Like many industry professionals in business for more than twenty years, I have been struggling to understand how to integrate social media with traditional marketing. I still find myself asking “exactly how does it work?” Here is the story of one photography studio that showed me the best of both worlds, using social media tools with traditional marketing to find new clients.
I first met Therese Gietler and Andy Batt (andybatt.com
) at an ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) meeting at their Portland, Oregon-based studio. Gietler is the producer and co-owner of Andy Batt Studio and part of the solution for all of the studio’s print and motion campaigns. Batt is the photographer and director and he brings a dramatic, storytelling style to all his projects.
For the last sixteen years, their traditional marketing techniques have been the same, with different executions and results. They have used direct mail, e-mail, phone calls, portfolio showings, leave-behinds, websites, contest entries, industry events, gallery exhibitions/parties and, in the last seven years, advertising in sourcebooks. ADDING NEW TOOLS
At that same time, the team started experimenting with social media. Gietler says, “It’s the same for every business to ask ‘how do I let people know I’m here, I’m good at what I do and you should hire me’? But it differs for us, because we are selling our personal vision versus a product and we’re selling it to ultra-savvy marketers, which means that not only does the photography have to be extraordinary, but the design, writing and packaging have to be eye-catching as well.”
Their Facebook profile was replaced by their Facebook business page, facebook.com/andybattstudio
. Gietler explains, “But how do we get the right people to follow the business page? I’ve seen people host contests, but it was so transparent, it didn’t appeal to me. As a solution, I post there typically once or twice a week, either with studio news or interesting industry news. Social media doesn’t change the game; it’s the same marketing on a different platform. You still need to build a relationship in order to be awarded the job.”IMAGE REPETITION
Merging social media with traditional marketing was difficult at first, so they created redundancies in order to keep the vision of their brand. The images that appear in sourcebook ads are the same ones in e-mail marketing, direct mail and social media, as well as front and center on the website. Merging of traditional media and social media means when someone recognizes an image it becomes another link to create the repetition needed to build recognition. When someone wants to see more work, they can find it fast on their LinkedIn site, which is dedicated to projects versus portfolios. “The clients we work with have brilliant vision as well—some of these folks are the best in the business,” says Gietler, “so I have to captivate them, entertain them, hold their ADD attention for longer than five seconds, in order for them to remember us and hire us.”LEAD DEVELOPMENT
LinkedIn seemed a better fit for sales lead development and research with its deep profiles on business contacts, so they put up a LinkedIn profile (linkedin.com/in/andybattstudio
) and added the Behance app in order to have images on the site.
Traditional lead development used to take hours of research and is now done using social networks. Gietler gives an example, “I just received an e-mail from AtEdge. They sent a promotion; an art buyer is endorsing them. I don’t recognize this name, so I type that name into LinkedIn. She’s been working in the industry for some time, but I also see she went to Syracuse University; I know some great creative directors that went to Syracuse. She also went to Creative Circus; I know people who went there. I’ll bet we share friends; we have 68 people in common. That’s 68 possible introductions! As I follow the leads, I see who works for whom and on what, and who has received awards—all this time, I’m updating my database.”KEEPING ON TRACK
One important aspect of integrating social media with traditional marketing is to track where work comes from when new clients contact you. Not only through Google Analytics, but actually talking to people and asking, “How did you find us?”
As an example of this, Gietler traced a recent project that started with a blog post by art producer Jenny Barnes. Barnes explains, “I spend about twenty-plus hours a week looking at different websites. When I run across something that intrigues me, I write down the artist, rep or gallery site to go back to at a later date. I have a three-inch binder full of these lists and a database with 45,000 entries to help keep track of all the materials.”
Freelance art producer Hillary Frileck at mcgarrybowen saw the Andy Batt blog post on jenren.com
and called in his portfolio for a Verizon project. Gietler says, “The shoot involved photographing Indy cars on the racetrack, with Andy on a chase vehicle at 70 miles per hour. It was his fastest, most exhilarating photo shoot to date.”
Social media does not replace marketing but can get you “from zero to sixty” faster than before! ca