Someone, somewhere, is staring at their computer screen wondering what images will pair perfectly with their social media posts. It’s probably you! ‘How do you know which images work best?’ Well, it depends on the situation. In fact, you won’t always use the ‘traditional photo.’ Here are some tips to make your decisions easier.
1. Choose an easy-to-use graphic design tool.
Sure, our graphic designers work with complex tools like Photoshop and Illustrator, but as social media managers, we LOVE using Canva. It’s super user friendly, affordable, and your design options are pretty much limitless. Templates are your friend! If you’re not comfortable building graphics by yourself, then opt for templates that include pre-chosen fonts, images, and colors. Or, edit any of those to match your brand more. *Don’t forget to add your logo!
2. Pull out your phone and take a photo or video.
Yup, get old fashioned. *Kind of. Literally get up and use your environment! Are you posting about a technique/service/product that you’re dying to let your customers know about? Show them and tell them. Take a clear, close up photo, use Instagram’s boomerang app, or shoot a short video simply having a conversation.
3. Find your favorite stock website.
Between Pexel, Unsplash, and Pixabay, you have a lot of options when it comes to stock image websites. Sometimes it’s not the photos or videos that you need, it’s inspiration. Be mindful that how you search for images greatly affects the results. Chances are, if you need something uber specific to your town, you may not find it. Look at the categories available on the site and mix up how you search. For example, if you need a photo to promote pet safety, search ‘pet,’ ‘dog,’ and ‘pet owner’ instead of only ‘pet safety.’
3. Opt for the animated visual.
It’s no secret that movement gets people’s attention. Imagine if you’re a coffee shop owner. It’s much more effective for you to use a gif of coffee being stirred with a cute caption than it would be for you to get a stock photo of a random coffee package. It’s harder to scroll past videos and gifs. Don’t worry, a lot of these are premade on sites like Canva and Crello. There’s even a nifty little website called https://ezgif.com/maker. You upload images, arrange and resize them when needed, export, and boom, you have a custom gif!
4. If all else fails, use a stock photo or video.
Sometimes you truly will have to rely on stock. Whether you’re in a time crunch, or the other methods that you’ve tried simply aren’t working, you’ll need help - and quick. Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to make your images pop and look realistic. A stock image, effective text, and a translucent background can go a long way! These are not your 2002 stock photos. They look better and are available to use at your leisure.
Above all else, keep it simple. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when crafting social media graphics is writing too much. Keep in mind that the visuals that you use will roll across people’s screens quickly. Three things need to happen when that occurs:
The person needs to stop scrolling, they must feel the need to inquire, and a resulting action must occur whether it’s saving your post, liking/commenting, calling, or visiting your website.
If we’re being honest, people won’t always follow through. Think about how you use social media. Sometimes you scroll really quickly to take your mind off of things. Often, when it comes to acquiring a service, you probably search for the business directly. And one of two things happen: You see something that’s interesting, and stick around, or you don’t, and close the page.
When thinking about what your customers want to see, consider your own social media patterns. Choose the images/visuals that’ll make them want to see more.