Now that (almost) everyone in the world has a smartphone, it takes less than a minute to snap a photo and post it to your social media. However, a casual snapshot is not always what you want to post on social media for your brand. There’s a time and place for those snapshots, but using the right type of photography on social media is a surefire way to increase engagement with your brand. Using some of the ideas below, you will be able to tell your brand’s story more effectively using photography as a tool.
Do Use Stock Photos
Stock photos are a great way to create graphics for your brand. However, there are some stock photos that are awkward and looked staged. Avoid using stock images that look cheesy or are totally unrelated to your brand’s story. A simple Google search will lead you to many free stock photo sites that are available. If you’re on a budget, use those sites to find photos that are relevant to your brand and download accordingly. Many sites offer paid options if you’re looking for specific types of stock photos.
Don’t Use Google Image Search
Don’t type your keyword into Google and save the first image that pops up. Some images may be in the public domain, but it’s highly likely that you’d be breaking copyright laws. No matter how much you like an image, it probably belongs to someone else. Using an image without permission could get you (and your business) into trouble. Fines are common and they are usually in the thousand dollar range…per photo.
Do Hire a Professional
If you can’t find what you’re looking for or have a brand that sells a product or specific service, it could be worth it to hire a professional. For example, if you have a website that sells food products, a well-lit and composed photograph is more likely to sell a product to a customer than a standard smartphone photograph without any lighting or staging. You may also want photographs of you (and/or your staff members) for use on your website or blog, a professional photographer can help you look your best for these online shots.
Don’t Overdo it
With so many tools and filters for editing your photos, it’s no wonder you want to try each and every one. However, don’t overdo it. Images with multiple borders, varying text sizes and fonts, and designs can be overwhelming to the eye. Your photo should deliver some type of message, don’t let the add-ons overpower what your social media images are trying to convey.
Do Use Apps and Filters to Edit Photos
Apps like Canva and A Color Story are great (and free) tools for editing your photos. Depending on what type of image you are planning to share, Canva has many different templates to help you size, filter, and edit a photo. There are options to add text for logos and watermarks (just in case the photo is shared and you want credit), frames, and drawing tools. As mentioned above, Canva is a free tool, but there are paid premium options if you wish to utilize them. Using tools like these to add filters and play with the light and color elements of your photos are a great way to make images unique to you and your brand.
Don’t Forget Videos Are Photography Too
Yes, creating a video for social media is also a type of photography. Pay attention to the environment where the video will be filmed. Is the lighting sufficient? What about the sound elements? Is there a clean background? If you can’t do these for yourself, this is another opportunity where hiring a professional may be of great help to you.
Do Include Some Behind the Scenes Footage
Potential and current customers love to see behind the scenes action. This raw footage (probably shot from a smartphone) is a great tool for showing the world how your product or service works. This also allows them to get to know the person behind the brand and puts a face to a name. This sort of footage can come out in photographs, YouTube video, Facebook Live, or on Periscope – wherever it would best serve your audience.
Don’t Use Images That Are All Words & No Pictures
Social media photos are a great opportunity to share bright & eye-catching photos. If every image on your social media is just words, your brand is missing an opportunity to share great visual content about what you create and the customers you serve. There are other places on social media to share text – in social media posts, comments, or even copy on your website.
Do Share a Story That Is Meaningful to You and Your Brand
In the end, every photo that you share tells part of your story and your brand’s story. If your business is very playful and light, your social media photos should reflect that. If your business is more formal, let the photography reflect a more professional tone. Your business has a point of view and your social media photography is an outlet to share that story.
No matter who your followers are, at the end of the day, it’s still photography. Social media photos are another way for us to share our stories and our brand’s stories in a meaningful and profitable way. These do’s and don’ts are only a few ways to effectively share your brand’s story online.
If you’d like some help deciding what type of content you should be posting on social media, call 707-703-9975 or email email@example.com to schedule a free 30-minute social media strategy session. Click here to book online.