I keep banging on about it, but visuals are really important when trying to get your message across be it to potential customers, blog readers or whoever.
And they must be good to stand out.
As social media gets ever more popular to market business you need to up your game.
You need to be better than the best.
There are two possible solutions to this problem:
* Hire a pro-photographer, or
* Take the shots yourself
Hiring a professional who you brief well will pay dividends in the long run, but maybe that's not in your budget right now. So here are some sure fire tips on how to get the best photos to look like they were taken by a pro.
1 You don't need a fancy SLR. Ok I know, I know you're thinking surely if you have a great camera you will get great pictures. Err, no that's not how it works.
2 You can use an SLR camera by all means but these days a recent and good quality smart phone will produce as good if not better images. Set it up to take the highest quality images. Usually 4 mg images and above will be adequate to print up to A4 if you need this and you can scale down for web use.
You choose but don't think that just because you don't have a fancy camera you can't take fancy pictures!
3 Take the time to set up your shot and use natural light where ever possible. Not direct sunlight, it is not your friend. Filtered light from a window works perfectly. Watch for shadows and use a mirror or white paper to bounce light back onto the subject.
If you have to shoot in artificial light use photo editing software to adjust the colour temperature, I explain this here, it's easy!
4 Compose your picture - there are some great tips here.
Don't clutter the image and think about the colours you use.
Remember this rule of thumb, keep it simple.
5 No wonky horizons or product shots that look as though they are slipping off the table.
Giddy angles are not good to look at, you want people to like your products so don't make them feel sick looking at them!
6 Make sure you post shots that are in focus. Do not post bad shots, even if it's the only one you have. Start again and post a great shot.
7 By all means use filters if you want to get an emotion or feel of something across.
But if you want someone to buy a product your best bet is to photograph it simply, showing the true colours (no filters) and post several shots showing the product at different angles and in use.
8 Post the right resolution. This is important in particular for your blog or website as the time it takes to load images has a negative impact on bounce rate. In other words, if someone has to wait to view an image they will most likely click off your website and you've lost a potential customer. You canfind out optimum sizes here and again, it's not as difficult as it sounds and worth the effort.
9 Try using Canva, Picmonkey orPablo three great online software tools for designing great images. Overlay text onto your shots. Not every single one, but your headers and where you think it will work.
Keep your fonts very simple, don't go crazy!
10 And one final tip. Practice! Yes, practice does make you a better photographer. And look at what other photographers are doing and see if you like it you can develop their ideas for your own use.
And most importantly, have fun.
Now visuals are even more important to gain interest and a following on social media it's vital to post the best images possible on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest and the like.
You must stand out and posting great, relevant images has been proven to work over and over again.
Size is important
Post the correct size for each platform. You can read about it here or use Canva to create one post and it magically converts the image to every different size.
It's not just about size, you need to pick the best orientation for each social platform too so using the right image is important too otherwise a great image may be cropped or not have the best effect.
Here are some guidelines on orientation for some of the main social platforms.
Square or landscape both work.
Post landscape shots unless you want most of the image cropped in the feed.
If that happens there is no incentive for your followers to click on the image unless they are very, very curious.
Have introduced landscape as well as square, although they are cropped to square in your feed. You need to click on the image to get the full shot.
The screenshot of Foundrs feed shows this. Steve Jobs image (3rd down on the right) has been cropped.
When you click on the image you see the whole story, not great and a bit of a fudge to accommodate both landscape and square format images.
Portrait wins hands down, landscape images look tiny and lost.
In the screenshot below, the earrings and Iris pop out, the cake in comparison is tiny.
Blink and you'll miss it!
Both portrait and landscape get an equal share and both look good
Landscape although like Twitter there is a specific size and if your lead image doesn't fit into it it will automatically be cropped.
With a bit of planning and some help from some really great software like Canva you can make the very best of your visual social media posts.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.