There is no doubt that images are powerful tools that evoke emotion. They can invoke a happy or sad feeling and can take it a step further by appealing to a feeling of trust, of authenticity, of luxury and elegance.
The same goes for the images that you use on your social media profiles. The images that you choose to use will influence the way people feel about your business and the way they perceive it – images can convey a feeling of professionalism or inexperience, for example. Images can also convey that you are a strategic and considerate business, or the type that “just wings it”.
Those unfamiliar with your brand and service will compare your brand’s online image with those of your competitors, ultimately leading to assumptions about your company’s authenticity and quality of service.
Content with images gets 94% more views than content without, so it’s important to be using visuals with every social media post.
There are, however, some guidelines to keep in mind:
#1 - Use the Right Size Image
Every social media platform has different dimensions you must use for the images you share. To avoid your images appearing distorted or having them cropped in the wrong places, it’s best to follow their guidelines and resize your images accordingly.
We’ve compiled a size cheat sheet for the top social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
You no longer have an excuse for posting pixelated, blurry pictures!
#2 - Consistency
Be consistent with the cover images and profile pictures used across all your platforms. By keeping them all the same, viewers can clearly see that the profiles represent the same company. Through consistency, you can also start building a brand that people can immediately recognise and identify.
You can take this further by being consistent with your use of colour, style and image filters, thereby reinforcing your brand.
A company that does this particularly well is Coca-Cola and Heineken. When you look at their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles, you can clearly notice the consistency.
NOTE: Both Coca Cola and Heineken create an identifiable "look" through their image use. You can note this by their use of colour, branding and photography style across the different platforms.
#3. Colours and Filters
Many new or small- to medium-size businesses don't have the resources right away to commission photoshoots to build up an image library to rival the likes Heineken or Coca-Cola.
There are creative ways to get around this. For one, you can source images from free stock sites like Pixabay or Pexels. You can adjust the colours of these images or add filters to give them a unique look that ties in with your overall brand identity.
Note: While useful and effective, stock images are very generic and are widely recycled, which can make them less impactful. So, once you get the hang of selecting good images, it’s a good idea to then move to creating some of your own images. There are a number of free tutorials online to assist you in this process.
#4. Style of Images This one will require a little more effort from your side, but it will differentiate your brand from the amateurs!
Imagery style evolves with time and there are well styled and badly styled images. Every so often, the style of imagery that is popular or on trend changes – so keep an eye on this. By keeping your social pages and brand up to date in this way, you will always remain current.
With your brand in mind, consider the type of image that you want to use – is it a lifestyle or animated image, for instance, or perhaps it’s a product shot? There is no reason you can’t use a combination of images, but just be sure that the style (i.e lighting, colouring, focus, etc) is consistent across all your images.
With these basic tips, you should be well on your way to establishing a brand for your business – one that attracts and appeals to your audience and remains consistent.