In 2017, social networks have become part of most photographers daily routine. It is hard to get noticed without a presence on at least one of these networks if you aren’t already a world famous photographer.
With its start as the premier mobile phone social photo app with filters that made it easy for anyone to process photos in interesting ways quickly, it has grown to the #1 site for photographers. Facebook still has more users but Instagram is more photo centric and a recent review of the top photographers on social media revealed that even though Facebook has more users, photographers get as many followers on Instagram. Also, Instagram hasn’t been fully monetized with advertising yet so it is still possible (although getting harder and harder) to build a following without paid ads.
Main advantage - Massive number of users and can still grow a following without paid ads.
Usage may be slowing with the younger generation but it is still the largest social network. However, as Facebook continues to monetize the platform, it has become more difficult to build and reach followers without paying for ads. If you are starting out with social media and don’t have a budget for advertising then it may be easier to grow a following on other sites.
Main advantage - Largest social network with great tools to build a following if you have a budget to buy ads.
Twitter is a better place for discussing photography trends, than posting photos. You will find that photos are posted to support the accompanying tweet rather than as a main focus of conversation. It is still worthwhile for photographers to post photos but you will need to do more than post photos to get a large following on this platform.
Main advantage - Best for joining the public conversation about photography related topics.
Nearly half of Tumblr users are 16-24 years old, and you can tell when you use the platform. Some photographers have found real success and huge followings on the platform for certain types of photos.
Main advantage - Reach a large younger audience who love to reblog things they like.
Pinterest allows you to pin photos and articles into collections or boards. The main demographic of the site is female and photos of food, DIY projects, fashion, and travel destinations can get added to “Dream boards”, “Bucket Lists”, and “To Try Out” boards and very quickly drive traffic back to your blog or website. Photos will do well on this site that focus on items that can be added to visual boards.
Main advantage - Reaching a large audience of females and drying traffic back to your blog or portfolio site.
A couple of years ago, G+ would have been near the top of the list for photographers. When Google plus was first released, photographers were the first to jump on board and loved the full sized images and photo related features. However, G+ never caught on with the general public and photographers began to focus their social media efforts on sites with more users like Instagram.
Main advantage - Being owned by Google, many believe participating in G+ helps with SEO.