This is both my online business and personal journal where I share all of my photography and business projects! Allow me to introduce myself...I am Catherine Guidry, a Louisiana wedding photographer. I am passionate about documenting life but more importantly...living it! <3 My favorite things to do are bike ride with my husband and brainstorm new creative projects!  I am all about meeting new friends and can't wait to meet you!  

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Catherine Guidry

Over the past few years social media has become such a huge part of our lives as well as our businesses, and it can get complicated at times. Hopefully these tips on handling your social media platforms can help you moving forward!

Do not tag friends without permission

If you are on a trip and are having a great time with friends and decide to share some of the photos, be sure to check with your friends to make sure they are okay with you posting to social media. It is important to be conscious of other's feelings because you never know how people may feel about sharing their personal images. If you decide to share images to your business social media platforms that include images of clients, always be sure to check with the client before posting. Likewise, if you want to approve what goes on your feed you can go into your Facebook privacy settings to require your permission. On Instagram you can always hide photos from your tagged images. It does not necessarily mean that you do not like the image, but may not fit the intention of how you are portraying your business. 

Do not share others personal news or stories without asking

If you hear of a story that you think is beautiful and worth sharing, pause to think about who would be affected if you decided to share. One of the biggest mistakes I have made in my business is sharing a story that was definitely not mine to share. Sadly, a client relationship was tainted, but I learned from this mistake and will never do it again. 

Providing Photo Credit

If you did not pay for or take the image that you are posting, make sure to ask permission and provide photo credit. Specific photos take time, money, resources to make happen and that always deserves credit. Even if the photo was taken for a paid event or taken for a paying client, make sure to provide photo credit unless you are personally the paying client. If it is simply a photo that was paid for by a client you are re-posting, it is still important to credit the photographer. 

If you are sharing an image of something that focuses around someone else's craft (example: a florist) or product it is appropriate to share and give credit to those vendors. It is never a bad idea to elevate those around you and give back!

Deciding to Unfollow

If you do not care for someone or the posts they are creating, unfriend them. If it is on Facebook you can actually unfollow their posts. If someone unfollows you, do not stress over it! It does not mean you are doing anything wrong, your content just may not appeal to them. The same goes for those that may not accept your friend request, do not take it personally. I actually do not accept requests anymore and I am certain that some of the people I affiliate with do not follow me back. At the end of the day, it is just social media and is not the end all be all!

Contact via website rather than direct messaging 

As a business owner, it can be so hard to keep up with Facebook/Instagram messages as well as contact forms and email! There are so many ways for people to contact us so, if you can reach out via website or contact form, the business will be more likely to get back to you. If you are a business owner and would like people to contact you through your website contact form, a tip is to save a shortcut on your phone keyboard with a message guiding potential clients to your form. If someone does not feel they want to take the time to reach out via the contact form, then they most likely were not that interested.

Responding to negativity

Responding to negativity in general is difficult, but you have the right to deal with it however you may want. Personally, I would suggest ignoring negativity on social media. Another option is  deleting/blocking the person or comment. On the other hand, as a small business owner it is extremely hard to share your work and your life online and to put it out there for others to judge. I encourage you all to think long and hard before you speak poorly of someone, whether publicly or in private message. Ask yourself why you are saying those things to begin with, and if it is something that bothers you, consider removing this person from your feeds. 

Think of your audience and what they want to hear

It is okay to break away from the seriousness of “selling your product or service” to share something personal or fun! A lot of times, we want to know the person behind the brand so we can believe in the brand. Every now and then a post can be cool and different and a little peek into your life! 

Do not overdo it. Too much is too much. 

Too many sponsored posts or sponsored posts that may seem fake or as if they are just being posted for monetary purposes is a potential way to get unfollowed. I personally believe it is fine to do sponsored work, but it is best when the sponsored posts align with your brand. Consider how you integrate these posts into your feed as well. 

Check your posts before they go live.

If you are going to schedule or automate your posts, make sure to check them before they go live. Unexpected things can happen, whether holidays or national disasters, and your posts that are scheduled on these specific days, may seem uninvolved or selfish. 

Never post anything you do not want others to read

I heard a story of someone who posted something in a forum that they did not want a client to see, and it got back to their client. This could happen to anyone! The best way to prevent something like this happening is never posting anything that you do not want anyone else to read. This means forums, direct messages, anything. Nothing is private and everything can get re-shared. If you feel like a post could be confrontational or could cause issues, think long and hard before posting! 

This list could go on forever, but these are my top tips that I hope can help you!

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031: MMM – Social Media Etiquette + Tips

February 14, 2018