Your company's social media presence is more important now than ever and that's not going to change anytime soon. Although it depends on where you live, visual-based social media is rising in popularity. Instagram is the most popular channel for visual content, but Tumblr and even Facebook and Twitter posts with images are becoming a big source for establishing your presence and to remind people you exist.
Here are some of our best tips to take your visuals to the next level. Our goal here is to let you know of the things you need to think about:
Choosing what goes on your feed is important. You want a nice variety of images that are relevant to your followers. If you have a yoga studio, you might want a rotation of subjects from healthy food/juice pictures, beautiful yoga poses, artistic nature shots, inspirational picture quotes and relevant local businesses. This positions you as a lifestyle brand. This way, students will look up to you as a source of inspiration, keeping them coming back for more.
*Photo by Jason Howie.
Composition and Lighting
Composition and lighting are the two things that make photos look professional or not. Take a look at your favourite Instagram accounts and see how they compose their pictures. Zoomed out is usually better than zoomed in. Symmetry and balance are things to think about, as well as the rule of thirds and the golden spiral. Don't worry, we will be delving deeper into these rules to get your shots looking professional in no time.
One thing you can easily improve on is lighting. Natural lighting is king. The clarity and detail in your shot of a well-lit picture trumps any used with artificial lighting (unless you're using studio lighting). There is no time that your flash will be effective. If you have a second phone, use the phone's flashlight setting to create a secondary source of light instead.
Much of a photo’s finish comes from the editing. Although you can use Photoshop to really fine tune, we've found that there are numerous mobile apps that will do the job with less time and training. Our personal favourite is VSCOcam. Go through the filters and fine tune the image. The most important factors are exposure, contrast, temperature, shadows, saturation and sharpness. Keep experimenting to see what works for you but sharp images with the right temperature balance (whites should be white, not yellow) tend to get a better response from people.
Hashtags & Outreach
Find relevant hashtags to tag your images so the public can find you. When someone clicks a hashtag, they will see all images on Instagram with that specific hashtag. Find images from successful Instagram accounts and see what they hashtag. Large, established accounts may not need the boost of exposure from hashtagging but, when you're starting out, it's a great way to get noticed.
Collaborations & Guest Posts
To get your account noticed, collaborate with other relevant businesses on a photoshoot, or make a deal to share each others' products. This way you use cross promotion to get both of your names out there. Hiring a well-known Instagrammer to take over your account is another great way of getting you exposure. You could always offer them free classes to offset the costs of hiring their expertise.
There can be many different aspects to think about but practice really does make perfect. Take a look at the accounts of people who you find appealing and have a big following and see what they do. Keep adjusting, and you'll have a great looking visual social media feed in no time.