I thought this image was appropriate for the topic I want to write about today.
We’ve all been using social networks for years now, but are we using them in a very social way? I’m not saying I know the best way to use each network. I’ll try to put into words what I’ve observed, and continue to observe.
How We Engage
We’re engaging with each other in ways that require minimal effort. We follow, we like, we favorite, and sometimes we comment. Notice the 3 most frequently used actions of the 4 I’ve named, are passive. Nothing more than a touch of a button is required. Even that is too much for some people. I routinely bump into people I know, who tell me how much they love my photos, but they never interact at all on whatever social network they’re following me on.
I’ve noticed that a lot of people are out there promoting themselves and chasing likes, in hopes of getting more exposure. You know the type. They like and favorite everything, or leave the same generic comment on every image, in hopes that the recipient of the interaction will look at their work and like, favorite, or follow them back.
I’ve tried this disingenuous approach before. It works and doesn’t require much effort if you’re pretending to like everything you see, but its empty. I’m a genuine person and I don’t enjoy pretending to like stuff that I don’t think is very good. You’re not doing anyone any favors by lying to them.
Now You Have Followers…So What?
What good is a follower, if they offer nothing more than a statistic? Have you seen the video on FB fraud, put out there by Veritasium? After watching it, I was mad that we’ve been duped. People, in foreign countries, get paid to like pages, and offer nothing more than a statistic to you.
I’m caring less and less about the number of followers now, and find myself more interested in engagement. Btw, Facebook has all of their business page owners held hostage right now, not allowing them to reach more than a tiny percentage of their followers, unless they pay money to promote their post.
For argument’s sake, here is a great article that takes issue with the Facebook Fraud video. He makes some great points that could help avoid the fake likes.
My Ideas For Improved Social Networking Experience
Talk to each other. Seriously! If a couple of photographers, or iPhoneographers, are following each other, theres a great chance that you’ll get along well since you share the same passion, especially if you’re both into the same type of photography. I’ve made some great photographer friends that I can bounce ideas off of, ask their advice or opinion, or just talk shop. It’s great for my creativity and motivation.
I believe we excel when we come together. Our creativity and production reaches another level when working with other creative people. A little friendly competition can be great. (Maybe its time for another photo challenge, Shannon.)
Speaking of competition, we don’t have to compete against each other for exposure, or sales. I’ve seen some amazing photographers form elite groups, and instead of fighting for sales, they promote each other and work together. After talking with some of those photographers, they’ve all experienced jumps in business and satisfaction with their photography experience.
Having said all that, I plan on sharing other people’s outstanding work more often, leaving genuine comments, and trying to start more conversations with people. I must have around 4000 followers and friends, across all the social networking platforms. Its a shame how few of those people I’ve actually talked to. I know I’ll never be able to chat with all of them, but one or two a week should be reasonable.
I have a great network of photographers on my personal facebook page that share awesome photos everyday, and I plan on sharing more of their work over there. If you want to see that, you can add my personal fb, here. I promise I won’t spam your news feed with junk 🙂
If I want to see a change in social networking, I’ve got to put my money where my mouth is, and start acting the way I want others to act. Hopefully, it doesn’t go unnoticed, and spreads. Should you feel so inclined, I invite you to join me in my efforts.