Images & Photos: How To Increase Their Social Media Effectiveness

7 Step Image Checklist To Ensure Social Media Results

Social Media image checklistImages and photographs are 2012’s top social media content format that’s driving engagement on both old social media platforms, like Facebook, as well as the new platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram. As a marketer, how do you ensure that this content works like glue to attract and convert prospects?

Here are seven tactics to make your use of images in social media more effective at engaging prospects and customers.

  1. Ensure you have the right to use the image. Images like written content are intellectual property (IP) and unless specifically indicated otherwise, you must have permission from the owner in order to use the image. When in doubt, check with your legal team or use another image. (I like using Flickr to find images since it allows users to select by Creative Commons licenses and commercial use policy.) Actionable Marketing Tip: Consider all potential uses for your images before photo shoots for advertising and other content needs so that you can create it at the same time. Also, get rights to use these additional photographs across online platforms including social media.
  2. Integrate your name and URL into your images. Don’t assume your information will always remain connected to your images. While some social media platforms like Pinterest expect participants to cite the original source, there are lots of reasons that the connection may not happen. Actionable Marketing Tip: Use a watermark or other means of placing your name and URL in the image. The objective is to ensure that viewers know it’s your image and can contact you.
  3. Incorporate branding into your images and photographs. Take a 360 degree view of your brand into the image so viewers can immediately recognize your product without thinking. Actionable Marketing Tip: Consider who represents your brand, what they’re doing, how your product appears and other related elements.
  4. Optimize images for search. Images need text associated with them to be findable on search engines. Actionable Marketing Tip: Include relevant information (and appropriate keywords) with your images.
  5. Choose large images since size counts. Based on research by Dan Zarella, larger images yield better results. This makes sense since larger or taller images remain on a user’s screen longer. Ensure that your images are optimized for load speed since you don’t want visitors to wait for them to open. Actionable Marketing Tip: Assess where you’re going to use your images and photographs. Consider the optimal size given the placement.
  6. Incorporate a call-to-action (where appropriate). Integrate a contextually relevant request to get your visitor to take the next action towards making the sale. While minimizing the number of steps between your image and the sale is critical, understand that, on social media platforms, it’s best to send prospects to your page on the social network site before trying to get them to leave and go to your site. Actionable Marketing Tip: Use contextually relevant wording to maximize response. (Note: Research has shown that calls-to-action don’t work well on Facebook.)
  7. Make images sharable. Where you own the image or photo and want to extend your reach, place social sharing buttons adjacent to the image. This can be done in Twitter effectively. Actionable Marketing Tip: Test how to make your images more sharable. Consider blogger outreach for images and infographics that are aligned with the audience. Alternatively use a platform like Flickr to share your images more broadly.

While images and photographs are this year’s social media darling, to ensure you maximize your reach and engagement, check that each image is aligned with these seven points.

Are there any other ways to ensure image reach and engagement effectiveness? If so, please share your thoughts.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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