Images and video work extremely well on social media. In fact, according to recent research shared by Hubspot, images get 53% more interaction than a purely text based post. So how do you choose images to use on social media?
First and foremost, the images that you share on social media should be your own, or you should have permission to use them. That means that you cannot simply pull images off the internet, because it is effectively image based plagiarism if you try to pass something off as your own. Many people rave on about top of the range cameras for professional photography, but personally, I think that a modern iPhone or smartphone can do a good enough job, and make it easier to share.
If you do not have your own images, you can ask permission from photographers to use their work, and agree to credit them for the image. You can also use an image that is under a Creative Commons lisence. Creative commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing of you photography and creative work on conditions of your choice. People sharing images under a creative commons license can specify, for example, a photographer can specify that their image is for ‘non-commercial use’ or that if it is used for commercial purposes it credits the photographer for their work.
No, not all images hold the same weight on social media. Some social media images are much more successful than others. It is important that you consider the audience of the social network that you are sharing on, and use different social media images for different networks. Think carefully about who your audience is and what images would be relevant for them. For example, a travel Facebook page would appeal to backpackers and travellers who would want to see good travel photography. The Twitter account of a dog grooming salon might be successful sharing cute memes (images with captions) or tweeting photos of their clients (with permission, of course). The only way to truly know what your audience is interested in is to try different images and see what works.
If a picture is a thousand words, a video is a thousand pictures! Always consider whether it is appropriate to use video instead of an image. When using video, remember that most viral videos are less than 1 minute 30 seconds long. Over two minutes? It could be too long!
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