Picture Perfection – Pro Secrets to Success
Picture Perfection – Pro Secrets to Success
Social media marketing agencies have long recognized the power of a simple photograph to transform a lackluster message into a powerhouse approach to advertising so why is it so different when small business owners go it alone? Well things are not always what they seem especially in the “simple” world of social media marketing. Remember, just because it is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy and that is especially true when it comes to photographs. Keep reading to learn a few of our top tips for using photographs effectively.
At a Glance…
- What Works: A strong image of good quality. Eliminate any blurry, fuzzy images that require the viewer to strain.
- What to Include: A clear offer and call to action with an easy to see/use link.
- Why Use Pictures: Photographs are able to convey a lot of information almost immediately. They also tend to draw attention to people that may otherwise skip over information in a traditional feed.
Unfortunately, when it comes to using photographs the majority of small business owners fail to use the full range of features that make all the difference. Be consistent when uploading photographs and always perform the following tips.
1. Use the tagging feature to notify friends and fans! It’s amazing how fast and efficient this little tip can be; for example, recently a childhood friend uploaded some old family photo’s including a charming little picture of all the neighborhood kids posing with their bicycles, skateboards etc…within hours, people that haven’t connected in decades were asking for copies. By simply tagging a few people in the photo, they were instantly notified as were their friends and fans.
2. Ask for votes. If your business happens to have several options or choices, ask visitors to vote on their favorite photo’s. Not only does it provide informal insight into user attitudes and interests but it’s a great way to stay in contact. Try out other options like “name this picture” or “share your story” to keep it lively. Combined with Facebook “Insights” for a powerful tool capable of charting reach as well as the number of people that shared, commented or talked about your item.
3. Gain fans with custom apps. Include the “Like” button so people can easily follow your postings and work. Use great photographic elements to customize the page or present a link to other great examples of your work. Wonder if it really helps drive traffic? Consider this…among photographers, as much as 30 percent of referrals come from Facebook alone. Stock photo providers tend to average just under 7% based exclusively on visual appeal.
4. Use a slideshow. Depending upon your business, a customized slideshow could be the perfect fit. Fortunately it’s a relatively simple project that allows small business owners to showcase an entire portfolio with just a few clicks.
5. Upload photos direct to your wall. Many people assume friends and fans visit their actual Facebook fan page…not necessarily. In fact, thanks to “THE WALL”, after the first visit, the vast majority of friends and fans are unlikely to revisit the actual page. Instead, they simply read what is on the wall. Rather than having to click each and every contact to see what is new, the wall allows users to scroll through recent or popular postings with ease. Unfortunately, the more friends the more cluttered and crowded each individual wall will be so it’s more important than ever to have great visuals capable of attracting attention. Part of that equation is to post directly to your feed rather than just upload an entire album. That way each picture is given equal treatment for the same amount of work rather than merely highlighting the first few photos in a given album.
6. Use stock photographs or user submitted images. If you don’t have the time to create visually appealing photographs on your own, simply buy them. Stock photograph sites are simple and affordable; just be sure to read the fine print on allowed usage and distribution. Another option is to ask readers to share their own images; many sites have engaged viewers simply by asking for uploads. It’s fun but may require additional staff time to review questionable items.
7. Include watermarks. For those that opt to post customized photographs, take time to include a watermark. Not only does it help protect your IP but it allows future viewers to track back to your site for more information long after the original post is gone.
8. Add geo-location and other meta information. Optimized web images can help increase page rank and traffic when properly performed. Tag images with all pertinent data including geo-location, keywords and descriptive information.
9. Verify that Google has indexed your photographs! This is a simple little tip that often yields unpleasant surprises; social media consulting firms hate to be the bearer of bad news but all too often a new client will brag about their use of photo’s…only to later find out none have been indexed. Egads! To run this little check, simply visit http://images.google.com/images?q=site:yoursite.com – be sure to replace yoursite.com with the domain name of your page.
10. Share share share. Just because you upload an image to Facebook doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be shared via Twitter. Ditto for Google+, Pinterest and other social media sites. There are numerous imaging sharing services available to ease the process so it really boils down to user preference. Make the most of all visual elements by sharing consistently. The only real rule of thumb is to make sure the image matches the text…everything should provide an impact and enhance the message rather than confuse the reader. Never upload a picture just to have a picture -make sure it supports the underlying message.