Images get your audience’s attention – whether you’re a social media manager or an everyday user, you’ve probably already realized it.
Today, readers prefer short, snappy texts – and for most people, their eyes glaze over chunky text. To express all your messages can become tricky – how exactly does a business tell its audience everything it wants to while retaining their attention enough for them to stay and read everything?
As cliché as it is, a picture speaks a thousand words. Today’s Internet users are extremely visual – a high-quality photo could bring you more attention and, ideally, a thousand conversions! Images attract and sustain interest and help your audience understand your message better.
In a social media campaign especially, there’s so much magic you can do with imagery. Videos, gifs, clever designs, infographics, professionally taken photos, stock images, and more – they all help in carrying your message across succinctly and in a fun way. All these help in audience attraction and engagement, simply because people are more likely to be drawn to you when they like what they see.
Read on for some tips on incorporating imagery into your social media strategy for the best results!
1. Make visuals part of your social media strategy.
Because there are so many possibilities that come along with imagery, you might want to establish a few guidelines to keep you on track – at least at the beginning.
You’ll figure out more along the way as you get to know your audience better, but here are some pointers to help you get started:
- Study your audience: Research on your audience. For example, on competitors’ sites and pages to understand what they like.
- Create a mood board: Think about your content, colour palettes, template styles, typography and more – these should ideally be aligned with some of your company colors, with a style befitting of what you do. Such consistency will help you build a recognizable and memorable brand identity online.
- Consider your platform: Your audience could vary across different social media platforms, which require a varying tone and voice. For example, your LinkedIn account could take on a more professional approach, while your Facebook and Instagram accounts can be more playful and lifestyle-skewed.
2. Ensure that your images fit your posting objectives.
Now that you’re exploring that use of imagery, you’re on the right track. However, ensuring that the images work for you is a whole other ball game. Getting visual in social media is a great skill. Here’s an example scenario: If you’re a lender raising awareness about your company’s startup loan offers, an infographic about the benefits or markdown in interest rates would likely attract more eyes than a chunky paragraph of text. On the other hand, a people-centric piece like a testimonial or success story would be better crafted as a quote, a small paragraph of text, or a video.
3. Understand copyright rules.
When using an image, one may sometimes think, “can I really use this photo on social media?”. Well, the answer is, not always! Sourcing for images to publish online isn’t the most straightforward of things.
While this isn’t a social media tactic, it is important to know that any copyright breach may cause your post to be taken down (even one with great engagement) or, in a worst-case scenario, result in legal repercussions. From terms such as Attribution Noncommercial-No Derivative Works licenses to “fair use”, or even a seemingly simple act of reposting, there’s so much we need to be aware of.
However, once you’re clear about the rules, you’re in a great state to continue! Tip: To make things even easier for you, use an established image depository – you’ll then have access to millions of images (photos and vectors included!)
If you buy a photo from an image depository like Jumpstory, you know you know you can do it with peace of mind because we make sure that all our users have access to images that are licensed and under global insurance. Such depositaries sometimes offer trial services, so you can try them out before deciding.
4. Integrate images into your social media plan.
While visuals are indeed more compelling than text, you’ll need to find out which kind of visuals best appeal to your audience. Now that you have everything you need to start your social media campaign, you can start experimenting with what works for you.
In most digital plans, whether for a website or a social media platform, some marketers do A/B testing using two images and run a test on each image to see which one garners a better response. For social media, you can test the engagement rates of your posts to better understand which ones drive the most engagement from your audience – are they memes, formal-looking design, GIFs, photos or even videos? Do try to keep the other variables such as posting time and tone of writing voice similar, to minimize variations beyond the image.
Imagery brings along many opportunities to promote your business’s culture, values, products, and services – you’ll find it much easier to connect with your target audience, and the possibilities are endless. The right use of imagery will uplift your campaign efforts, and the trick is to keep testing and monitoring your audience’s response and engagement. Audiences grow and change, so it’s up to you as a marketer to optimize your strategies to generate better results!
About the author
Eileen Chan is the Commercial Director at Hire Digital, a world-class network of pre-vetted digital marketers, developers, and designers on demand. Hire Digital’s talent enables clients such as Expedia, Shopify, and Philips to build and enhance their digital capabilities in analytics, online commerce, and marketing, among others.