How to use images on social media to promote your business
Using captivating visuals with your social media posts can make a huge difference to the quality and impact of your content.
There are many ways to utilise interesting photographs or video clips on Facebook and Twitter, but the huge rise in popularity of platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram just goes to show how popular visual media has become.
The main worry for many small business owners when it comes to using images on their own website and within social media is that they think they should take their own photographs, and may not consider themselves be a natural photographer. Even if they were good with a camera, they believe they would struggle to find enough interesting things to photograph in the first place!
Lets face it, who would want to see endless photos of your office or workplace, especially if your work environment is not very visually stimulating to begin with. But you don’t have to be David Bailey to come up with interesting visuals for your content, and you don’t have to take every single picture yourself.
Use Free Images for your Website and Content
If you would really struggle to create your own original visuals, then you can turn to the internet to find some inspiring and creative images that you can use to your advantage. There are many media sites that offer either free to use or paid for images, depending on your available marketing budget – and yes, you can add visuals to your website and social media posts without spending a single penny!
It is interesting to know that since Facebook launched, over 219 billion photographs have been uploaded and shared. Although the majority of photographs shared on Facebook will be personal snaps from family holidays, celebrations and special events, you still could be criminally liable for posting someone else’s photo without their express permission! If you post a photo you didn’t shoot yourself, you could be violating someone’s copyright.
Beware of Copyright when using images
Admittedly there are certain difficulties that you may come across when searching out appropriate images to use, and due to copyright laws you are not allowed to randomly pick and use any image that takes your fancy. So your best move would be to seek out sites that offer royalty free stock images that carry no copyright licence.
If you have some available money to buy stock images, and you really want to invest in some high quality visuals for your business use, then try places like iStock and Shutterstock for some truly professional shots that will deliver the impact that you need.
If you have no budget whatsoever, then there are a few free stock sites that you can try, but always check the small print on the images you want to use to see if there are any attributes that you need to include when using the image. You may be able to use the image for free, but only on condition that the photographer is credited for their work, and they also may need to be notified of your intended use for their work.
Try sites such as freeimages.com and MorgueFile.com for some very good quality images, many of which you can also use to modify further to suit your needs.
DIY Images and video content
If you have a bit of artistic flair yourself, and are quite handy with a desktop publishing package and a photo editing suite, you can turn your talents towards creating your own visuals if camera equipment really isn’t your thing. You can create your own infographic images, vector images, or even photo-shop your own handy work from your own camera snaps to create something unique and eye-catching.
Video content is even more accessible now than ever before, and can be a great way to add interest to your social media posts. If you are happy in front of the camera, then why not shoot your own content that you can upload direct to your website or social media platforms.
Online and mobile video can really draw in your audience, and new research has shown that video adverts are five times more engaging to people visiting your website than traditional banner ads.
More prospective customers than ever are now using smart phones and mobile devices such as tablets to access the internet, so you want to ensure your website is mobile friendly if you really want to benefit from using photographs and video as part of your marketing efforts.
Don’t overdo it
If you are using WordPress for your blog or website, then using images will certainly be beneficial, but you must choose your media wisely. Including too many images, or ones that are too large will certainly slow down your site, and could potentially put off visitors from staying on your site for any length of time. Check the size of your images during your upload to your site, and choose an appropriate size that will enhance your post rather than dominate it.
Hopefully these tips have helped you to understand how images and video can help your small business presence to grow on social media platforms.