Perhaps the greatest change to the way in which we saw the internet came with social media. Allowing us to tailor and personalise such a broad based form of communication was seen as something incredible at the time, and to this day still is. Part of this personalisation was the presentation of images, whether they were our own, or ones that we were inspired by.

Beginning with MySpace (remember that?) Images began to take prominence in a world that was dominated by text at the time. As the evolution of better internet processing and quicker speeds progressed, we began to see the humble image as much more than a visual tool. The image reflected our thoughts, our feelings, and allowed us to convey these effectively.

For businesses using their own social media platforms, tapping into this aspect is the very foundation of a successful ad campaign. In this article – a follow up on the previous two chapters – we will be investigating exactly how you can make your images and brand stand out. The themes we will be exploring will be clarity, prominence, integrity, and positioning.

Common problems associated with using images

As the image has become a powerful tool for marketers, it has become a sort of test example for pushing the boundaries of what’s allowed. Whilst some of these experiments have been put to good use, and opened up new avenues for campaigns, there are some that have fallen flat. A quick glimpse around Facebook or Google+ will flag up some pitfalls of the image, of which include:

  • Non-sensical, or irrelevant images associated with the brand or post.
  • Poor quality images, including a duplication of the same image.
  • Good images being used in ways where their strengths are not emphasised.
  • Poor choice of colours or branding.

These common problems don’t just have an impact on the viewer, either. Facebook has made it quiter clear that it will no longer tolerate ill thought out posts – an attempt to avoid the “clutter” on a person’s news feed. If your image falls into the above categories, it will simply not be seen, and will be associated with a low reach.

When we talk about post reach, we are referring to the amount of times that your post on both platforms is served to your fans and their friends. Reach has become perhaps the most important aspect of any ad campaign, more so than likes. This is because, whilst likes may be an indicator of how popular your page is, the reach is showing how many people see your posts.

How to avoid these common pitfalls

When conceptualising your ad campaign on social media, consider the material that you want to discuss. Is it light hearted, or does it possess a more serious tone? Your images have to directly reflect the material that you are discussing. If say your business is a pizza restaurant, include images of your pizzas.

Utilising your products or services in this way will help enforce an idea onto the viewer of what your business is all about. Far too often, we see many pages using pure stock images, where the photos they have taken themselves would work much better. This use of products can include completed installations, work in progress photos, or even photos of the interior of your business.

Clarity is key

When we talk about clarity, we’re referring to the presentation of the image. Any image that you publish on your respective social media pages should be crystal clear and presentable. You wouldn’t present a potential customer with a crumpled pamphlet or flyer, so why do the same for your images on the internet?

Whilst some images may require editing, enhancing their clarity and visual quality often requires minimal adjustments. These adjustments don’t necessarily require Photoshop, either, as more standard image processors allow you to make these changes easily. Remember to make the focal point of your image clear to see, and consider using your branding, if need be.

Positioning and predominance

Facebook and Google+, in particular, are highly visual platforms. Facebook’s image display creates a pleasing aesthetic, akin to a collage, whilst the native interface found on Google+ allows you to create your own hierarchy. Utilising the strengths of both platforms will go a long way to boosting your reach organically, and making your page that little bit more attractive.

For Facebook, your strongest image (the one that relates to your content more) should be the very first picture that you upload, followed by others as support. Facebook’s collage effect will reflect this, and will display this picture and its supporting visuals akin to a display pamphlet. This effect resonates with viewers, who will be more likely to scroll through and engage with your post.

The grid like interface of Google+ is perhaps your strongest asset. Take the time to carefully craft your profile page, so that material you are discussing is broken down into individual posts, reflecting a workflow. A line of relevant images will showcase your content in brilliant fashion, and will also encourage those viewing to engage more with your posts.

Overall, however, make your images unique. Visuals are the strongest identifier of the human brain, and we receive images better than any other medium of communication. Your images should always be about expressing yourself, the message of your company, and what you can offer those who come across your company.

That’s it for our three part series. We hope that you learnt a lot about how to construct cover photos, positioning brand imagery, and everything else that we have covered. Do you have any more questions regarding the design process for social media? Ask below, and we’ll be more than happy to help you out!

Perhaps the greatest change to the way in which we saw the internet came with social media. Allowing us to tailor and personalise such a broad based form of communication was seen as something incredible at the time, and to this day still is. Part of this personali...

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