Social Media or indeed blog posts are nothing without good quality imagery. The exploding popularity of such platforms as Pinterest and Instagram are a testament to the power of images, where no words are necessary. Facebook have already identified the shift from Text to Visual which is one of their reasons for the recent purchase of Instagram. They say that 60% of the users of Instagram learn about a product or brand on the photo sharing platform and 75% have taken action after being inspired by a post on Instagram.
So how can a business leverage the power of visuals on Social Media? Here are my top five tips for using imagery.
#1 Always Use an Image
Always use an image or visual in your post or blog. This includes pictures, infographics, videos, graphics, animations or slideshows. Remember NEVER just take something from a Google image search. Most of these photos are copyrighted and you could be prosecuted for illegal use.
#2 NO CLIPART
Please GOD no clipart unless of course you have a funky and informal business. If you don’t then clipart is generally inappropriate and out of tone. Always aim for high-quality imagery, there are a number of websites out there that allow you use their images for free, such as Pixabay, Unsplash and Death to the Stock Photo.
#3 Use Original Imagery
Use your own images if possible particularly if you have a unique product or service. If you do take your own images to upload, be mindful of the lighting and background. Do you have sufficient light? Is the background clean and clear? Select a suitable image to support your post. You don’t have to invest in expensive cameras, use the one of the many apps such as Instagram or Phonto to take relevant, original images and then add filters and text to use in your social media.
Sometimes the only way to see what works best is to experiment. Use different types of media in your social media or blog and see which gets the best reaction? Use video in one, a photo in another, an infographic or animation. By becoming more aware of what your users are responding to the most, you can then provide more of this to increase engagement with your audience.
#5 Don’t leave the Image on it’s own
Images are very strong but if you’re posting on social media, usually you want the user to take an action so include a small piece of text and perhaps a link back to your website. A Photo, line or two of text and then a link is an ideal combination. The image will capture their attention, the text will explain what it’s about and the link will send them to your website to read more, sign up for a newsletter or call or order from you.
For example this post on the Newstalk Facebook page gives a headline, two lines of text to outline the story and then a link to their website where you can read it in full with a supporting and appropriate image to catch the eye.
So there you have it, my top 5 tips for using images on your site. If you have any hints and tips you’d like to share, just comment below.