Most people that run a business today know you pretty much have to be on social media in order to be successful.
However, just creating your business profiles isn’t enough. To get anything out of social media, you have to regularly post content that people find engaging.
Research shows that posts with photography get more interaction than posts without. If you’re a small business owner, that means posting photography is a must, and posting original photography is a better route than posting Google image search results.
We talked to a few local photographers to get their expert insight on how businesses can leverage photos to increase their engagement on social media – and ultimately their sales. Here’s what they had to say:
Tip 1: Post often
Local professional headshot photographer Vincent Lopez suggests businesses that are just getting started with posting photos should focus more on posting regularly than trying to post the perfect picture.
“In the beginning stages of your business it’s definitely about quantity,” Lopez says. “Now, when you have time and a body of work under your belt then you can pick and choose what you post. The longer you are out there working, the more you can post work based on quality.”
Tip 2: Treat photos as an extension of your brand
When it comes to posting original photo content, you should treat it as a part of your company brand and overall content strategy. For example, if your brand is based on precision and attention to detail, the photos you post to your feed should tend to focus on intricate details.
With respect to the photography itself, not all pics are created equal. Local street photographer Brianna Robinson told us it is critical for your photography to have a graphic impact.
“As a street photographer, I walk around and I wait until something grabs my attention, whether it’s a reflection of light, contrasting colors, a repeating shape or leading lines to emphasize direction of focus,” she said. “I would make sure that any post has a graphic impact. Because a dull or flat or a monotone picture isn’t going to grab the attention of your viewers.”
Tip 3: Take inspiration from similar brands – locally and nationally
If you’re having a hard time figuring out what type of content that is most likely to engage your viewers, take a look at what your competitors are posting and pay close attention to which types of photos earn the most engagements. While you don’t want to copy their photos, there’s nothing wrong with using them as inspiration for your own compositions. Most companies find that behind-the-scenes looks, inspirational quotes, worker profiles, product previews and artistic arrangements get the most engagement from followers.
Tip 4: Give yourself options
Once you’ve taken your pictures, there’s still work to be done. Local photographer Christopher Lestak, a regular contributor to Step Out Buffalo says editing and processing photos are essential steps.
“When you shoot in RAW mode it’s a given that the images will need editing and processing,” he says. “Almost every image can stand to be touched-up to some extent. Slight rotation and cropping or adjusting brightness, contrast, white balance, etc. can win you substantial improvements.
“I also recommend taking many, many pictures. Keep snapping away as you change angles, zoom and the distance between you and your subject. Later, you can take your pick of the best and process those.”
Tip 5: Create a vibe – and stick to it
While it isn’t a do-or-die rule, you should try to apply the same look and feel to all of your photos. Some popular Instagram feeds tend to feature a soft focus and white backdrop. Other popular accounts use sharp contrast and brilliant colors. Pick a look and feel that best suits your brand.
Tip 6: Keep posts and use your social profiles as a “catalog”
Whether you’re just starting out or even a more established business, Lopez says it’s important to continue posting and not get discouraged by what seems like low numbers of Likes.
“It doesn’t matter if you are not getting 100+ likes on a photo, what matters is that you are building your portfolio,” he says. “When the time comes and an individual or company is looking for new headshots, I have a greater chance of getting hired than those who don’t post work on a regular basis. I post headshots on my page constantly, and I never get more than 30 likes most of the time, but guess what? I have a constant stream of clientele that pay me to make them look their best.”