Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine are three examples of visual-based content sharing. Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and even LinkedIn have all expanded their image-based features in recent times. Clearly, the bar has been raised for visual content.
It’s important to make sure you have a plan for visual content and best practices for sharing it. And you don’t have to be a professional designer or photographer. Here are 10 easy ways to impress prospects, customers, fans, and followers with images:
1. Make sure every blog post has an image
Adding one image to a blog post makes your blog much more visually exciting. If you don’t have internal images to use, buy stock images from places like Shutterstock or iStock (so you don’t have to worry about copyright infringement issues).
2. Add Twitter card capability to your blog
A little work by your tech team can add Twitter cards to your site, so that when someone shares content it will also include a thumbnail image and content excerpt. This automatically adds a visual element to every tweet done from your blog.
3. Use warm colors in images
Our own tests show that warm colors (yellow, orange, red, bright green, aqua blue) attract more attention than drab colors like gray, steel blue, or brown. It all has to do with the psychology of color.
4. Use minimalist or uncluttered images
Images with a lot of detail are hard to see when scaled down to a small thumbnail on Facebook. A highly detailed image can become unrecognizable at smaller sizes, so make sure the subject of an image is large and uncluttered.
5. Use horizontal images
Vertical images may get cut off when shared on social sites. It’s best to use horizontal images whenever possible. A 4:3 ratio is good, (e.g., 800 x 600 pixels).
6. Keep infographics short
Infographics can be interesting content, but when creating infographics, keep them short and horizontal, too, if possible. Most infographics are really long, and when shared on social media become unrecognizable as thumbnails. Plus long vertical infographics don’t fit well in Pinterest and other visual-sharing sites.
7. Use funny images on occasion
Funny images such as cartoons, Someecards or meme images of icons like Grumpy Cat from sites like memegenerator.net add a light and humorous touch to your social sharing. Most businesses will want to avoid off-color humor, snarky humor, or anything that makes fun of certain classes of people. Stick to “business humor,” as most of the time it is safer.
8. Use selfies (with restraint)
Selfies are fun, and the occasional selfie of the business owner or other staff or the company mascot pet can humanize your business. Use them sparingly, however, as studies show that most people follow brands on social sites for discounts, special offers, and relevant information they can use.
9. Test your own social-sharing buttons
Most blogs have buttons to share on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites. But have you tried them out recently to see what your shares look like? Sometimes you have to tweak those buttons to pull the correct images and display them properly.
10. Find some professional graphics talent
If you are not very good with Photoshop or another graphics program, and don’t have anyone in house, find a freelancer who accepts quick, small projects. Fiverr is perfect for this. Then have graphics created professionally on occasion to use on social media.
11. Create knockout presentations-;and share them
PowerPoint presentations can be shared on sites like SlideShare or even transformed into YouTube videos. So next time you give a talk or present to a client, repurpose that presentation and turn it into additional shareable content.