Incremental Changes Eventually Change the World
My dormant online presence as a photographer and blogger during the past few months has not been due to a lack of work or exciting news; in fact, it is very much the opposite. There has been so much happening both in my personal and professional life, that there simple has not been enough time to do it all. In addition to getting married this summer and planning the wedding, I have also been shooting weddings with Grace Starr Photography and working for the Harding University Communications and Marketing Office part-time. From my conversations with Grace about promoting ourselves as photographers to lessons learned about managing social media for a brand and a company, I have had many aspirations and plans for my own social media.
In December, Forbes published an online article titled, "The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends that will Dominate 2018." In this article, the author, Jayson DeMers, discussed augmented reality, privacy precedence, gamification, the growth of advertising, brand fatigue and the popularity of anything "local," but the thing that caught my attention was his discussion on live streaming.
According to DeMers, 80 percent of consumers would rather watch a live video than read a blog, and 82 percent would prefer live video content instead of written content. Live streaming was a big deal in 2017, but, instead of being a new, trendy way to interact, in 2018, live streaming is an expectation.
I have seen live streaming become a "normal" thing. I should not have been, but I was surprised how many people asked me if I was going to broadcast my wedding on Facebook live. To me, some things, like a wedding, are about being there, in the moment. We did have a videographer that captured the day for us to post later, but I was more concerned with sharing that day with the people physically around me. Perhaps if I had family members who lived internationally I would have felt differently.
Live streaming is something I see from personal accounts and business accounts on both Instagram and Facebook. From gender reveals to online training sessions to people just reflecting on their day, live streaming has definitely changed the way people interact on social media.
What does this mean for me personally?
One thing I have learned from working with Grace is that, long-term, people are not interested in a photographers work alone. They want to connect to a person. I used to have two Instagram accounts, one for my photography and one private account for my personal life. I have recently merged the two and deleted my photography account because I want to be able to be transparent, showing people who I am as a person and how that determines who I am as a photographer. Not only was running two accounts near impossible in my busy schedule, it was hard to gain the same following I had on my personal account.
I have never once live streamed any part of my life, but, if I want to stay relevant as a person and promote myself as a photographer, is live streaming is something I am going to have to get used to. Even though I prefer to be behind the camera, social media consumers now want to see what is going on behind the camera. Whether or not I love the idea, live streaming, and real-time videos are something I am going to have to add to my list of goals for my own social media.