Building a business and brand is no longer dependent on the number of customers you have available in a set local region. You are no longer limited to promoting your business or brand within local newspapers, magazines, and traditional radio or television ad campaigns. Today, social media and the power of social sharing have taken to the forefront of online advertising and digital marketing realms. Knowing how to take a good picture for your online social networking presence is key to truly stand out and make a positive and lasting impression among followers and prospective customers.
Social networking platforms change with the seasons and often become more popular and less popular depending on shifts in society as well as trends in various demographics and age groups. While in the past, social networking platforms such as Hot or Not, Face The Jury, and MySpace were the leaders in social networking, they are now considered obsolete and a thing of the past.
Today, the most popular social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, Snapchat, and TikTok. The most commonly used network among all age ranges is Facebook, with more than 2 billion users worldwide. Before you move forward with building a presence for your business and brand or expanding your online reach, it is important to familiarize yourself with the top networks and social platforms available and used each day.
Social networks are notorious for their usage of graphics, high-quality photos, animated GIFs, and videos to share and spread messages among their users. Individuals and companies alike have noticed the uptick in engagement and interaction when photos, graphics, and otherwise visually-stimulating content is uploaded and published to their accounts. Social networking platforms make it easier than ever to catch the eyes of followers and prospective customers with the use of colorful imagery, relevant graphics, or even a simplistic photo that sends a message relevant to your business, brand, or the type of product you are promoting.
Some of the advantages of using social platforms and media to build a brand with the use of photos and other forms of imagery include:
Before you begin sharing uploaded photos, graphics, or other visual representations of your advertisement or brand, consider the target audience and demographics you intend to reach. Sending massive ad campaigns or social networking campaigns to an audience that is wide and generic is not likely to render the conversion rate or the results you desire.
Instead, take time to consider the age range, gender, location, and even specific interests or hobbies of the individuals you want to target with the use of social networking platforms. The more targeted a demographic is, the easier it becomes to craft content and digital marketing campaigns that are relevant and likely to resonate, prompting more engagement, interaction, and ultimately, followers or sales. Once you understand the audience you want to appeal to, you can then begin crafting an online social networking marketing campaign that is right for your business and brand.
Promoting your business and brand on all popular social networks and platforms is not always ideal, especially if you are doing all of the legwork on your own and you do not have the resources available to hire help with your online social presence. Choose social networks that are most relevant to your business and brand and those that provide you with the demographics you want to connect with and reach.
While social platforms such a Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter may be optimal to connect with professionals and individuals in all age ranges, networks such as Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok work best for companies looking to connect with kids, tweens, teens, and young adults exclusively. Consider the type of photos and media each network or platform also allows users to upload. While Instagram is a heavily media-centric platform, Linkedin is more limited when it comes to uploading and publishing photos and other forms of media to share with your followers, fans, and business associates.
Quality matters when uploading a picture or graphic to a social network of any kind. When you want to make a positive, professional, and lasting impression to online visitors, followers, and prospective customers, you only have one opportunity to do so when a user accesses your social pages or your official website. Professional, high-quality photos are essential to avoid missing out on a potential opportunity to garner interest in your business and brand or to appeal to new potential customers and online followers. Some of the important aspects to keep in mind when uploading a new picture or sharing photos within a post you make on social networking platforms include:
Most smartphones and professional-grade digital cameras today include a grid function or feature that is built-in to the device itself. Using a grid function when taking a picture to upload to your social networking platforms is a way to ensure the picture is level and that your target has been properly highlighted and effectively centered. Each picture has the ability to spread multiple messages, which is why the placement, position, and leveling of a photograph all play a pivotal role in how your picture is likely to come out and appear to others once it has been uploaded and published online.
Even if you have a top-notch professional camera, it is best to avoid zooming when you are taking a photograph to be edited or used on your social profiles. Zooming can distort images and lower the quality of photos altogether, which can cause your business or brand to appear unprofessional or unrefined upon first visit or glance.
Adding filters to your social platform photos can be extremely tempting, especially if you believe they enhance the original photo's look and overall aesthetic. However, it is important to always choose and use filters wisely, and only if they are suitable for your brand and the type of users you want to reach.
If you are attempting to reach an older crowd of users or elders who access the internet, using filters may not be as wise, as they may find them confusing or misleading. However, if your brand's uploads are not relevant to the actual products and services you offer and you want to reach a young and more trendy audience, using a filter on your uploaded photos can significantly increase the number of views or engagements each of your posts and uploads receive.
Lighting matters, especially when sharing imagery on social networks. Without proper lighting, it becomes increasingly difficult to captivate users and to catch the eye of those scrolling their social feeds. When taking a picture to use on social networks, it is highly advisable to do so in a location where there is natural lighting or where there is lighting that is sufficient to avoid disrupting the flow and purpose of the picture you are taking itself.
The best pictures used on social platforms such as Facebook or Instagram that go viral often tell a story, even if the story is not entirely or innately personal to the viewer or user themselves. Telling a story with each picture you use on social networking platforms can help you to better connect with your audience and those you want to follow your business and brand. Effective brand marketers understand the power a photograph holds, which is why choosing the right subject, message, aesthetic, filter, and even the proper hashtags can ultimately mean the difference between failure and success when it comes to online marketing and the power of social networking platforms.
Once you have become familiar with using social networking platforms to build brands and businesses, it is much easier to craft working and effective marketing campaigns. Using an editor for the photos you upload to social platforms is another way to add your flair and style to an image before allowing it to be shared publicly. Use editors to implement your preferred style, aesthetic, and branding with each graphic or photograph you use to boost your social presence online.
Knowing how to properly and effectively navigate social media goes a long way with establishing a brand and its credibility and reputation online. Once you feel comfortable and confident navigating various social networking platforms and communities, sharing unique, original, and relevant pictures, graphics, and other forms of media to your target audience and followers becomes easy and habitual. With the proper understanding of how to take a good photo for social networking and spreading awareness, maximize your online reach and your ability to share the message of your brand.