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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: Make your social media photos work for you

Filed in Social Media Madness — October 11, 2023

Pictures can say a thousand words, and when the words don’t match reality, it can be a disappointment. As I write this, there is an ongoing lawsuit against Burger King for false advertising. The claimants assert that the images Burger King uses to advertise its food don’t match the reality of what is served over the counter in its stores.

Today, I want to talk to you about reality not matching images on social media. But not in the way you’re thinking. Rather, I want to talk about the opposite of the Burger King Conundrum – using pictures and images on social media that don’t do the subject justice. Whether it’s today’s dinner special or your client’s remodeling project or that fantastic handmade vase you’re offering up in your online shop, if the image you’re posting on Facebook or Instagram isn’t good, you’re not doing yourself any favors.

In today’s digital age, social media platforms have become powerful tools for connecting with potential customers, building brand awareness, and increasing sales. One of the key components of a successful social media strategy is high-quality photography. In this blog post, I’ll discuss the best photography practices for social media to help you make a lasting impression and stand out in a crowded digital landscape.

Know your audience

Sound familiar? Any content creation should take into consideration the audience, and photography is no different. Before you even pick up a camera, it’s essential to understand your target audience. Who are your potential customers? What are their preferences, interests, and behaviors? Tailor your photography style to resonate with your audience, whether it’s through colors, subjects, or themes.

Be on brand

Maintaining a consistent visual identity is crucial for brand recognition. Create a style guide for your photography, including color schemes, fonts, and image filters. When posting on social media, ensure that your photos align with your brand’s aesthetics. This consistency will help your audience instantly recognize your posts in their feeds. (If you have questions about why brand management is a key part of a successful organization, check out my blog post here.)

Light your way

Good lighting is the foundation of great photography. Natural light is often the best choice but, if necessary, invest in lighting equipment to achieve professional results. Avoid harsh shadows and overexposure, and experiment with different times of the day to capture the perfect lighting conditions for your photos. There is nothing worse than having a fantastic dinner special and highlighting it on social media with a bad photograph. And potential renovation clients may not feel your vibe if you showcase your last job with dim, unflattering images.

Composition is more than a notebook

Mastering composition techniques can make your photos more engaging. Consider using the rule of thirds, leading lines, symmetry, and framing to create visually appealing images. Experiment with angles and perspectives to add depth and interest to your shots.

Be an editor-in-chief

Editing is a crucial step in modern photography. Use photo editing software or apps to fine-tune your images. Adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness to enhance your photos without overdoing it. Consistency in editing style is also important to maintain your brand’s visual identity. There are free apps and programs (like Artweaver Free, Paint.net, and Adobe Photoshop Express) where you can edit your images without being a photography master.

Tell your story

Every image should tell a story or evoke emotions. Whether you’re showcasing a new product, sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business, or highlighting customer success stories, use photography to convey a narrative that resonates with your audience.

Effective photography on social media is a blend of creativity, strategy, and technical skill. Portraying your organization through good photography can help boost engagement – both online and in your brick-and-mortar store. Conversely, an unflattering image can keep a potential customer or client from ever darkening your door (digital or otherwise).

By utilizing some of the tips above, you can instantly improve the visual aspect of your social media profile and become more appealing to your audience.

(If you have questions about how to build more effective social media content, drop me a note. I’d love to talk!)