schedule your posts, you can see what the scheduled posts looks like on your grid and you can easily make changes prior to the posts going live.
The Best Social Media Scheduling Tools
In order to schedule your posts effectively, you need to have a reliable social media scheduling app. There are so many fantastic scheduling tools but here is what I’ve found to work the best for my photography business.
Planoly is what I currently use in my photography business. It has a great free option that gives you the ability to curate a library of images, schedule your images to auto-publish, edit and resize, add hashtag sets and more. I enjoy the ease of use, the dependability and the ability to host a library of images I can choose from at any time.
With that said however, there are many many other apps and tools available. Here are some of the more popular alternatives to Planoly — Plann, Later, Buffer, Hootsuite, Combin and more. Many of them have free versions or at least free trials. Check out a few to try and you will find one that works best for you.
When it comes to Facebook, Facebook has it’s own built in scheduler under the Publishing Tools section on your business page. This allows you to build your post and schedule it to publish at a later time.
How to Schedule Your Posts
Scheduling your posts is important now that we have some options on tools to use to do so, let’s take a look at how to schedule your posts to market your photography business in the most efficient way.
1 | Decide on a Frequency
First, you need to determine how frequently you want to batch posts. Some photographers can sit down and knock out a month’s worth of posts while for others a week is the most feasible. Pick something that is realistic for your business.
I like to include sneak peeks and top favorites from recent sessions so scheduling a week’s worth of posts is ideal for my business.
2 | Dedicate Time for Scheduling
If it’s not on the schedule, it doesn’t get done. Sound familiar? The best way to keep yourself accountable is to schedule dedicated time for this batching of posts. Set aside time on your calendar every week or every month for batching.
Dedicating a set amount of time for this will help you to carve out some time to focus and get yourself in the right mindset to curate and write your captions. I block off 20 mins of time every Monday for batching and scheduling that week’s posts. Yes – it usually only takes me about 20 mins!
3 | Build Your Library
The key to scheduling your posts with ease is having a library of your best images ready to post. In order for this to happen, you need to be organized! Many of the scheduling apps allow you to build a library of your images to choose from so they are ready when you are.
I have built a step into my workflow that prompts me to export my top images into a social media folder. Once they are there, I will add them to my Library in Planoly.
When it’s time to schedule or batch my posts, I never have to look for images or spend time culling down my favorites.
4 | Select Images
This is the fun part – picking your favorite images to share with everyone!
When it’s time to schedule your posts, start by selecting your top favorite images from your library. You can arrange them on your grid to see how they will fit with your existing posts. I don’t stress too much over the style of my grid for each individual photo but I do aim for general cohesion and making sure my editing is consistent.
When I move the images around I can see if any images don’t match for one reason or another. Sometimes a bright color or different lighting situation can stand out and I’ll sometimes scrap those.
5 | Write Your Captions
Once you choose your photos, it’s time to write the captions. This is where so many of us get hung up. Don’t overthink this part. Dedicate this time to write captions. They do not have to be complex or super-witty or include your deepest thoughts. Just put something out there!
Writing is not my strongest asset and I struggle at times. What I’ve learned from writing all these years however is that it takes practice, patience and dedication. You will get quicker in time!
6 | Apply Hashtags
Up next is hashtags! Hashtags are a fantastic tool for growing your audience and making yourself searchable on Instagram. Make sure you include a set in each post as it relates to your post.
Hashtags are utilized more on Instagram and not needed or expected on Facebook.
7 | Schedule Your Posts to Publish at Optimal Times
The last step is scheduling your posts to publish at optimal times for your audience. Using the Instagram Audience Insights in your profile, study when your audience is the most active. This is when you want your posts to publish.
I mix my posts up a little to continue to test and tweak what works best for me but in most cases I generally follow what Instagram tells me is the best times.
In order to find your best times on Facebook, you need to study your posts to see which ones got the highest impressions and engagement.
Social Media is one of the best free marketing tools you have as a photographer. Learn how to schedule your posts on social media so you can really harness the power by spending your time engaging with your audience.
I’d love to know what works best for your photography business? Do you schedule your posts in advance? What tools or tricks have you found to be effective in helping to manage this part of marketing your business? Please share in the comments!
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