SMO Series: Getting the Most Out of Photos and Videos
The ultimate goal of social media optimization (SMO) is creating more visibility for your brand and turning your new followers into new customers. In today’s social media world, there is no better way of attracting attention than the use of visual media like photos and videos.
Numerous studies have identified that photos and videos are by far the two types of content that generate the most engagement on social networks, much more so than text and link posts.
Of course, achieving new engagement milestones isn’t as easy as sharing photos all day — the content you share must, as always, be of a high quality, and it must be part of your overall digital marketing strategy.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of the visual media you use and share on your social networks:
- Create custom covers and profile photos: A custom Facebook cover, for example, makes your brand look far more professional and adds a more “finished” appearance to your profile. Facebook cover photos measure 851 x 315 pixels and give you space to promote your business or a new offering, or to simply build on your brand.
- Share data via infographics: If you have some particularly interesting data or research findings you would like to share with your audience, consider summing up that research in the form of an infographic. These images are designed to present complex information clearly and efficiently. They generate a lot of engagement because of their simplicity and effectiveness. People are much more likely to stop scrolling to check out an infographic than they are to click through and read a full 75-page research report.
- Use only high-quality photos: When sharing photos, they should always be high-resolution, high-quality images. It shouldn’t look like you’re sharing a photo taken on someone’s flip phone from 2005.
- Overlay text on top of images: You don’t always have to do this, but there are some situations in which overlaying text on top of an image can help it gain some viral traction. For example, people love to share quotes, but are much more likely to share a quote on top of a great photo of the person who said it than they are to share a simple text post with the quote.
- Have a good balance of unique and curated content: This is a good general rule of thumb to have with all types of social media posts, but is especially true of visual content. If the majority of your timeline makes it look like all you do is share other people’s images or videos, this looks spammy and unprofessional. A good benchmark is to create at least a third of the visual content you share, and to have that visual content make up no more than two thirds (or less, depending on your type of company) of what you are posting.
- Include calls to action in videos: Video content gives you more room to experiment and get creative. At the end of each video, however, you should include some sort of call to action to get people to visit your website and either make a purchase or learn more about a specific product or service. A simple call to action is a tremendous help in driving more engagement.
- Ask for engagement: You can get even more engagement out of your visual posts by simply asking for it. Ask your audience to caption photos, for example, or to share with friends.
- See what the competition posts: Look at competitor pages to see the kinds of visual content that draw the most engagement. This will give you some insight into what types of posts are likely to be successful on your own page.
Photos and videos are crucial elements of successful social media optimization campaigns in 2017. Use them wisely and you will see your social engagement increase.
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