It’s a scientific fact that we all love to look at photos! Okay, so it’s not a fact, but photos are a great way to build engagement on your Facebook page, Twitter feed and even your blog. Why?
First and foremost, visuals evoke emotion in the viewer that is quick and direct. When you see a photo, your brain kicks into action and you have a visceral reaction to it. Photos are usually easy to understand. They may be funny, cute, sad or interesting, but all you need to do is look and let your emotions do the rest. In today’s world, photos are also very easy to take. Smartphones and inexpensive cameras have enabled almost anyone and everyone to take a picture of nearly anything. In fact, every 2 minutes we snap as many photos as the whole of humanity took in the 1800s.
When it comes to social, you don’t have to look any further than the success of Pinterest and Instagram to see how popular photos are. Pinterest is now the 3rd largest social network in the US. And startup darling Instagram was acquired by Facebook for a cool $1 billion in April 2012.
So I think we have an understanding that photos are very popular. But how can you leverage photos in the social efforts for your business? Here are some tips:
- Use photo centric sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram in your social media outreach. Especially if you have visually appealing products and services such as food, clothing or anything beauty related.
- Intermix photos relating to your business with general items such as scenic shots, local sports teams or animals.
- Interject humorous photos in the mix. People love to like, comment and share funny photos. This provides an opprtunity to expose your page or board to new people via the photos you are sharing.
- Post at least one photo a day on your social sites. People may think they’ll bombard their followers, but realize the information streams on these sites moves pretty quickly. So only posting once a week for instance will get you lost in the shuffle.
At VerticalResponse, in our own social media marketing with Facebook, we’ve seen huge organic and viral traffic increases since we started to make photos an integral part of our social marketing efforts. In fact, we had one photo postthat received 396 Likes, 492 Shares and 44 Comments. Not bad for a Facebook Page that only had a little more than 6,200 “Likers” to the page.
Most of the photos we use on Facebook are ones that we take ourselves, or that we share from our Facebook feed. On our blog, we approach it differently. We purchase about 98% of the photos, including the one in this post. Why you ask?
Back in the good old days, people didn’t really pay attention to attribution or copyright infringement when it came to using photos on their blog. They’d go to Google Images, type in a keyword or phrase that complemented their post, download the photo and slap it up for the entire world to see. Big mistake. Copyright laws are there to protect the author of the image. You’re not only taking money from the originator of the content, but you also run the risk of legal action.
If you’re looking to use photos for commercial purposes, you may want to check out these options:
There are tons more out there and it’s always a good idea to mix it up with different commercial photo sites so you get a new look and feel from the photos offered.
But, if you’re looking to save a buck and put your own spin on your blog or social posts to Facebook and Twitter, use your smartphone or camera to take your own photos. This could be as easy as taking a photo of your blue plate special, or the new dress that came in. You may be surprised by the engagement/reaction you’ll get from a simple photo. It’s no coincidence there is a saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
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