Today’s Topic Tuesday is from our teen contributor Sara Cooney! Today Sara gives us tips on running Instagram Contests for your senior clients! Check it out below! Thanks for sharing Sara!
Senior picture season is coming quick! (Are you ready?!) Many of us have been using this slower time to think about advertising and marketing for the class of 2016. There are so many different ways to go with how you choose to market to these juniors/upcoming seniors, which can make it difficult to figure out what will work best for you. One thing that many (including myself) have had success with are contests for a free or discounted senior session. Contests are an amazing way to spread the word about your business so if you are looking to get your name out there and gain more senior clients, I would definitely recommend it. Here are some tips on holding a successful senior photography contest for the class of 2016:
-Hold the contest on Instagram: One of the main benefits of having a contest like this is that it will get your name out to the upcoming seniors that will soon be in need of senior pictures. As I have said before, seniors are much more active on Instagram than they are on Facebook. If you want to get the most seniors involved that you can, holding the contest on Instagram is the best way to do it.
-Make the contest for a free or discounted session: Many times a parent will be the one paying for the session, but there are also times that the senior will be the one paying for the session, or splitting the cost with their parents. Making the contest for money off the session fee rather than a percent off a photo order will motivate the seniors and make them want it more, especially because if anything, the senior is more likely to be paying the session fee rather than the print order.
-Use the contest to get more followers: Make one of the rules of your contest that the senior must be following you on Instagram to be entered. You can even include that they must like your page on Facebook as well. I get questions all the time on how to get more followers and this is a great way to do it. Be sure that aside from the contest, you are posting things that will keep them interested so they won’t just unfollow you as soon as the contest is over.
-Spread the word of the contest to those who don’t follow you (yet): Make another rule of your contest that the senior has to tag 3 friends below in the comments to be entered. That way, if you don’t have many followers on your account, the contest will still reach out to many people. Say the one senior who was following you enters, then tags their three friends. Maybe only two out of the three friends tagged will enter, but then those two friends will tag their three friends who will all enter. Between these two rules of having to follow your account to be entered and tagging 3 friends, your name and business will start to spread very quickly and you should get lots of entries!
-Make reposting your contest ad an extra entry, not a requirement to be entered: If there is one thing that could possibly stop a senior from entering the contest, it would be if they were required to repost your ad on their account. I know it sounds weird because it is not a hard thing to do, but I know from experience that it could stop a senior from entering. Rather than making it a requirement, offer it as an extra entry. That way, those who don’t care about reposting will still have the option to do so. When they repost your ad on their own account, it will reach all of their followers which could be hundreds of people! Make sure they tag your photography account in the caption, so anybody interested can easily click to your account without having to search it.
-Give the contest a theme: If you want to make one of your rules of entry that they must repost something about the contest on their own account, instead of an ad, you could give your contest a theme. You could say that they have to post a selfie with a hashtag about the contest (make up the hashtag on your own so everyone will post the same one) and tag your account. And it doesn’t have to be a selfie…you could do it with anything. A picture from their favorite vacation, a picture with their friends, a picture of their favorite outfit, anything! Make it something that the senior would want to share on their account anyways (even without the contest).
So there you have it…my tips on how to hold a successful contest for the class of 2016! What contests have you done in the past? Were they successful? What do you plan on doing this year? Join my group on Facebook and feel free to leave your answers to those questions, or post if you ever have any questions for me! https://www.facebook.com/groups/700784033277979/
xo- Sara Cooney
Sara Cooney is an aspiring photographer and monthly contributor to Seniorologie. Sara shares information that help photographers reach the teen market by giving real tips on how photographers can reach the teen market. Sara started Sara Cooney Photography when she was a junior in high school and she photographs seniors, dancers, families, couples, musicians and has been a second shooter on a few weddings, which she plans on doing more of this year. Sara spent one semester at the University of Rhode Island and now will be attending the New England School of Photography in October to pursue her dream.