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The Scoop on Image-Based Social Media

01.07.2015 / Posted in Articles, Social Media

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words.

Pictures can convey much more in a shorter period of time than text-based tweets and posts. In a world where thousands of brands are competing for attention from the same consumers on a regular basis, getting your message across in a short period of time is becoming increasingly important.

As a solution, a new generation of social media was born. Platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat put images front and center. While image-based social media can be an invaluable tool for your company, it can also have a negative effect on how consumers perceive your brand if done incorrectly.

Keep these rules of thumb in mind and you’ll be an Insta-pro (or a Pin- or Snap-pro!) in no time.

Back to the Basics

Before you start posting or pinning, make sure you have the right pictures!

Everything you post should be in high resolution. If your image includes text, make sure that it is easy to read. For apps like Snapchat, users have a maximum of ten seconds to see your picture, so your message needs to be easily absorbed. Even if the image is permanent, no one wants to spend five minutes figuring out what your picture says—it’s time consuming and defeats the purpose of these platforms.

Pay attention to what types of pictures get the best reactions. Did you know that vertical pictures are repinned more often on Pinterest than horizontal pictures? (That’s because vertical pictures look better on mobile devices—and they tend to take up more room in searches.) People also respond better to pictures with warm hues than they do to cooler tones.

Don’t Turn Your Account into a Sales Pitch

Posting pictures that look like they’re straight out of a catalog or an ad is a sure way to lose followers. Image-based social media provides a unique opportunity to connect with your followers—not to serve as just another platform for advertising.

Instead, share pictures that users won’t see anywhere else, such as “behind-the-scenes” photos. Images that show consumers new ways to use your products are another great idea. For example, if you own a clothing store, share pictures of outfits you put together using items you have in stock.

By creating value through your pictures, you will gain—and ultimately keep—more loyal followers.

Maintain Your Fan Base

Once you’ve generated interest, it’s important to stay at the forefront of your consumers’ minds. For Instagram and Pinterest, be sure to post regularly—at least once a day, if possible.

However, frequency is not as important as quality. It is better to post great pictures once or twice a week than to post mediocre pictures multiple times a day.

Make sure you engage with your consumers. Repin or repost relevant pictures from your followers. Has your fan base come up with its own hashtag for your product? Use it to describe some of your pictures. Doing so shows that you’re genuinely interested in what your followers have to say, which will help you develop deeper connections with them.

Before You Launch…

Remember: To be successful on these platforms, you need to generate a lot of photographic content. Make sure you have systems in place to generate this content before you launch (such as a dedicated photographer or a member of your creative team who will create special images).

Now that you know how to take advantage of image-based social media, it’s time to get out there and start showcasing your brand’s creativity!

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