In this post, I will be discussing the purpose of photos on social media platforms. I will cover how to take the photos, where to place them, and how to optimize them.
At the basic level, photos place the viewer at a location in a way that a simple description will not do. Photos are also shown to lead to more interaction online, even if the photo was not taken at the described event.
Smart phones have made it possible for all of us to take photos at any time. However, that doesn’t mean those photos are always going to be good. Let’s discuss what to consider when taking a photo.
There are three main considerations when taking a photo – distance, lighting, and the device being used to take the photo. If you are taking photos at an event, you are most likely going to be far away from the item of interest and the lighting is going to be less than optimal. If you can get closer to the person or item, your chances of having a quality image will vastly improve.
Also, the device used to take the photos will play a big part in the quality of the image. Technology is changing so rapidly that having the latest phone usually guarantees you having a top quality camera on your phone. I think back to 2002 when I purchased a 5MP camera for $500. My camera phone now has an 8MP camera. Here is a basic comparison of the two main phones – the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S4:
If you have an old phone, you can usually sell the old phone for a price that will allow you to easily move to the latest phone as long as your contact allows for that. You can use websites such as eBay or Gazelle to sell old versions of your devices. Since most phones are subsidized by the phone companies, you can generally sell your phone for the same price or even higher than what you paid for the phone.
Let’s discuss optimizing photos in two ways – optimizing the look and feel of the image and optimizing the photo so that people can easily find the photo.
Look & Feel
The first way to optimize a photo is through the look and feel. Earlier, we discussed typical photo difficulties in terms of being too far away from the object and not having good lighting. By using the tools listed below, you can easily turn a mediocre photo into a great-looking photo:
Search Engine Optimization
There are five key components that can usually be added to a photo. These are:
- Keywords / Tags / #Hashtags
- People in the Photo
Try to add as many of these as you can when you post an image online or in a social network. This will make it easier for others to find your photos and to connect to others on that platform.
In this section, I will highlight some of the main social media platforms for sharing photos:
Twitter is great for photos taken at the event. It’s immediate. Quality is not as important as content. Twitter has editing tools that allow you to enhance the lighting, add a look, and crop unnecessary items out of the photo. Behind the scenes photos also work very well on Twitter. If your job or position gives you certain access to events that not many other people have, take photos if they are allowed and share them on Twitter.
Instagram is a free photo enhancement tool as well as a social network. Instagram made headlines by being purchased by Facebook for a cool $1 billion. If you take photos about a specific topic (skyscrapers, cats, etc), Instagram will allow you to share your photos and to connect to others who share similar interests. Be sure to use hashtags in Instagram for getting your photos out to a wider audience.
Facebook is great for professional photos. Blurry far away photos should not be added on Facebook. Facebook is also a great platform for photos of people where they can go in and tag themselves in the photo. Adding photos to any status update on Facebook is proven to increase the connection around that post.
Flickr is the main web platform for sharing photos. This is the best place for people to find photos if they are searching for them online. Therefore, it is important to optimize each of these photos with the relevant title, description, and tags.
The content above is from a presentation given at the Metro Atlanta Chamber on Monday, April 29, 2013 by @ErikRostad