Visual images have incredible impact. Even more than the most carefully-crafted text, the pictures you post online sometimes stay firmly planted in your visitors’ minds. That’s a good thing – as long as they’re positive images. Your words are important, but they don’t usually have the staying power that visuals do. So employ a critical eye when you’re selecting any kind of art.
Photographs take much less time for your readers to process than even a sentence of text. In the short attention-span online world, a smart or funny or touching or surprising picture can keep your audience’s index fingers away from its mouse buttons long enough for you to get a message through.
Go for “Real”
You’ve seen them. Photos of perfect, smiling people who look like there’s nothing they’d rather do than create a quarterly financial statement. If you use stock photos, either look for genuine representations of work or choose illustrations. After all, nothing screams I didn’t care enough to find a good picture faster than obviously-staged (badly) photos. Your visuals are as important as your titles.
If you know your way around a digital camera, try taking some of your own, using real employees or customers (with permission, of course). Identify them. Quote them. Have them converse or change a furnace filter or check out the dashboard of a new car, and don’t necessarily tell them when you’re taking the picture. Try for natural and friendly.
Do not use photos if they’re blurry or poorly framed. No picture is better than an unprofessional, unattractive one. Look at your background, not just the subject of your shots. If it detracts or just plain doesn’t belong, crop it.
Sharing is Caring
You can share photos with your social networks in so many ways. For example, you could:
- Post photos of people manning the chat lines, so visitors feel like they’re talking to human beings
- Clarify complex concepts with art
- Show creative uses of your products in action
- Display staff photos, accompanied by pictures of their workspaces
- Include completely unrelated – but fun — photos, especially on your Facebook page, to spark Likes and Shares.
Maximize the effectiveness of your photos by not overdoing it. And if you’re using stock art, be sure to comply with the posted copyright requirements. Pictures and videos are shared on social media more frequently than blocks of text. So whether it’s a video of your young daughter dancing with your enormous French Mastiff or a glam shot of your latest and most innovative product, make sure that your visual content can be linked back to you. People buy from companies for many different reasons, and you never know what’s going to lead them to you.