I sell photography – Are Adverts ruining social media?

So are company posts ruining your Facebook experience? I sell photography but are you like me, finding more and more that you have to trawl through post after post of thinly disguised adverts from companies you don’t know and have little interest in to find the important information like what your old school friend you haven’t seen for 20 years had for lunch today?

The point of Facebook is manifold, to share fun videos with your mates. Post jealous making images of the places you are holidaying at and just generally show people how wonderful you are. What a successful life you are leading compared to others boring life’s or maybe even sharing the mishaps that have overtaken you to get the sympathy and support of others. I sell photography in my business so why do I bother to write a blog and post it out on Facebook Twitter and Linkedin? I should be ringing up clients and asking them if they have any work, not wasting valuable selling time sharing my opinions and skills for free on social media sites!

I suppose it’s not so bad on Linkedin where everyone is trying to sell themselves to be bombarded with adverts and blogs of peoples skills and achievements’. But on Facebook is it really necessary?

Well, apparently yes! In days of old where salesmen had company cars and travelled round to business or public alike and knocked on doors or rang you up and asked you if what they sold was what you needed it was all very straight forward. But today when I sell photography at the door I get a receptionist who won’t even give a name of a buyer or an email address of a person to write to. How is that helping business progress and promote sales?

Search engines used to be very simple tools in the beginning, you would type in “photography” and because I had I sell photography written on my site my web site stood a chance of coming up and I got a chance at the business. Maybe the site that had photography written twice or three times may have come higher on the listings but we all started getting wise to that so were very soon writing I sell photography in invisible text all over the page and boosting our chances.

Of course every action causes a reaction and the physics of marketing is no different. Very soon the likes of Google got to understand how companies were trying to improve their chances of getting noticed and quickly changed the rules.

Soon keywords and meta data weren’t enough. No longer would the banner “I sell photography” get you noticed. First they started adding weight to the importance of who your web site was connected to, who you sold photography to, the bigger the clients, the more your business was pulled up the ladder. But that too became too simple to manipulate and at the same time social media is growing and people are linking together. And the marketers ask themselves how can we get our hands on that market?


Martin Shaw
A simple sell? It’s photography it works!


And all the time this is getting more complicated the more the need for web developers and search engine optimising companies and web marketing specialists. People who have learned every trick that has been used and abused and discarded. And so a new industry emerges and if you are to have any hope of getting that message out there (I sell photography) you best employ the specialist because for every specialist doing their best to get one up on the search engines there is another in the search engine company researching where they can go next. Ten years ago was there such a thing as an SEO specialist? I doubt you could find them in Yellow Pages then. (do you remember Yellow Pages? It was a book full of adverts – how mad is that!)

And so we come to today. Google and the like have decided to rate the importance of your site on how active it is, how well connected it is with the world and how much response it gets from clients and potential clients. No longer is the thank you letter enough. Now we need to be liked on Facebook, followed on Twitter and Linked up on Linkedin to be relevant. No longer can I sell photography on the street or door to door on the local industrial estate. People have to find me through my tripwire network of contacts!

But is there a bigger conspiracy here? Has Google moved the goal posts in this direction to actually harm it’s rivals? Are the adverts you see all over your Facebook posts a spoiler to ruin the popularity of Facebook in favour of their own Google Plus? It’s not beyond believe is it? He who has control can bend the rules to suit themselves.

My SEO supplier now needs to direct me on what I write about to try and get the best response from the public. To increase my visibility (this article sneaked under the radar). All I want to do is sell photography and take good pictures. But that isn’t enough today. You have to like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Link with me on Linkedin or apparently I’m not relevant! I don’t exist! So I, like all the other companies, have to write blogs and thinly disguised adverts and have to expend vast amount of time and effort to write something of interest to get your attention. And that in itself is ruining the medium we all enjoy.


Saving illustration
Is it all about the money?


Luckily in photography being a professional I have a skill that I can share with the world that can at least be of interest to others, after all we all have cameras and videos on our phones and most people could do with a lesson or two on how to use them. I sell photography but I also give away my skills in little snippets of information to become relevant. So spare a thought for the marketers who have more mundane products, how difficult must it be to sell custard or hip replacements on social media?

Soon the pendulum will swing the other way again and blatant social media attacks will also be disregarded by the likes of Google and then I’ll no longer have my blog program telling me whether my word count is sufficient or if I have got my keywords or metadata, words like “I sell photography” at a high enough percentage to be “relevant”. Then perhaps my blogs will stop having spam comments of total gibberish sent by computers over night attempting to network with my site. Perhaps then I could just go back to telling people I sell photography – “Hey SEO man – Have I used the phrase I sell photography enough yet?”

People of the world reject thinly disguised adverts on Facebook Twitter and Linkedin, say no to this invasion of our personal space! If you agree with me click that link now and follow me on all the medias, comment on my blog and tell the world what for! I sell photography not word counts!


Copyright Brian Russell.