Pictures, videos and graphics quickly engage your audience and give them a snapshot look at what you are trying to say. With a little bit more time, you can brand your pictures, quotes and graphics to evoke an emotional connection with your audience. While knowledge of graphic design is an asset, there are many ways to add visual appeal to your social media accounts with minimal knowledge of design. Even before you are ready to create your own graphics, you can share graphics from others while maintaining your overall brand message.
Below are ten tips to boost your photos, graphics and even videos to enhance your social media.
1. Share quotes! Visual quotes can be motivational or informational and are a great way to engage your followers and get more shares. The most important thing to ask yourself when posting a quote is ‘Does this align with my brand?’ Pay attention to branding and colour schemes are well as language and tone so that the quotes you share always point back to you.
2. Maintain your brand message. Before sharing any content, your first question should be “how does this align with my brand message?” Be wary of sharing content that might speak to YOU, but may not align with the message that your followers are used to receiving. Remember that everything you share online will reflect back onto your brand.
3. Lighting matters. When taking pictures, consider lighting and creative angles that make people want to take a closer look. If your business sells products, create a simple studio at home using white Bristol board or sheets and desk lamps in lieu of paying for professional photos. With a bit of effort, every smartphone is capable of producing web-quality photos.
4. Be creative. Use your own products displayed in creative ways. Just by placing a lamp at a certain angle, you can highlight different aspects of your work. The background makes a difference to, especially if it creates contrast and makes the viewer take a second look.
5. Create your own. Creating your own graphics and editing photos to add text and borders isn’t a daunting task these days. There are several online tools and apps to choose from; explore each and choose one as your go-to that is the most comfortable for you to work with. My favourites include Picmonkey.com and Canva.com on a computer to add text, a logo or other elements to a poster or image you want to share on social media.
6. On-the-go creativity. Make use of apps on your smartphone. When you’re out and about, snapping a pic and posting it is a great way to let your followers know what you’re up to. There are many great and easy-to-use photo apps that can help you with this. Check out Textgram, Layout, Picsay, iWatermark to get started.
7. Streamline apps. Stay efficient by using apps like IFTTT.com to streamline your processes. This powerful app can save screenshots from your phone to your cloud drives, post pics from Instagram to twitter, repost articles you share on Facebook to your LinkedIn account and so much more. Apps like Buffer and Hootsuite can also help you streamline and share content among multiple social accounts from a single login.
8. Share and repost. When in doubt, go searching amongst similar accounts for content you can share. Feel free to repurpose content you’ve shared in the past too – the world of social media is fast-paced and your followers are not likely to notice or mind if you share a particularly great piece of content more than once. Apps like RepostApp will help you to re-post other people’s Instagram posts (ie. your hostess posts a pic and you want to repost it on your own account!).
9. Go live. Live video streaming is setting a new standard for interacting with an online audience. Through several different apps (ie. Facebook, Periscope, YouTube), you can begin a live video stream and host a discussion or share something exciting with your followers. Use live video to show what you are working on, or broadcast live from an event to invite others to see what’s going on.
10. Be bold! Try something new every day until you find what works for you. Technology is changing at such a fast pace, that it can be very daunting to catch up. Try not to get stagnant with your social media accounts, but rather keep trying new things and keeping everything looking fresh and exciting!