Since the beginning of the current wave of interest and innovation in commercial drones and unmanned aviation people have been using social media to promote aerial photography. It has always been the obvious way to show off your latest still images and video clips of a view that was previously denied to most of us.
However, if you’ve turned that hobby into a business then you’ll need to change your method if you’re to attract new clients. If you’re now running an aerial photography or inspection business then you’re probably short on time too.
If your work is going to represent your business then everything you upload to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram needs to be of sufficient quality to demonstrate your skills. It’s no longer enough to quickly share a shot with a fish-eye lens perspective, or a video clip that contains a clumsy take-off and landing.
You may spend several hours each week editing your material into the clips and images that your clients have requested, unless they do it themselves or you outsource the work, but whichever way your ongoing work becomes your ever expanding portfolio.
The latest list of CAA approved commercial Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) operators (September 16th 2016) shows a total of 2,173 individuals and companies who now hold a PfAW (Permission for Aerial Work). When I obtained mine in 2014 there were little more than a tenth of that figure, so it’s a tenfold increase in two years.
That’s a lot of competition. How are you making yourself heard?
If you’re already skilled at using social media to promote aerial photography, inspection, filming, or any other type of civilian or commercial unmanned aviation business then you’re probably aware of what helps and what hinders your marketing efforts.
However, I’ve been checking the SUA Operator list and many of these businesses are making scant use of social media. Worse, they have opened up accounts and left them unused.
If you create a Twitter account or Facebook page and don’t use it while still advising website visitors to contact you using one of these methods, then you could be actually hindering your marketing efforts.
All your social media accounts need feeding with new material. They also need to be monitored for responses from followers. Social media marketing is not about broadcasting your latest footage. It’s about building relationships with people who may later become clients.
Have you got time to do this? Do you know enough about social media marketing to make the most efficient of the time you spend on it?
If you’re in any doubt or if you just want to talk about the possibilities for your unmanned aviation business then get in touch. Hiring someone like me who understands unmanned aviation and social media marketing may be the lift that your business needs.
There are all kinds of tools designed to support the task of managing multiple social media accounts. I have tested several but my favourite by far is Hootsuite. The Hootsuite social media marketing management dashboard is feature rich, well supported, and includes some free introductory training.
The Hootsuite dashboard scales according to your needs. If you are running your own social media campaigns you may have one or more of the following accounts; Twitter, a Facebook page, a LinkedIn page, a Google+ page, Instagram, Pinterest, a YouTube account, and perhaps a WordPress blog.
Without a dashboard you will have to log in to each of your accounts one by one in order to respond and react to the activity in each stream. You could simplify this process a little by setting up individual tabs in your browser and making these your default homepages on loading the browser. However, this would be a poor substitute for what Hootsuite has to offer.
Every social media account has several aspects to it that may need your attention. There are the comments, likes, messages, and other reactions to your output. There may be content you want to share with your audience, and there could be requests for support or more information. All of this while you’re trying to build your brand and expand awareness of your business in an effort to attract new clients.
Managing all of this, even for a solo operator with a small business, can become a time consuming task. Consequently there is a risk that it could be done badly or not at all and that would mean the potential this offers would be lost.
The dashboard can be configured to show the streams of information from each of your social media accounts and arrange them in tabs for easy reference. These streams will automatically refresh giving you an overview of all the activity and the ability to respond to any interaction.
You can schedule posts and updates to your accounts, one by one or in bulk. This gives you the ability to plan, prepare, and create social media campaigns. You updates can be scheduled to match the activity of your target market’s peak activity online.
Hootsuite Analytics will give you feedback and statistics on the effectiveness of your social media activity. You can then adjust and optimise your campaigns based on this data.
However, learning how to use all these features and putting them into practice takes time. Training is available if you are inclined to complete it. Even then you may find it takes up too much of your precious time if your attention is needed elsewhere. Your business priorities may mean that you don’t have the time to mange this task on a regular basis.
This is why some businesses choose to outsource the task. It can be much more cost effective to hand the job over to someone who has already completed all the training and knows how to use the dashboard efficiently.
They will get to know your business objectives, formulate a social media strategy with you, and put it into action. They will monitor the results and adjust accordingly as the strategy unfolds.
If this sounds like something you’d like to explore then contact me for more information and a no obligation chat. Social media has huge potential for businesses of all sizes and you can exploit this potential with the right help.