Many people who use Facebook to share and promote their photography will remember 2014 as the year when this got significantly harder to do. The brains behind the world’s most populated social network are constantly tweaking what its users see from other users, and many of these changes have had an impact on photographers’ pages.
Here are a few tips for how to beat the system and get your images seen on Facebook.
1. Share lots, but pay attention to quality
An individual’s Facebook news feed (what they see from others when they log in) used to be more or less a chronological representation of what their friends were posting, but this is no longer the case. Now, a complex series of algorithms determines what appears there. So even if someone subscribes to your page, they won’t necessarily see all, or even many, of the photos you post on their personal feed.
Therefore, don’t be afraid to post your images of choice often. More images means more views, and views by different people.
However, Facebook’s algorithm favours posts that garner lots of attention – likes, comments and shares. So post away, but be discerning – three good photos that get a lot of attention will cast a wider net than six mediocre ones that don’t.
2. Balance self-promotion with sharing
Read a good article, seen a funny video or discovered a special photographer? Share it with your Facebook followers, and discuss it in the comments. If you can increase your page interactions, people will be more likely to see your other posts.
3. Follow and connect with interesting people
Think of a photographer you like. Chances are they’re on Facebook, complete with a wide selection of their latest and best images. Look them up, like their page, comment on photos you like. However (important), resist the urge to bother them with links to your own page or to beg them to share your stuff with their followers. No one likes people who do this. No one.
4. Get involved with games and challenges
Often, photographers on Facebook will nominate one another for challenges, and this is a good way to show off some shots from the archive while having a little fun as well.
Recently, a few members of the AP team participated in a black & white challenge – focused on people with a collection of their images on Facebook – for which they had to post a black & white shot each day for five days and nominate other photographers to join in.