Social media has become one of the biggest forms of marketing for business owners. Before social media became the big craze, businesses didn’t have it so easy when it came to advertising. Social media has helped many entrepreneurs further their clientele and grow their business. UWG alumni Liz Holder has benefited greatly from the use of social media for her photography business.
Liz started her business Liz Holder Photography in 2012 when her parents bought her her first professional camera. “They surprised me with the camera,” said Liz, “usually, they would just give me disposable cameras to take pictures on family vacation and the rest was history.” When Liz started her business, her clientele was only through word of mouth and she mostly only took pictures at church events. She created a Facebook page for her business and noticed a rise in clientele. Liz went from taking pictures at church to doing 10-15 weddings a year and most of UWG’S Mass Communication majors graduation pictures.
Social media, like most things in life, has its downsides. People can judge you based off of what you post on your page and if they don’t like what they see, they will not give you their business. “It’s like going on a date,” said Liz, “You watch what people say and get to know them by looking at their posts. If they see something they don’t like, they’re on to the next.” You have to be a mixture of professional and personal. Your potential clients have to feel interested in you and your business at the same time.
There are certain risks to worry about with social media marketing as well. Facebook allows customers to leave ratings on your business pages. The only downside is that no one can delete those comments but the commenter. Therefore, businesses have to make sure they present the best customer service at all times. Another risk to worry about is hacking. “In 2015 someone hacked into my business page and changed all of my passwords,” said Liz “I lost years of my work that I could never get back.”
Being a Mass Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations and Marketing Minor, Liz was able to learn a lot about how to run a business. Social media marketing classes helped Liz learn how to use social media effectively. “ I took the class for an easy A until I realized it really applies to me,” said Liz, “The class taught me the right times to post pictures and how to appeal to my target audience.”
There are more things to social media marketing than just posting pictures. The most important thing to remember about any form of marketing is creativity. There may be many people running a business who do the same thing but in order to appeal to your audience you have to be different in your approach and stand out amongst your competition. “I learned how to standout amongst other photographers,” said Liz, “my pictures have more of a natural feel and aren’t overly photo shopped whereas some others overdo their photos.”
No matter what business you own, you have to remember that everybody is not going to like you. There will always be someone that has a problem with something that you do. “I had someone come up to me and say you suck,” said Liz, “ they told me my work is garbage.” Regardless of how good customer service and the product is, you can not please everybody.
Even though there are bigger chances of doubters and bad reviews, social media is still the most cost saving and effective forms of marketing today. It gives entrepreneurs like Liz an opportunity to do what they love and promote their business at the same time.