Let me preface by saying that a facebook page does not count as a website. I’ve done a few searches on google maps for photographers in other areas and I’ve seen so many that have their official website as their facebook page. A website is very affordable and looks far better and more professional than a link to a facebook page. For about 70 dollars per year you can have your domain and hosting lined out and depending on whether you would want an HTML or flash site you could probably get by with hardly anything per month. If flash is the way you would want to go, places like Photobiz offer 100s of flash sites at your finger tips and are easily customizable and changed at a click of a button. Or for the more advanced web developer sites like Showit offers a very unique way of showing yourself off.
However, this blog is not about facebook vs website. While I do think as a photographer it is important that you have a website AND take advantage of what facebook allows you to do, this blog is about personal facebook page vs. business facebook page. After you have a website lined out for your business, start up your facebook business page. There is a lot of debate as far as photographers are concerned on what kind of page to set up. Some prefer to have a personal page and others prefer to do a business page, aka “fan page”. In my opinion a business page (fan page) is the way to go, for a couple reasons. First and foremost, it’s your business. Through a business page on facebook you are able to track your insights, i.e. page views, age range of those viewing your page, gender, location, etc. What an awesome tool to be able to help you for specials or marketing! With a personal page you cannot do this. Secondly, a drawback to a personal page is that for a person to follow you, they have to add you as a friend. Doesn’t sound so bad, but the first thing I learned in web design is; the less people have to scroll or click the better off. You want to make it easy for people to follow you. With a business page, they just click like and BOOM! They’re done. Personal page, they have to request your friend request and you have to accept it and if you are doing a wedding every saturday and sessions/presentations and editing in between I don’t know, but that’s a lot of time to be spending just to let people follow you. So by having a business page this makes it easier for everyone. Another reason to go with a business page is that it’s a lot easier to keep it professional. By allowing people to view your personal page as your business page, how professional are you going to look as they flip through your picture folders and stumble across that picture of you on spring break from 4 years ago? It sounds crazy, but I’ve seen a good number of these pages, and it immediately makes me question their professionalism.
Remember though, the fact that you can track your insights with a business page is huge for a business. I mean most business pay big money to find out the age range, location, and all those other stats of their customers, with facebook you can track it so easily and quickly. But whatever your belief is on personal vs business facebook page, facebook is an awesome tool to use for your business to help connect with clients on a more personal level. And with millions of people registered on facebook it allows you to potentially tap into a very large market. Good luck fellow photogs, and have a great Thursday!