Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sincerely Social

Elise Ellis manages social media for Black River Imaging.

The comedian George Burns once quipped, “Sincerity - if you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” When I read the social media feeds of some professional imaging companies, I get the impression that they based their interaction style on Burn’s philosophy. Plenty of product news, but everything else feels a little unnatural.

Black River Imaging, a professional imaging lab in Springfield, Misouri, has a totally different approach. Black River Imaging has embraced social media with real sincerity, enthusiasm and a love for genuine interaction with their customers and fans. The 19,000 fans of the lab’s page on Facebook can sense that the page is managed by a real person who loves life, loves photography and loves interacting with them on Facebook.  It is not uncommon for a post to generate dozens of comments and likes.

The Black River Imaging Blog includes book reviews, photography tips, social media ideas, guest posts from photographers, reports from tradeshows and a few product introductions. Each post is thoughtfully written and brimming with joyous enthusiasm.

The creative energy behind Black River’s social media presence comes from the lab’s Sales/Social Media Representative, Elise Ellis. In one of her blog posts from January of 2011, she poses these questions about photography: “Are you shooting from your heart? Are you having fun? Are you shooting what you like to shoot?

Later in the same post, Ellis describes how to authentically define your own style. Although she was writing about photography, her comments could apply equally well to how she approaches posting on Facebook and blogging.

“You have to be authentically you when defining your style. You can’t be someone else. Emulating someone else will not get you far in the photographic world. But being the best ‘you’ you can be will. Clients, potential clients, past clients will all recognize the disconnect that is happening within yourself when you are not being who you are meant to be. It will come through in your work. It will come through in your daily life in the form of unhappiness and upset. Finding the one thing that you get all excited about photographing will help you to begin developing your personal style.”

I believe this is great advice for photography, blogging and just about everything else in life!

How sincere does your company sound on Facebook?

Are you posting from your heart?

Are you having fun?