4 ways to use images in social media posts

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We all know this, right? We all know the statistics from Facebook:

Posts with photos on Facebook generate 53% more likes and 104% more comments than those without.

And the two fastest growing social media services are image based: Pinterest and Instagram. These apps are now widely accepted as  extremely effective platforms for businesses to communicate with their target customers. If you haven’t yet got a Pinterest or Instagram account you should take a look at what  social media experts are saying. Here’s one blog post but there’s lots out there all saying the same thing.

Here’s why images are so important on social media.

Images capture our attention. We stop and look, rather than scanning over text.

A picture communicates more in a much shorter time than words.

Images are more engaging than text.

You could say it’s easy for me and other photographers as we’ve no shortage of good images to post online and you might be worried that your own photos aren’t good enough. (If that’s the case scoot down to the end of this post and get yourself booked on to one of my workshops).

Or you might be worried that you simply don’t have anything interesting enough to photograph and post. If your business is in the service sector and you don’t have any sexy products to photograph, then what images can you post?

Here’s 4 ways to use images in social media

1. Show yourself doing what you love

Learn the art of taking a good selfie or get someone you know to take a photograph of you. People do business with people and in this world of e-commerce it’s hard to win trust and loyalty online. However, if people can see you and see your passion for what you do via your social media photos and posts, they will form a connection with you. Here’s a free plug for a couple who I think do this very well – Mr and Mrs Mindgift (link to their Facebook page). Incidentally, every one of their Facebook posts included an image. They don’t know I’m mentioning them and haven’t paid me!

If you are part of a team, then post pictures of team members doing their job, or winning an award, or completing a charity run. Human interest posts are engaging and build trust.

2. Do a spotlight on a customer

This is a win-win, as you get to show off how you gave great service and the client also gets a mention. Make sure you tag them in your post and you’ll be amazed at how much it gets shared around. My traffic increases significantly when I do this. Here’s a Facebook post I did for Dining Divas following a shoot I did for them (Although I am seriously losing faith in Facebook Pages as they limit who sees our posts!).

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3. Share some tips

Whatever it is you do it should be possible to think up tips for your target customer and take a quick photo or find something on clip art to communicate your message. Use one of the increasing number of apps / websites that allow you to create simple graphics for free. I use www.canva.com for mine. If you’re looking for photography tips (plug plug!) then take a look at some of my other Love Your Lens blogs.

4. Ask a question

Use a question to engage with your followers. “Do you prefer this… or that…” or conduct a poll, but make sure you include an image. I’m always surprised how many people complete social media surveys telling them what kind of animal they are, which famous person they are etc. Do this with a serious business goal in mind and get some customer research out of it.

Take a look at what other businesses are doing on social media with images – businesses you admire as well as competitors. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that it’s not all about having fantastic photography (although obviously that helps). Create info graphics, use clipart, enhance your photos with filters and phone apps. Don’t forget to stick to your brand values and identity though. A word of caution: always make sure you have the right to use any images that you post and permission to post photographs of people, especially children.

If you do want to improve your photography skills I run courses on how to take pictures for social media and blogs and regularly do blog posts with free tips and advice.

Did you like this blog post or find it useful? If so, please leave a comment, sign up for email reminders at the top of the page or share it with your friends (or even better, all three!!). Thank you – Jane :-)

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