We now know that visuals go a long way in getting our posts noticed and shared. But how do you choose the right images? What if you use and image that’s not a cute baby or kitten? If you use an image that’s not so appealing to the masses, will your content still get shared?
Not as much. People “eat” with their eyes first and then go in to “taste” (or read the text content in this instance). So the $ 64,000 question is “How do you choose the right images that convey your message and brand“?
- Don’t use cheesy stock images. These are the “canned” images that look so staged they don’t have any personality. People will overlook these images in a second rather than share them.
- Be careful with “canned” headshots also. These are the “Glamour Shots” types of photos. Your headshot should look like you and you should look comfortable with getting your picture taken.
- Use personal images. This doesn’t mean you should only use photos of you, your family or pets. But images that invoke intimacy with the viewer. images showing emotion.
- Make sure your image shows the most recent technology and clothing. You may find a stock image that’s relays your message beautifully, but the clothing is from the 60’s. People will think the image and therefore the product or service is old and dated or no longer available. This is especially important with images showing technology.
- Keep all the images on a page or post in the same color tone. If you’re trying to convey a happy, bright, shinny message … use images with bright, happy colors. If you’re trying to convey a more linear, stoic message use graphs or black and white images.
- If you’re using stock images, you can download a watermarked version which you can place and test. It’s good to see how an image will look in a page or post BEFORE you dish out the big bucks.
What images will entice people to share on Facebook, Google Plus and Instagram? Our friend, Donna Mortiz over at Socially Sorted shares some great insights in her article, “Stop posting like a marketer – give fans the visual content they crave!“. She also has a free video series on “How to Create Original Images that Get Shared and Drive Traffic to Your Business“. This free series has some very meaty content and great tips for using visuals on Facebook.
Here’s what Donna says…
Entertaining – People are looking for a few seconds of entertainment while they are cruising their social media.
Consistent with your brand – Make sure the look and feel of the images are consistent with the feel of your brand.
Snackable! – Small bites of visual yumminess … Think Costco taste testing size bites of visual content.
Add value to or help your audience – Don’t make your audience jump through hoops to read, understand or interpret your image. Give them a quick tip, uplifting quote, or a fast answer to a question.
And all of this should seamlessly blend into the overall user experience.