Social Media Management

How to Choose the Best Social Media Photos for Your Business

Visual elements are a fantastic way to earn your customer’s attention and enhance your brand appearance online.

Social media is one of the most powerful tools your company has.

With the right social profiles, you can connect with your audience on a deeper level, create a better brand reputation, and even generate more traffic for your site. Unfortunately, with so many other companies also active online, it can be tough to stand out.

Visual elements are a fantastic way to earn your customer’s attention and enhance your brand appearance online. On Facebook alone, images earn 2.3 times more engagement than text-based posts. It’s not just Facebook where images are essential either. Many modern social channels, like Instagram, Pinterest, and more, rely on images too.

So, how do you choose the best social media photos for your business?

The following tips will help.

Step 1: Know the Guidelines for Each Platform

First, it’s important to know that every social media platform has rules for how you can post your images. Checking the image sizes for things like your Instagram profile picture, or your Facebook cover photo is crucial to making sure they look their best. Here are some of the basic social media image sizes you need to know, measured in pixels:

  • Facebook profile picture: 180 x 180
  • Facebook cover photo: 820 x 312
  • Facebook shared images: 1200 x 630
  • Twitter profile: 400 x 400 (displays 200 x 200)
  • Twitter in-stream photos: 1200 x 675
  • Instagram profile: 110 x 110
  • Instagram images: 1080 x 1080
  • Instagram stories: 1080 x 1920
  • LinkedIn profile: 300 x 300
  • LinkedIn shared image: 1200 x 627

Remember that social media guidelines can change quite frequently. Checking the rules from time to time will help to ensure your photos don’t end up getting cropped in the wrong place.

Step 2: Use Bite-sized Images on Facebook

Once you know what size your photos should be, it’s time to think about how you can position your photos to get the most attention on each platform. According to research from Convince and Convert, on Facebook, you’re better off showing “part of a person”, rather than a full body shot. A hand with a ring is better for a jewelry company than a ring on its own, for instance.

Partial images perform 29% better than images with a full person. Experts say this is because seeing part of a body helps the customer to visualize themselves wearing or interacting with the object.

At the same time, your Facebook images should be bright, clear, and lively. According to 2018 studies, Facebook images need to be well-lit, and easy to understand. Don’t get too artistic with these photos.

Step 3: Experiment with Personality on Instagram

Instagram and Facebook may be owned by the same company, but the way you use photos on this platform should be quite different. One thing the two platforms do have in common is that brighter, well-lit images often get the best results. However, unlike Facebook, Instagram photos often work best when they have a single dominant color, a lot of texture, and low saturation.

Research reveals that Instagram customers love soft, faded colors in photos, often on the blue end of the spectrum. It’s also worth thinking about your photos on Instagram as part of a whole, rather than a single image. Remember, customers can see your photos as part of a grid when they’re on Instagram. Making sure the grid looks consistent, with a specific theme is important.

Using your Instagram Insights, you should be able to figure out which photos your customers like the most on your Instagram feed. Use this information to guide future pictures.

Step 4: Get Professional on LinkedIn

If you’re running a B2B company, or you’re trying to build your personal brand, you’ll need to know how to use photos on LinkedIn too. Once again, lighting is key here. Make sure that it’s easy to see exactly what’s going on in your shot.

Like Instagram, profile pictures on LinkedIn can appear quite small, so it’s best to avoid having too much going on in your image. For the majority of people, a professional headshot will work best. Make sure you look sophisticated and well-presented and avoid anything in the background that may distract your viewers.

If you’re running a social media profile on LinkedIn for an entire business, a picture of your logo might be a good alternative to a basic headshot of the CEO.

Step 5: Learn the Basics of Good Photography

Even once you know the tips and tricks for making your images stand out on each social media profile, you’ll still need to learn how to take a good photograph. In some cases, your best option will be to simply pay for a photographer to do the work for you. Professional headshots are often more compelling on Twitter and LinkedIn, for instance.

If you’re taking your shots yourself, remember to:

Light the space correctly: Plenty of lighting will always make a photo look more professional. Make sure that the space you choose is properly lit and avoid adding too much artificial light.

Use angles appropriately: Experiment with angles to get a different perspective for your photo. Don’t shoot a subject from eye level and avoid any images of yourself that start from the bottom, looking up.

Create symmetry: The rule of thirds is a big deal in photography. Imagine your photo being split into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. Ensure there’s plenty of white space surrounding the subject in the photo.

Highlight the brand: Where possible, it’s always a good idea to implement parts of your brand image into your social media photos. Brand colors and logos can work well here, particularly if you’re snapping shots for something like LinkedIn.

Always take multiple shots: Taking more than one shot will give you various options to choose from when you get to the editing stage of selecting your social media photo. The more shots you have, the easier it is to find a good one.

Don’t forget about the editing part of choosing the ideal photo too. You can crop your images to get rid of anything you don’t want in the photo, and even use things like filters on Instagram. Don’t go overboard with the editing though, your photo still needs to look natural.

Choosing your Social Media Photos

Whether you’re choosing a new social media profile picture, or you’re sharing snapshots on your social feed, learning how to use your visuals correctly is crucial. The tips above should help you to master your visual presence on some of the top social media platforms.

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