How to Leverage Photography for Your Social Media
When it comes to social media, the amount of times your content gets viewed - and customers you can get from that content - depends on how intriguing it is.
Did you post something controversial? Or a thing that reminds your viewers of something? Or, really, something that made the viewer feel anything?
It's evident that being successful for your business's social media marketing and advertising means creating content that resonates with the viewer. One of the best ways to do that is through using photography.
Are you looking to learn how to leverage photography for your brand? Keep on reading.
Photography Is at the Core of Marketing and Advertising
It's true that photography is firmly rooted in the ethos of marketing and advertising.
The reason why photography is core to marketing and advertising is that it is a very powerful tool for projecting a specific image or message.
In fact, it can be an extremely effective tool for introducing a new product or service, or for expressing long-living products and services.
Visual images often speak to the needs and wants of consumers all over the world.
Think of it this way: how do you imagine anything as an individual person? Your imagination is sparked by images in your head!
If you're someone who has wanderlust, you may go on sites such as Google Flights and imagine yourself traveling from one place to another.
Google Flights shows images of places that you want to fly to make you feel like you're going to be there in no time. The images that they choose to show also have meaning. A flight to London shows Big Ben, a flight to Paris shows the Champs-Élysées, and a flight to Vienna shows a palace of the Habsburg rulers.
Photography is about elucidating feeling. The feeling a user gets on Google Flights is the person imagining that they are flying to a destination before they make a purchase.
Google goes even further with photography to make the user vicariously travel to their destinations. Simply click on "Things to do," which is just above the "Flights" tab, and you'll see several images of places to see in that city and their images with summaries.
Another example of using photography is our site at Nos Praesenti. At Nos Praesenti, we use the photography we've taken for our customers to demonstrate the feeling of consuming our customers' products.
Google's travel site and our site comprise examples of product marketing. Let's dive into the use of photography and social media marketing.
Why Is Photography Important for Social Media?
As much as the world of social media has given us an opportunity to be creative in our means of self-expression, it also holds its own opportunities for creativity. It's only natural that we should explore how these two forms of expression can augment one another.
Whereas in product marketing companies use photography to give the feeling of using a product before purchasing, photography in social media is the same but uses social media as the tool of distribution.
In social media, there are two ways of utilizing photography. The first way is for your business's page and the second way is for ads.
When it comes to the social media page of your business, photography becomes the tool for communicating how your company does business. It's a way to express your brand to the customer. When the customer is on your social media page, the photography on it should speak to what it feels like to consume your product or service. Photography for social media marketing is for those who come to your page.
In contrast, photography in social media advertising is being sent to consumers based on their customer profiles. Would they like to eat something like desserts from Chocoloco? Or see old palaces in Vienna using Google Flights? Send them a photo of something delicious or a picture of Vienna to their home feeds of all platforms.
Regardless of the platform you are using, photography plays a role in your social media's traction.
The reason why photography holds much value on social media is the power of network effects.
On social media, a user can easily share something that they like. They'll share it on their home feeds and profiles or to individual people via an internal or external messaging app.
Somewhat surprisingly, a good platform for sharing photography is Twitter.
Warby Parker, a high-growth glasses company based in New York, uses a clever strategy for elucidating feeling with photography on their Twitter.
In the image above, the only thing you see is a library. It's a nice library, but what does that have to do with Warby Parker, a glasses company?
As counterintuitive as it may seem, this image works in Warby Parker's favor for two reasons. The first reason is that people who follow Warby Parker's Twitter are more than likely to be their customers, and customers need good eyesight (hence, their glasses!) to be able to read in such a chic library. The image doesn't show the glasses yet shows an activity that requires the customer using their glasses.
The second reason is the prompt of the tweet itself. The company did not ask followers to answer questions or to share the image. But it has more shares than their average post because social media users like to share things that interest them.
As readers, many of whom wear glasses, seeing cool libraries is something they'll retweet and, in turn, the followers of the retweeters will see Warby Parker's brand name. Perhaps they'll follow Warby Parker on Twitter and, eventually, become their paying customer.
Warby Parker's post demonstrates the power of using photography in all respects. It doesn't need to only take photos of people using its product. It takes and shares photos of anything to do with their product.
Of course, Warby Parker has plenty of photos of stylish people wearing their stylish glasses.
It's no surprise to learn that the former head of social media at Warby Parker ended up co-founding Away, a luxury suitcase startup that is known for its use of photography and videography in social media.
Showing images of its suitcases, travel destinations, and boutique lodging, Away presents the travel experience all over its Instagram.
That rare hotel in the mountains doesn't seem to have anything to do with Away. Yet it does: you need a suitcase to get there.
Can Businesses Do Well on Social Media Without Photography?
An equally important question is whether or not businesses can succeed on social media without having robust photography.
It's true that the Internet allows any business to use any artform to elucidate the feeling of the product before purchasing. If you're not using photography, you can use graphic design. Several businesses have done a phenomenal job at showcasing graphic design as their primary content on social media.
Yet there is a point to be made that all of these artforms are important for trying to get customers on social media.
The companies mentioned in this article do more than photography for their social media profiles. They have graphically designed banners, customer-submitted videos, and even slides that only have text and their logo.
Photography is certainly not the only form of content you can distribute on your company's media. Yet photography distinguishes itself beyond the other forms of content when it comes to social media.
Photography is about capturing stories in the real world; whether that's of people, places, and actions. The other forms of content can do that, but a good image should make you think and feel sensations. For this reason alone, this is why photography should be heavily used in every social media platform.
Photography is all about the connection we have.
Additionally, there are other creative ways you can use photography beyond taking a good photo. You can organize your company's Instagram page so that's a compilation of one, bigger photo. Or you can even have only one photo on your Instagram, that might make your point.
Want to creatively represent your brand on social media? At Nos Praesenti, we use photography and graphic design to make your brand come to life. Contact us using this form and we'll reply shortly.