It's no secret: social media is very much heading in a visual direction. The meteoric rise of Pinterest is one indicator, and Facebook's purchase of Instagram is another. In addition, more and more consumers are browsing the web in a visual way, on tablets and other mobile devices.
What this means for you as a marketer is that you can take advantage of the new visual revolution by getting in at whatever level you can. Even today's mobile phones have decent cameras, and you can get interesting and creative photo apps for little or no cost. So even if you don't have the big budget to hire a professional photographer, you can still participate.
In fact, keeping your photos casual and spontaneous can actually help you when it comes to social media. Sure, if you're taking photos of your products for your website, you may want to put in a little more effort or hire someone professional to do the job. On your Facebook page or Pinterest boards, however, your audience wants to see more of your human side. Phone snaps of your office, your staff, and what goes on behind the scenes are great ways to connect with your customers.
There may be some additional social benefits to keeping your photography simple. When photos are too glossy or obviously professionally produced, often the authenticity of these photos is brought into question. When you're taking photos with your phone and uploading them to social media in almost-real-time, it gives off an air of genuineness, even if the photos aren't of the highest technical standard. More important is the feeling that you're sharing something with your audience that helps them get to know who you are and what your business is about.
Never underestimate the potential for starting a conversation and getting people interested with a photograph. A 200-word description of your new product or service may be replaced and indeed improved upon with a simple teaser photo that shows what the product looks like, or how the service looks in action. Massage therapy is a great example of this - when you read about different massages, they pretty much all sound the same, but when you see a photo of someone getting a luxurious massage treatment, you immediately want one. This can apply to just about any product or service, though, so use your imagination to make what you offer look as enticing as possible.
How much are photos factoring into your current social media marketing strategy?