Photos can make big statements on a brand’s social media pages, and in fact, they receive more engagement on most platforms than any other form of post.
However, images do more than make a status update eye catching. Images help show personality, craft a story, share brand love, and convey what is too abstract to say with words. Images help communicate emotions more quickly than words, and with all the noise you’re competing with, photos can help get a brand’s message across quickly — much faster than with text or videos.
And now it’s easier than ever to take and share photos. Smartphone users, for example, are carrying a camera with them at all times.
With that in mind, here are some ways that brands are enhancing their social media channels with images, along with simple tips on learning from them.
1. Let Photos Be an Extension of Your Brand and Culture
Facebook allows you to be personal, but in the end of the day, it’s all about business. How about showing the personality of your business by showing the people behind it? Zappos uses images on its Facebook Page that are both professional and personal. Through these photos, customers have the opportunity to feel a connection to Zappos employees. Meanwhile, Zappos gets to show off its company culture.
2. Document Real-World Happenings
If you or your brand are attending an event, make sure to take photos or even video to capture what’s happening. Not only can you share a recap with your fans afterward and show the great work you’ve done, but you will have plenty of content to work with for future posting.
Smirnoff’s Global Facebook Page, for example, has an album that they upload all their photos from their Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange events. Whether the event is hosted by your company or is simply of industry importance, you can invite your social media fans into the fun.
3. Make an Event Out of Photo-taking
Here’s the truth: using Instagram is fun. It enables everyone to make the ordinary smartphone photo into a work of art. And it can even be the focus of an event.
Take Warby Parker’s Instagram Photo Walk for example — fans of the eye wear brand met up in New York City and went on a photo walk, taking pictures with Instagram and uploading them with the hashtag #warbywalk. It resulted in 678 photos created and an online conversation on Twitter that captured the participants’ love for the brand.
4. Stylize Your Photos to Stand Out
In anyone’s Facebook newsfeed, there are tons of images and videos. You want to make sure your fans notice your images, so why not stylize them, or make graphics that fit your brand?
Fisher Price regularly posts activities with a thematic, customized look and feel. This technique makes their image posts stand out in the newsfeed and gets followers talking.
5. Use Photos To Describe What Words Can’t
With mobile photo-sharing apps like Instagram, brands can have two-way conversations with people using real-time photos. Not only is this great for sharing updates from live events, but sometimes brands want help telling a story where words won’t work.
In a recent campaign, Tiffany & Co. wanted to represent love – a pretty abstract idea. To help craft that story, Tiffany & Co. created the website True Love In Pictures where people can share their personal love stories through Instagram.
Above all else, images help inform, build emotional connections, and get audiences involved in content creation. With so many tools available (Instagram, Hipstamatic, the traditional Photoshop) and so many mediums to share them through (Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, blogs), you can bring some life into your content strategy.
How are you spicing up your social strategy with photos? Let us know in the comments below?
Disclosure: Reb Carlson provides social strategy for Smirnoff’s U.S. market and Fisher Price is also a client at 360i, though Reb does not handle either of these company’s community management. These opinions are her own and do not reflect the opinions of 360i.
Image courtesy of Flickr, Khánh Hmoong