Visual content is rapidly becoming an integral part of social media. Facebook redesigned its entire layout to incorporate more imagery with the new cover photo and Timeline layout. Social networks like Pinterest and Instagram have exploded in popularity over the last year. Smartphones have upgraded to include a higher-resolution camera to keep up with user preferences.
More and more, the importance of images in social media marketing has grown. As a business owner, it is important to stay on top of these types of trends if you want to stay relevant and keep your fans happy.
Here are four ways that you can get more visual content in your social media strategy:
Decide What Types of Images Work Best
Every business can be expressed through images, you just have to do a little brainstorming to figure out what will work best. For some companies, it will be obvious, like a handcrafted jeweler will use images of her pieces or a photographer samples of his work.
Other companies may have to get creative with the images they choose. As long as it has a clear connection to the type of business you have, the image will be helpful. If you are a dentist, you can use images of teeth – healthy and unhealthy – to give a visual impact. If you’re an auto mechanic, use images of damaged parts that you typically repair.
Build an Image Archive
It is a good idea to have a folder of images to use for your business. If you don’t have one already, get a digital camera. You do not have to be a professional to take some great pictures. It just takes a little practice. Most cameras come with an Automatic setting so all you have to do is point and shoot. Experiment a little with lighting to find what works best and take more than one picture of the same item so you can pick the top one.
If you don’t have the time or you just can’t seem to get a great shot, you can hire someone to take pictures for you. You can also use images from sites like Flickr that offer creative commons licensing for some of their images.
Put all of your business-related photos into a computer file so that they are easy to access when you need to upload them to your social media.
Integrate Images to Social Sites
You can use your images on your website, blog and social media updates. Pictures add visual interest to anything. Using them on social media will get more of your followers’ attention.
The images that create a lot of interest get a lot more attention, especially on sites like Pinterest. Try using close-ups of your products, include images of your staff and your business’s physical location (if you have one). Pick a great image to use on your Facebook cover photo in order to stand out.
You will get more response from your Facebook posts if you attach an image or video to them. Internet users have a short attention span, so if you want to grab their attention, an image is the best way to do it quickly.
After a while, you will be able to determine what types of images get the most interaction and you can adjust your posts accordingly.
Encourage Customer Images
People love to share these days. Encourage your fans and customers to submit their images that show them using your product, or anything else that is related to your business. You can host a photo contest and promote it through your social networks.
You can also ask your fans to “pin” their favorite products from you on their Pinterest boards. Come up with a unique hash tag for your business and ask followers to use it when posting images on Instagram.
What have you done to start getting more visual content onto social media?
About the author: Dawn Pigoni of Be Social Worldwide is a certified social marketing specialist and a social media virtual assistant. Dawn offers superb social networking, social marketing and social bookmarking to WAHMs, Small Business Owners, Internet Marketers, Affiliate Marketers, and Coaches who desire to bring stunning internet presence through social networking to their businesses. Get Dawn’s free report, Social Networking today & see how she can assist you with being Social Worldwide!