If you’re a professional photographer, do yourself a favor and skip ahead to the end. However you feel about smartphone cameras, you’re more than capable of taking professional-grade photos for your social media accounts.
Everyone else, keep reading to learn how to professionalize your social visuals without investing in a DSLR or springing for a top-of-the-line photo editing suite.
- Use More Light Than You Think You Need
This tip is by no means unique to social media visuals. Yes, flash is a thing, and it (usually) works, but what about those in-between lighting situations for which full-on flash washes everything out and no flash produces a muddled blur?
The solution: Always use more light than you need. What feels natural and appropriate for your eyes isn’t natural and appropriate for your camera’s mechanical lens. Maybe someday, but not today.
- Slip in the Occasional (or Regular) Pet Photo
No matter what your company does, its social media accounts could always benefit from more cat content.
Exhibit A is the Instagram account for the Centre for Arts and Technology (CAT — just a coincidence?) here: https://www.instagram.com/DigiartsCAT/
Look at the effortless merging of cat-themed and non-cat-themed photos. You too can achieve this zen-like pet/not-pet state with your social accounts, if only you deign to try.
- Maintain a Consistent Color Scheme in Themed Posts
Speaking of pets, Purina Pet Care’s profile shows the power of a consistent color scheme: https://www.instagram.com/purina/
Every award-themed post has red trim or banding that stays true to Purina’s primary brand colors (red and white). Your brand should have a color scheme of its own; spend a couple minutes modifying your raw photos to honor it.
- Rock the White Space
Another near-universal tenet of social visuals: ample white space. When your primary objective is catching prospects’ eyes, dusky clutter is your enemy; bright, cheery negative space is your friend. When staging photos in controlled settings — say, a conference room or shared workspace — you always want to use a bright backdrop. (Yes, the whiteboard counts.)
- Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment With Video Elements
Not a videographer? Not a problem. Start small, with a pre-planned, bite-sized short; a how-to procedural for some simple product or process is always safe. Post it up, review user feedback (if any), and incorporate any lessons learned into the next attempt. Soon enough, you’ll be livestreaming effortlessly.
- Run Photos Through an Editor Before Uploading
Get in the habit of running photos destined for your social accounts through a free or cheap photo editor before uploading. Yes, it’s easier to shoot and post right from the app, but you know in your heart of hearts that that’s not going to produce the best possible results.
Here’s to Better Social Visuals
There’s nothing stopping you from implementing most or all of these seven keys to better social visuals today. With the exception of number six, which may require a modest outlay on your part, none of these strategies will cost you a dime. And all will improve your social media image — literally.