How to Select Images that Convey Your Social Media Marketing Message
As consumers of social media, we are all aware that messages with images or videos are much more likely to grab our attention than those without. Regardless if you are using Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, or one of many other choices (growing every day), imagery will always trump plain text.
In today’s fast-paced social media-driven communications environment, you have a very small window of opportunity to grab and keep the attention of your target audience. One of the most effective ways to do this is to pair powerful imagery that reinforces the message you want to convey to your audience.
The challenge is to choose the right image that supports – even boosts – your underlying meaning. Avoid at all costs those that detract from the message or reflect poorly on your business. There are a few key concepts to keep in mind when choosing your image.
The most important concept to consider is one that matches the theme of your image with the message you are trying to convey. If you are promoting a dog walking service, don’t show images of horses, or – heaven forbid – cats. Choose images that are eye-catching and consistent with your marketing message.
Choose images that convey a message using a strong focal point – it should be clear what the image is “of” and what the image “means.” If you find pictures that are open to interpretation – keep looking.
Then, choose an image that fits the mood of your message. While it may be okay to use darker tones and dim lights to communicate health warnings issued from your veterinarian business, it would convey a wrong message for your dog sitting services. Images have the power to communicate on an emotional level – so choose your emotions wisely.
“Vet” your images– pun intended. Imagine that you want to promote a dog wash service. You may see an image of a dirty dog standing on a lonely street and think it screams, “wash me.” Others may see the same image and see neglect, abuse, abandonment – not connotations you want to be associated with your business.
Look instead for an image of the dog getting dirty – preferably with laughing, happy children as sidekicks. Or, show a family washing their dog – not angry or upset – but with slightly disapproving smiles, or better, laughing and enjoying the moment.
Different people will respond differently to edgy or overly cute images. Try forming an informal advisory panel of friends and colleagues who can help review your selections before they go online.
Don’t go “viral” for the wrong reasons
We live in a politically correct world, especially on social media. However unintended, you do not want your marketing message to go “viral” because you have caught the eye of PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are concerned with the rights of animal models – or any other group concerned with rights or causes you may offend.
Every one of the points made for images applies directly when choosing videos as well. And if a picture speaks a thousand words – then a video must be equal to an encyclopedia. Look for videos with a strong visual appeal that is not too short or too long and that reinforce your marketing goals.
Then the next time you are getting ready to fill the social media pages with your powerful marketing messages – take some time to choose the right image or video to reinforce it instead of sending it straight to the dogs!
We hope you enjoyed this promoted piece as much as we did!