I Came, I Saw, I Took Pictures
January 19, 2015
Get creative, but be smart with your social visuals.
Social media venues, from LinkedIn and Facebook to Twitter and Pinterest, are image-oriented. Don’t you enjoy visually-interesting posts and share them far more often than plain text?
What that means is that using images socially to convey your sales and marketing messages should be an important part of your overall strategy.
What images, though? That’s a question with many answers. The real story each picture tells is the key. Here are some guidelines to help you tell a winning story — and to keep your images working for you, not against you:
- Make your headshots count – You’ll use these on LinkedIn, at the top of your blog, and in many other places. It’s your personal brand. A personal portrait is a job for the pros. Invest in a set of tight images that are effective in all sizes. Portray yourself at your best. Your clothes and expression should reflect your brand, so you may be able to get a little loose with this.
- Skip the selfies – Although they’re ubiquitous on social media, selfies always have a distorted perspective. Whether they’re self-portraits or group shots, selfies are for kids, not business. Use the rear lens on your smart phone and snap thoughtful, well-composed images.
- Humor is elusive and dangerous. Funny images get shared widely, but can backfire noisily. While it’s sometimes OK to laugh at yourself in a photo, poking fun at others is fraught with danger. Remember that images are forever on social media. Use humor rarely and with great caution.
- Products are boring. People are interesting. If you’re going to post a product shot, put people and action in the photo for more impact. Social media users don’t like advertising photos. Take a more interactive, people-oriented approach and you’ll make an impression with impact.
- Move closer before clicking – Fill the frame with the subject of your photo. It’s the best way to make your images stand out, and is the oldest trick in the photographer’s book. Social media images are small, so don’t let your subject disappear into the background
- Tug on emotions and win – Kids, pets, and well-known people go viral in images far more often than any other type of content — and get more attention on the page. Use this to your advantage whenever you can. If associated with you and your brand, such images can be golden.
- Review every image before posting – Quality counts. Don’t post fuzzy, out-of-focus images, and check people’s expressions. Examine backgrounds for unwanted, embarrassing, or distracting details. Enlist others to check images before posting. They’ll point out problems you didn’t notice.
Make Your Social Media Viewers Part of the Picture
Whatever your social media strategy includes, using photos and other images should be an important part of the plan. It’s far easier to get past the short attention span of social users with visuals than with words. By making top-quality, story-telling images a high priority, you’ll give your social marketing and branding a real boost. When they get the picture, you get the benefits.
Stock photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net