Who do you follow on social media? Friends, family, friends who are photographers and those who inspire you. Likely that’s what your list looks like. 

Who do you engage with on social media and why?

I’ve been slowly going through my social media accounts and cleaning up my lists. I love my friends and family so they stay (most of them, haha). I love my photography friends because over the years we’ve learned, grown and supported each other on our artistic journeys and even our personal journeys.

I’ve grown tired of seeing so much in my social streams that does not even interest me though. So I’m asking myself questions about who and why these people are on my lists to begin with.

Do you follow people who are ‘known’ in the industry? Why? Is it because you hope they might notice you and your work? Is it because you feel like you should because of who they are? Or do you truly gain knowledge and/or inspiration from them? Remember when you used to get excited if someone ‘famous’ followed you or liked your post? I don’t know, maybe there are still those out there who feel they need this sort of acknowledgment (that’s a whole other issue). 

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Knowing why you follow or engage with those on social media is a good place to start if you want to clean up your social media feeds. 

Those ‘known’ photographers, podcast hosts, magazines, blogs and companies that sponsor/support them, are being given a long hard look into. Do I follow them for a reason? Do I even listen to their podcasts? Are there blogs helpful to me? Are they sharing information that is relevant to what I do or am learning? Am I only following them because it gained me more entries into some contest? Time to clear out the list.

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Social media for learning and inspiration

Plenty of the sites I follow on social media are educational. Do I need to keep each and every one of them on my list? How often do I really click on something they post to read further? Mostly if I’m looking for specific information on a technique, gear or software I go look it up myself anyway. 

There are so many photographers out there who inspire me, seriously the list is long. By following them are they helping me in my own artistic journey? Maybe I should use the same “I’ll go look it up myself” tactic as I do for learning. Although there is much to be said for a social media stream that is beautiful, uplifting and positive compared to so much of the negativity and other crap that is out there.

Supporting others

It’s important to me to support my friends in what they do, whether it’s photography or other ventures. Social media has become a way to do this easily. I love to be able to easily share friend’s businesses. I also like to help other photographers by sharing artists I know or who come across that may be photographing the same genre as they are, or they’re experimenting with certain subject matters and I can point them to some new inspiration and ideas by sharing those I follow or know.

More importantly, is it business or personal?

Many of us are trying to create a business. We’re working at finding clients and buyers for our products and services. Is this how you’re using social media? Is posting images to my social media followers going to help me with that? 

Who in my lists are actually my customers or clients? Are those I interact with, follow and who follow me even my customers? If you are trying to create a business with your work you want to find your customers. We should be engaging and helping our current and future customers as much as we can in order to grow our business. 

While we’re at it

The other side of this is belonging to communities and groups on social media. Oh, so many! Can anyone truly keep up with them all? Seriously, go take a look. How many groups are you in? Which ones are truly useful to you or that you contribute to regularly, with a purpose. I don’t mean just posting an image every day and not interacting with anyone. Again, ask yourself how much time you spend or better yet, how much time you can save by leaving groups and communities that are not helpful to you. 

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Time

We all (most of us) tend to use a lack of time for not getting our work or projects done. We don’t prioritize the things that make us happy and end up not having the time to go out with our cameras, which, let’s face it, is what we really want to be doing. We feel compelled to post our images on social media and get reactions. 

Social media is a necessary evil in some ways, especially as part of our businesses (or so we’ve been led to believe). Although, I do know businesses out there who rely on their email lists and word-of-mouth far more so than they do social media. So, maybe it’s time for some Spring (or fall) cleaning. I know I’ll be continuing to cull my social media.

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