In this social media age, visual imagery can make or break businesses. Business owners need to harness the power of social media because it is here to stay. Social media has revolutionised the way we connect with people and became a dominant marketing tool for businesses. There is now big pressure to get visual imagery right. But getting it right with images can be a lottery, unless you know what you are aiming for. It is our human nature to create relationships and connections with others and social media has provided us with the fastest and most economical method to do just that on a commercial level. Social media is all about showing the human side of your business and connecting with your audience.
“Photo sharing and connecting with your audience through various social media sites is now a way of life,” says Capture Magazine, Australia’s Top-Selling Pro Photography Magazine.
Customers are not interested in what businesses claim they do, they want to know who you are and if they can be friends with you.
“As brands we should want people to like us, to share our values, to feel validated by doing business with us. How are we supposed to get them to do this if we don’t connect with them on a human level?” says Bryan Eisenberg, Professional Speaker, Best Selling Author and Online Marketing Pioneer.
In the past, the more formal and stylised the photos, the more trust you had in the businesses. Now it’s the exact opposite – casual and humorous is what people relate to. That is evident by the 300 million or so images that are uploaded to Facebook everyday. If you look at some of the most successful media campaigns, the photos capture the essence and personality of the organisation, not a formal front. Businesses like Virgin and Australia Post are really leading the way here.
Business in the social media age is a two-way communication.
Gone are the days where businesses controlled the market. Customers are much more savvy nowadays. Now your business needs to engage your audience to communicate with you.
For a business to get their audience to respond well to their branding and photographs, they should consider the following:
- Think about your brand and the core values of your company.
- Are you fun, creative, practical, knowledgeable, conservative, forward-thinking?
- Does your photography communicate these qualities?
- Your target market.
- What images do they want to see?
- What images stimulate their imagination, shifts their perceptions or engages them to communicate with you?
- Keep it simple and consistent.
- The simpler the image, the better. Keep the focus of the image on one subject.
- Keep your photographic style consistent, so as to not confuse the market what your business is. This is crucial if you are new in the market and trying to establish your brand.
- Do not be perfect, be different.
- Our human nature tells us that nobody is perfect so do not always boast your perfection because people cannot relate to that.
- What is unique about your business? What is your unique message?
- A picture tells a 1000 words.
- Show behind-the-scenes images of the CEO and staff at work.
- Images that show interaction between staff or staff and clients.
- Stay away from the clinical stock library images.
- Show images of clients using the product/services.
- Show people in the photos even if the business is product based.
- Show ‘real’ people in the photos. Do not use models.