For business brand building in today’s visually oriented e-world, a picture is worth far more than a thousand words. On your blog and on the ever-growing array of social media platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Linkedin, OpenSky, Google+, Ustream, Vimeo, Tumblr, Flickr, and more), you have only a few seconds to show people who you are, what you do, and why they should work with you.
The fast and easy solution: clickable images. They tell your story at-a-glance, allow folks to click on a picture, and then navigate to a website or landing page to learn more.
Each brand-building online image is like a sci-fi “wormhole,” a shortcut through time and space that speeds up your marketing cycle, gets visitors to “like” you, and allows them to visually share, curate, and discover new interests and resources in a flash. (As an added benefit, graphics make your company more “human” and approachable making engagement higher.)
And, photos aren’t the only graphic images you can use. You can also incorporate drawings, infographics, charts, maps, screen capture shots, historical prints, postcards, and text that’s designed as an image as well as videos.
We’ve been applying these proven marketing tricks-of-the-trades at Solamar in our own social media and with our clients. Now we want to share the best-of-the-best picture perfect tips:
Keep It Simple and Personal
David Lee King, author of face2face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections, recommends taking photos of: your products, people attending your seminars and using your services, or using lifestyle, royalty-free stock photo shots and posting any or all of them on the social networks that are used by most of your customers. Share images of new developments you’re excited about. Your enthusiasm inspires your customers–especially if they can see what you’re excited about.
No need to worry about having the most expensive camera, either. An inexpensive digital camera or your iPhone or smartphone will do the job. Get up close to your subject and make sure to fill the frame with the image. In many cases, images uploaded to social media sites will be viewed in a small, thumbnail-sized box first. So the subject of your photograph needs to be clearly visible, even at a small size.
Unless your business is photography, you don’t have to be super-picky about the quality of the pictures you post. Your followers don’t expect award-winning shots. The important thing is that you’re sharing interesting visual content.
Stay Casual and Friendly
Use images that tell a story of who you are and what your business does. Ask your followers for photos to get them involved. Have fun and make people laugh so they tell their friends. It’s no secret that posts with images get more responses—more likes, comments, and sharing. (Our customers have reported increases of 50%, 60%, even 70%).
South Oak Title and Closing Services, a Solamar Client, offered Text2Sell as an innovative and friendly new way for their realtor customers to reach buyers via text messaging. They featured the story with pictures on their blog. Additionally, their Facebook page shows photos of their team with customers and even realtor appreciation cupcakes.
Use Images That Help Customers and Prospects
When you post an image, make sure it’s something your customers and prospects would want to see and that gives them more information about you. For example, you show pictures of your services, your products or your staff solving problems. And be sure to associate appropriate text with your images…don’t give them generic names like, 12345.jpg. Make names and descriptions key word rich.
Our client Tracy Nicolas gets parents involved with anti-bullying through her helpful YouTube video posts on her website.
Let Your Emotions Show
On social media, the posts that grab the most attention are the ones that generate an emotional response. You want your images to spark a reaction (hopefully, a positive one like an “aww” or a “lol” or a “wow”).
Our client and social media guru Andrea Vahl is an excellent role model on how to have fun with social media images and make it all work. Look at all ways she taps into a wide variety of outlets, especially her informative blog posts and how she cleverly incorporates her social media “edutainer” alter-ego, Grandma Mary.
Find out what your ideal customers are “Liking” on social networks. Where are they “checking in” on their mobile devices? What products and services have they looked at on your website? This can help you understand your customers’ path to purchase and then you can take advantage of opportunities for creating interactions with them and sharing graphic images that are more relevant and meaningful.
Check out what other successful image builders are posting and pinning. A great resource is this post from the Marketing Profs site featuring Nine Pinterest Boards to Inspire Your Company’s Pinning (which also includes a few examples of what NOT to do).
Share Images From Others…And Give Them Credit
Don’t do it all by yourself. A great way to show some love to your fans and followers is to share their awesome content, including graphics and images, with your networks. Just make sure to give credit where credit is due.
Don’t Let Them Forget Who You Are…Post Often
Keeping up on your posting can feel like a lot of work but for many people, the pay off is worth it. That’s something you have to constantly monitor. If you are seeing a return then make sure you keep in consistent. Post new pictures on your social media platforms on a regular basis. If you’ve done a great job of building a community, people will begin to look forward to your posts and pix and check back to see what’s new.
Keep Linkedin In the Picture
Don’t forget to post graphics on your personal and company Linkedin pages, so they stand out and increase your social media exposure to business prospects. Content marketing specialist and our client, Rachna Jain, cleverly incorporates several clickable images that open to Slideshare slide presentations on her Linkedin page.
Still not sure if images can substantially build your brand and your following? Solamar client Gaby Bernstein’s multi-dimensional approach is a magnificent example of how social media can successfully bring it all together. Her graphic-loaded “her future” home page grabs the attention of her digital sisters, while her gabbyb.tv/ page links her peeps to eight different social media outlets keeping one and all involved in a wide range of ways.
With over 54,000 likes on Facebook, 70,000+ followers on Twitter, 623,000 on OpenSky, more than 20,000 on Instagram, and over 12,500 on Pinterest who share in a visual barrage of categories she and her evangelists love, these brand magnets are definitely working for her.
Don’t know where to start or what to do next? At Solamar we have the strategists and marketing expertise to help you map out a brand building plan that makes sense for you, whether it involves planning and executing a launch, developing content for your site, blog and social media channels…or even doing a complete overhaul of your brand. Connect with us on Facebook…and if you want to know more about how we can help you, contact us here.