Sahail Ashraf posted on 16 March 2017
On social media, there are many factors that influence a brand’s success or failure. With your clients, though, you don’t have much room for error.
They want results, and they want measurable results. One thing that has remained true for a long time in social is the power of imagery. Getting imagery right on your social feeds will allow you to make a great first impression, and lay the foundations for engagement.
We all know how visual everyone is. Images do really have an impact. But what do brands have to bear in mind with their imagery?
Okay, we don’t have a master list of visual content forms, but we can pinpoint a few that make a real difference in the audience experience. These four types of visual content, if done with professionalism and a focus on creativity, are well worth considering when creating a social media strategy for any client.
Great photos. Yes, we know that taking photos that belong in Vanity Fair is probably not your strong point, but having images on social media that have been created by professionals goes a heck of a long way. As part of your strategy, it may be worthwhile ensuring your client has put aside a chunk of money for good photography.
Infographics. These have become overused, but there is still a place for a well-conceived infographic on social media.
Video. Yes, but a video that has obvious care and attention applied to it. Quality counts, as does creativity.
Graphs and charts. Yes, these things are not boring if you bring in great visuals. And for the prospect who likes information, they are perfect.
When creating imagery for social media, the one thing you can never have is a guarantee that it will bring the kind of results you need. The world is full of unknowns, and if brands knew exactly what everyone wanted, it would be nothing short of miraculous.
So give yourself a break. Focus on banishing as many of the unknowns as you can. You can do this by focusing on a few key questions about the imagery. Ask these when the image has been created:
How does the image fit with the brand’s message and spirit?
Who will care about it?
How will it make the audience feel?
If your answers come easily, you’re onto a winner.
By asking the above questions, you’re simply paving the way for your imagery to have an impact. The more you ask the above, the more you and your client will be able to create visual content that resonates.
One of the very best (and most important) ways to boost your social media presence is to think about the imagery that is all over that presence. Look at your social media profiles and ask yourself the three questions above. If the answers work out well, you can safely say you have created banners and headings for social media accounts that work.
Perhaps the biggest question here is ‘how will it make the audience feel?’ This is crucial because your brand relies upon the feelings it creates.
Get on top of infographics and fill them with useful information. Yes, we know there are many infographic makers out there (as in software) but the ironic thing is that people who are getting sick of them are doing so because they are all the same.
One thing the vast majority of infographics lack is quality information. If you can ensure that the infographic has plenty of useful and interesting information (and, even better, information that you’ve researched yourself) then it will rise above the pile.
Another great way to boost your stock of useful visual imagery (and this is kind of related to infographics) is to trawl back through your posts from the previous year. Or you could pick out a post that really gained massive amounts of engagement (use your metrics for this).
Once you have a post that gained a lot of buzz, re-purpose it, but through creating an infographic or even just an image with the salient points from the post in it. This is a great way to add even more value to the work you do, and to also ensure that you build on engagement.
The key thing with that last point is that this enables you to position your brand (or client’s brand) as one that has successfully engaged with and created real value for people. Using a high quality image to back all of this up is an excellent way to make things memorable, and also build more engagement. The new image may well gain even more traction through sharing.
Create a series of photos or images that outline the key concepts behind a product or service. Share one a day and encourage the audience to share. Yes, that’s right, it’s a sales presentation, but it looks great and it builds engagement.
If you have the creative ability in your team, you also may want to consider using Slideshare. This is quickly becoming a great way to demonstrate expertise using visuals. A word of caution, though. If you haven’t used it before, bear in mind that the very best quality images are those that help to make the slides worthwhile. We’re talking top quality here, with no compromise.
Perhaps the best piece of advice we can offer here is ‘Don’t tell if you can show’. Giving the information to your audience in a sophisticated way of making your content more accessible. Words are important, but you can catch the attention of, and engage, more people with effective use of images.