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Why you need high quality images on social media
March 12, 2021
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Having high quality images on social media of your products or services is a must for your brand. We’re visual creatures by nature and when we encounter a business online we make up our minds about it very quickly. As the saying goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure it’s a good one. Here’s a look at what having high quality images on social media will do for your brand.

Capture Attention

Great images capture the attention and imagination of the viewer. Most social feeds rely on visuals to stop the thumb scroll. So, having a quality image will make people want to know more, which increases the chance of your caption being read. 

Demonstrate Professionalism 

Quite simply, quality images demonstrate your commitment to your work.  

The images you use on your website, social media and printed material represent your brand.  Good design and imagery shows your audience that you’re professional and you care about how your business is perceived. It then follows that you’re conscientious and care about your customers. 

Sloppy, blurred, confusing or badly cropped photographs are hugely off putting and can damage the perception of your brand.

Clearly Articulate your Message

A great image tells a story. It shows the role that your product or service plays in your customer’s life. When it comes to social media marketing, it’s far more effective to show rather than tell someone why they need your thing. 

Connect with Your Target Audience

With an abundance of beautiful images on platforms like Instagram, we’re more easily able to spot good and bad imagery than ever. Savvy social media users who are creating content on a daily basis certainly have high expectations when it comes to what looks good. Creative and inspirational shots are most likely to connect with this audience.  If you want to attract discerning, high end clients, your images need to reflect that. Beautifully designed graphics and quality aspirational photography is a must for this audience.

The key is to know your audience – Who do they follow online? What kind of content do they like? Then create imagery that speaks to them.

What are High Quality Images for Social Media?

Your images should be striking and clear, with good composition. An image should be well lit and not over-exposed or saturated. It’s good practice to ensure the image is the correct sizing for the platform. It’s also important to consider the relevance of your image to your post objective and audience.

A Few Photography Tips

Try not to centre your subject as it makes it static. Use the rule of thirds to place the subject in the left or right third of an image leaving the other two thirds more open. If your phone has a grid, use this to compose your photograph this way. For landscape images, use the grid for more sky or more foreground, think about what you want the viewer to see.

Don’t shoot directly into sunlight as this causes silhouettes.

Think about lighting, natural light is always best, but avoid harsh shadows.

With an iPhone, you can tweak your exposure settings live whist shooting. Simply tap the screen where you want the focus to be, a yellow box appears and you can slide up or down for more or less exposure if the image is too bright. As a rule it’s best to shoot dark, and bring the brightness up in editing. This keeps the detail in the image. If you shoot too light, you’ll never bring that detail back as it’s not there.

For a nice sharp image, don’t zoom in to a subject as it will cause pixelation. Instead, crop the image in tighter during editing.

Editing Tips

Firstly, straighten and then crop the image to draw the eye. This is really important with seascapes as a wonky horizon spoils the composition.

When cropping, consider that Rule of Thirds we outlined in the last section.

If using your phone’s editing software, don’t overdo the effects. You can put them in and then dial them down until they look natural but ‘pop’ nicely.

Use an app to edit for more options. Fotor has some great texture and colour boosts, plus a ‘focus’ feature for creating a wide aperture effect, perfect for portraits. Adobe’s leading software ‘Lightroom’ can be used for free, although some features are only available on the paid version.

Consider using a filter that could become your ‘house style.’ This helps with your branding and makes your posts instantly recognisable. It also makes your Instagram grid look great.

Editing for Social Media

If you’re shooting for Instagram, think square (1:1). But if your image is landscape (horizontal), like a fantastic expanse of beach, or portrait (vertical) 4:5, toggle the little arrows on the bottom left of the image when you upload it. This will fit the image into the frame. But be aware that Instagram will crop an image to square on the grid, so make sure any text is within the square format. Instagram Stories is a portrait format (vertical), so consider this and maybe shoot 2 images – one for each format. Here’s a great guide to Instagram image sizes via Tailwind.

For Facebook, upload your image separately. Facebook is more flexible with image sizes but it’s good practice to post separately, especially if you tag someone in your post and use a lot of hashtags.

Software Recommendations

Adobe Lightroom is the industry leader and part of the Adobe Creative Cloud based workflow. Free with limited use, or subscribe for the full range of features.

Snapseed is free, and for the more advanced user with a full array of top notch editing tools.

PicsArt is fun and easy to use and packed with fun filters and stickers.

Instagram itself is loaded with some fantastic photo editing features, although it’s always good to dial them down a bit.

VSCO has a good variety of photo corrections and adjustments that produce some pleasing results.

Fotor has lots of great features for really making your images pop. You can achieve instant results with one swipe, or delve deeper for more expert edits and then send the image straight to your social platforms.

Try out a few different tools and stick with your favourite one or two tools to create your own editing recipe and achieve consistent results.

Consider Outsourcing your Photography

If you’re not confident in your photography skills, it’s worth looking at outsourcing those important brand images to a professional photographer. Paying for a day or two of a professional’s time will give you a great image library for your brand and social media content. As part of our social media packages, we visit your business and local area to capture the visual stories around your brand. We also work with professional photographers if more extensive shoots and videography is required. Get in touch to discuss how to bring your brand visuals to life.

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