We all know that posting photos on Facebook can earn you the greatest exposure and interaction rates of all types of content. Because of this, virtually every social media authority will advise that you post as many photos as possible to maximize the reach of your brand.
Beyond increasing your EdgeRank to maximize the odds of your content showing up at the top of your fans’ newsfeeds, it’s important to acknowledge the importance that photos play in the greater context of your social media marketing plan so that you can fully exploit their power.
So, what are all of those pictures doing for your brand and social media marketing efforts?
PROVE YOUR BRAND PROMISE
As the old adage goes, talk is cheap; and this is one of the reasons why photos can be so valuable. Instead of telling your brand’s story with words and text, documenting and showcasing your story with photographs will lead to greater believability and buy-in from your consumers. Proving your brand’s promise can be incredibly powerful.
GIVE YOUR CONSUMERS SOMETHING TO IDENTIFY WITH
Photographs give your consumers greater opportunity to identify with your brand by giving them context that is impossible to communicate with written social media updates. Giving consumers the ability to visualize themselves in the photos you share can be emotionally appealing, aspirational and inspiring.
Unlike other types of content, there is no degradation of experience with photos across desktop and mobile platforms. Particularly on mobile platforms, text can be difficult to read at small point sizes, video can result in long load times on cellular networks, and audio can be difficult to hear without headphones. Photos retain their appeal and impact, no matter what device they are being viewed on.
CATER TO SHORT ATTENTION SPANS
Text takes time to read and videos take time to watch. A photo can be absorbed, understood and evaluated in a split second by your consumers, which is particularly valuable in a world of diminishing attention spans and judgment being passed in a heartbeat. Photos give your brand instant impact.
EASE OF PRODUCTION
Particularly when compared to video, even professional photographs are relatively efficient to produce. Photos can be taken in a snap (sorry, had to), and don’t cost as much because of the limited number of people and equipment required for their production. Also, it’s entirely acceptable for brands to post amateur photographs, which obviously require little to no cost to produce.
INCREASE YOUR POOL OF CONTENT CREATORS
Virtually everyone has a camera on their person at all times, which means anyone in your organization can be a content creator. The simplicity of shooting and sharing photos mitigates various barriers associated with organization-wide content creation including a general distaste for change, and reluctance from employees to increase their workload.
What should you take from this?
Well, it’s pretty simple: even beyond increasing your Facebook updates EdgeRank, Photos are incredibly important to your social media marketing. The real trick is that in order to have compelling photographs to share with your community, you’ll need to: 1) actually be doing things in the real world that are interesting to your consumers, and 2) be disciplined to document those things. Chances are that you’re already doing a multitude of things that your consumers will find interesting – you are still in business after all – so work on identifying opportunities for taking photographs, and shoot away.
Finally, get your entire organization involved. You represent a single perspective within your company and you can’t be everywhere at the same time. Getting everyone involved will yield a higher frequency of amazing photo opportunities.
What role do photos play in your social media strategy?
Does your organization have a plan in place to encourage content creation?
As always, it would be great to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial