You’re a small business owner managing your day-to-day work, while simultaneously juggling your marketing.
Marketing your small business in this digital age means sharing great content consistently using social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
So, how do you get the best bang-for-your-buck return on your social media marketing investment?
It’s become increasingly apparent that great content means great visuals. In fact, according to BuzzSumo, just having at least one image in your post leads to more social media shares. More social media shares means more exposure for you and your business!
As part of the Western Slopes Business Association Fall Educational Series, we wanted to share some easy tools and sources that you can use to streamline your digital marketing efforts, and get in the game fast by using GREAT images.
Why do I need to use images in social media?
According to socialbakers.com, a whopping 75% of all content posted by brands on Facebook included photos. It becomes pretty apparent why when you read Buffer’s statistic that photo posts get 39% more interaction than links, videos or text-based updates. Not to mention that photo posts actually account for 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook!
Whoa! Visuals are obviously IN. How can I easily add them to my content marketing?
Well, we’re happy to provide you with a roundup of some of our favorite social media image-managing tools, sources, and techniques! Let’s get started…
Whether you’re a professional blogger, or just a small business owner who has very little time to learn a photo editing program, PicMonkey is a clear winner! This easy-to-use website has loads of free tools to make your images pop, plus some impressive (low) pay features that can take your pics to the next level on the cheap.
PicMonkey offers the results of Photoshop with the ease and cost of…well, there’s nothing quite like it, that’s how good it is!
Using PicMonkey for some (free!) simple edits, this beautiful image was enhanced and amplified
Whether you’re working on the web, or for print projects, wherever you need an image to illustrate an idea, you can use Canva.
For example, we used Canva to illustrate this blog post! (See image at top.)
And like Picmonkey, Canva offers both free and paid levels of services.
Blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, album covers, invitations…you’ll soon find yourself relying on this design tool that takes the “software” out of design software.
Canva is intuitive, customizable, and fun. They also offer free, helpful, branding and marketing tutorials on their blog, such as:
3) iPhone or other digital camera
So we know that images for Facebook are HOT. And, according to BuzzSumo, there is significant data that shows ”Adding images to your content and posts will help it get shared on Twitter as well as Facebook”
Richmond’s Round Church, captured with an iPhone5s
But the good news is, you don’t have to learn photo editing software to produce great content. Sometimes, a simple snapshot can tell a story! Do you:
- Have a new product to promote?
- Have a team member you want to introduce to your customers?
- Want to thank a great supplier?
- Want to show off a particularly impressive project?
- Want to promote your attendance at an event?
All of these are GREAT reasons to post a photo on social media! Just a quick, authentic snapshot that visually tells the story of the faces behind your brand.
People do business with people they like, so the more you come out from behind your logo, the more likely your customers and potential clients will feel connected to you and your company.
We’ve mentioned this amazing little low-priced app before, but there’s a very good reason why we keep coming back to it!
Waterlogue (currently only available for iPhone and iPad) takes your photos to create beautiful watercolor images:
Screenshot courtesy of Waterlogue
Whether you are a Realtor advertising a new listing, or a small business owner looking to put a new spin on familiar images, Waterlogue is a very easy way to turn the mundane into art!
5) Deposit Photos, Shutterstock, Veer, et al
When in doubt, buy it. You know what you DON’T want to do? You don’t want to be That Guy. The guy who goes around copying and pasting images on his social media that he found for “free” on the Internet, just because he can.
This image of “Mountains in Azerbaijan” (purchased from DepositPhotos) helped boost a recent client’s Facebook post
As a business owner, you can probably relate to wanting to get paid for your work, so this is a good time to invoke the Golden Rule, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
So, don’t act like That Guy, because we are all better than that!
If you find an image you like, and wish to use it on your Facebook page, blog post, or tweet, it pays to find the source, credit them, and pay for the use, if necessary. Aside from the legality of use issues, there are several other reasons (guaranteed model releases, higher-quality choices, time-saving search capabilities) that proves it actually pays to pay.
Have you had success using images in your social media marketing?
What difficulties have you encountered? Have a favorite image source or editing tool that we should know about? Let us know in the comments!