Definitely an independent blog in addition to FB and Twitter. Although Twitter has its purpose, and Facebook can't be beat for its ability to deliver a photographer's work to audiences of thousands upon thousands with very little cost, the functional limitations of each of these channels leaves a lot to be desired. For example, I print very large photographs that often contain a lot of detail, but this is all lost on Facebook because the tools for displaying images are very limited and there are size restrictions. Flickr qualifies as a social media channel too, and it has the right imaging, captioning and tagging tools, but fails at creating strong, responsive social interactions with other users (for me, at least.)In my experience, the best social channel seems to be "all of them" overlapping yet working together in a disjointed way, at least for now.Just my $.02.Jeffcrowdspotting.blogspot.com
"but fails at creating strong, responsive social interactions with other users (for me, at least.)"That hasn't been my experience. There are several vibrant communities on Flickr and most of the photographers who I consider to be close friends I met through Flickr. But if you don't participate, comment in forums or on other people's photos, you won't enjoy the benefits.If you participate though, people will interact. I've been a member of HCSP for a few years now and there was just a write up on the Guardian about street photography, and it was mentioned. http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/apr/18/street-photography-privacy-surveillanceThe best thing is to have a personal blog followed by Twitter and Tumblr. Tumblr is a vibrant visually oriented community. Most of the good cutting edge work I find comes through Tumblr. In terms of promotion, the best thing you can do is contact bloggers. Put together a tight edit of a project or portfolio, find the blogs that seem to fit your style and write to the editors. It works.
I have a Flickr account where I post a lot of photos. I am affiliated with Getty Images on Flickr, so I sell a few over their stock photo engine. And then I regularly publish and sell photo books via blurb.com.Both channels are accessible via my extremely minimalistic website http://cybergabi.de/Recently I also started a photo blog where I post more or less random images from my Flickr stream too: http://unbearandom.blogspot.com/ - the randomness is created by an automatic Flickr set creator at dopiaza.org.All channels are also connected with my twitter account, my Google buzz and my Facebook fan page, so that my followers can get regular updates. Lastly, I participate in lots of photography-related forums and discussions on LinkedIn.Btw - I totally disagree with the notion that Flickr "doesn't work to create strong, responsive interactions with other users" (see comment from Jeff above). I have a wonderful network of both pro and for-fun photographers there - many really good friends all over the world which also support me on my travels. The difference is that Flickr requires some input - it's not a one-way street like Twitter or a blog where it's all about 'me, me, me' in the first place. Every Flickr user posts photos, wants comments, attention, critique. If you're willing to invest a bit in that, you will be able to create really strong bonds and valuable relationships.
In addition to Blurb, as mentioned by Cybergabi, I just recalled that I've used Lulu to make books and Etsy to sell. Maybe we're out of the pure social media realm with these services, but they do have social functionality and in my opinion are an important part of promoting one's work.
I'm in the middle of figuring this out, so these comments are helpful. I have had a blog for a few years at www.oboylephoto.com/photoblog, very minimal with mostly photo only posts, very little text. I'm going to try and change that with an update to the blog and an attempt to add more text to the blog posts. I'm interested in how others are using facebook to promote their photography, I was scared away when there was the copyright issues a while back.
I agree there aren't that many choices of social media to spread the word. I've used the blog aggregator Hypem to find music and I have You Say Too on mine (www.junkshopsnapshots.blogspot.com) which has alerted maybe two people to it. I use picasa rather than flickr and I haven't really compared them.Limks to other blogs works too.