EyeEm

Social media … is it working yet?

A little over two years ago I wrote a blog post about social networking where I asked largely rhetorical questions about whether there was a point to it, which platforms were the right ones and whether or not it made any difference. About three weeks ago I wrote on Twitter that I’d spent half a day integrating my social media – getting my Tweets to show up on LinkedIn and getting my photos posted on EyeEm to show up on Facebook and then getting every single platform to react to one another when I wanted them to. Not only did I set all of that up on the desktop and laptop computers but I also did it on the iPad and the iPhone. Boy, am I ever integrated now!

This morning I added a post on a LinkedIn group about explaining to reluctant businesses why they should be using social media:

“The simplest way to explain it to the doubters is to point to the utter stupidity of NOT using social media in the world in which we currently live. You didn’t need it ten years ago and theres’ a chance it might be past it’s best in ten years time but right here, right now it is the method chosen by a massive proportion of the population for making choices, doing research and engaging with business.”

So… is social media working yet? You wouldn’t expect me to give a clear and unequivocal answer to a direct question that I posed myself would you? Of course not – except there is an answer that I have given a few times when talking about this:

“It isn’t not working”.

How do I explain that? I’d be worried if social media was having a negative effect on my business and career but I have been really careful to avoid the stupidity of posting banal, overly-personal or critical observations on any platform unless they were going to have a positive effect – which is almost never. On a few closed Facebook groups I might be a little less guarded and in private messages I might use the odd bit of cussing but on the whole my social media profiles have been kept clean. That has meant very little controversy, relatively few spikes in activity and a lower profile than I might have gained had I been happy to upset a number of people. That’s all OK but why would I imply that all wasn’t well with social media? Well, the hours spent plugging away haven’t been directly rewarded with more business and it would be hard to quantify the actual benefits of getting out there in the worlds of social media. So in the two years since I first blogged about this I have got a lot better at doing it, gained a few jobs here and there and generally promoted myself positively. I’m going to keep on doing it because I genuinely believe that to avoid social media is a very bad thing.

The irony is that this blog is the one thing that I want people to see, read and interact with. That’s my strategy and that’s why I wanted to get the integration going – the other platforms are there to boost the blog and the blog is there to raise my profile. Whether or not that circle is vicious or virtuous is something only others can decide upon.

©Neil Turner, May 2013. First seen on EyeEm - there are so many ways to promote your business these days!

©Neil Turner, May 2013. First seen on EyeEm – there are so many ways to promote your business these days!

Experimenting with EyeEm

©Neil Turner, June 2013. Fisherman's Walk, Bournemouth.

©Neil Turner, June 2013. Fisherman’s Walk, Bournemouth.

A lot of photographers have been playing around with various image sharing sites. Most are doing it because it’s fun and others because they have been told that it’s a great way to get noticed by new audiences and to be seen by clients as “up-to-date”. I simply wanted to ‘have a go’. Get with the fun. A lot of photographers that I like and respect have been uploading some lovely work using EyeEm over the last few weeks and, although I’ll never beat them, I thought that I’d join them.

I missed out on Instagram and I have publicly parted company with Flickr. I’ve used Moby to share a few images in Twitter and of course TwitPic has seen a few of my pictures too.

A couple of weeks ago I set myself the challenge of uploading a few pictures to the EyeEm sharing site to see what happened. The experiment isn’t over – far from it but I am starting to find it a bit limiting and I’m starting to worry that the lens of the camera on my iPhone is showing it’s 3 years and 4 months age.

Anyway, if you are on EyeEm please let me know and please think about following my experiment. I promise not to bombard you with art – even if I’m tempted! Most of the images have nothing to do with the kind of professional work that I do and a surprising number so far have been shot around my home town of Bournemouth.

The picture that you can see above is about the most extreme treatment that I’ve given any of my pictures to date. For the geeks amongst you it was processed (contrast, sharpening and cropping) in Adobe Photoshop Express on an iPhone and then given the moody treatment and distressed border in the EyeEm app on the phone.