How to Improve Your Social Media Images.
Social networks today are all about visuals. Strong social media images can help you create brand recognition and loyalty among your followers. Some brands struggle to create fun and interesting content for their social media. But fear not. This handy guide can help you improve your social media images.
Why Should I Improve My Images?
Strong social media images help you engage customers and gain new followers. Social media is a noisy place these days. Users follow hundreds of accounts. Standard practice on social media is to skim read. Most users will only stop on images that interest them. A well composed, relatable image will make more users take note of your channel. Strong social media images can improve your engagement rate. Those that love what they see will usually hit the follow button. Continue to innovate and enhance your pictures. Fun and relatable images will help you to keep your followers happy.
High-quality photos can also make you seem more professional and trustworthy. Potential customers will check the social media accounts of an unknown brand before shopping with them. If your images are poor quality or unprofessional, it could be losing your company customers. A professional looking social media page will help gain trust far quicker.
It’s important to think about the position of your subject in your photographs. It’s best to vary the composition of your photography, so your followers don’t get bored. Here are a few composition techniques to instantly enhance your photos.
Rule of Thirds.
The ‘rule of thirds’ refers to a grid which splits a photo into 9 equal parts. You can then place your interesting points along these lines to create energy in your photo. Most smartphones have a setting to turn on the ‘rule of thirds’ in the camera mode.
If you’re taking a photo of scenery, try to put the horizon along one of the Rule of Thirds lines. Try to put stand out features when the lines cross.
If you are using a person, try to put the person on one of the Rule of Thirds lines. Try to put exciting features where the lines cross.
If your shot has more than one object in it, try putting the points of interest on the Rule of Third lines.
Using doorways, windows or even trees to frame your shot will help to guide the focus to your subject. Try to position your subject in the middle of the framing.
Don’t be afraid to leave empty space in your photography. A clean, clear photo will help the viewer’s eye glide towards your subject.
When taking photos, pay attention to what’s going on behind your subject. A bad background can ruin an otherwise perfect shot. Make sure that no passers-by are watching you take the photos. Check any walls or flooring for chewing gum, litter or graffiti before taking your photos. You can position your subjects to hide these if you need too. If you can, find a mixture of fun backgrounds and floors that you can use for photography on a moments notice.
If you’re photographing products, invest in some A1 coloured card, patterned paper/card or some fancy fabrics. Wrapping paper with wood or marble print can also add a luxurious quality to your photos. You’ll be suprised at how much of a difference this will make.
If you have set brand colours, you should be using these in your photos. Add your brand colours into your posts through the background, props or products in the photo. This will create a style that your audience will recognise.
If you don’t have a set of brand colours, then we recommend using bright, bold colours that stand out. Try to keep different colours to a minimum where possible. Too many colours can make your pictures look cluttered.
When using Instagram or Facebook albums, make sure your feed looks consistent and planned. Each picture should work on it’s own, but also as part of your overall gallery. Notice how all the images below share the same blue and yellow colour pallet? As the posts also have red, you could also introduce some red images too.
Picture quality is essential for professional looking websites and social media. Make sure your pictures do not look grainy or blurry when uploaded to social networks. This can happen if the camera is out of focus or the image is too small. If you upload a picture with small dimensions, it will be fuzzy when it displays on social media.
Make sure you are using a high-quality camera or smartphone to take your photos. The newer the smartphone, the better the picture quality will be.
The way a subject is lit can change the entire mood of a picture. It can also completely change the way someone looks in a photo. In the video below a moving light is placed across a model’s face and you can see how it changes her face shape.
For Instagram pictures try to use natural light. Go outside or use a room with lots of windows. Electric lights give pictures blue or yellow hues depending on the type of light bulb. Avoid shooting where the sun is brightest as this can make your images overexposed.
When creating photos, you don’t have to rely on Instagram alone. By using other apps, you can give your photos a unique twist that can help you stand out from the competition. There are loads of picture editing apps available that can boost your photos, such as:
Snapseed is a powerful app for Apple and Android users. It’s almost a mini-Photoshop. Snapseed comes with a vast amount of filters that puts Instagram to shame. On top of that, you can use the app to fix imperfects in your photos, such as removing a bit of fluff you might have missed or fixing some flyaway hairs.
Overlay is a great app for adding stickers and text to your photos. It’s fantastic for creating sale banners or quote graphics. The text functions are easy to use. It also comes with some cute little graphics you can add to photos, such as snowmen, hats and moustaches. You can find it on Google Play.
Free stock images.
You can mix good stock images into your self-created content to help keep your page looking fresh. There are many sites out there that give free stock photos that you can use on your social media. These can help you if you are struggling to create lots of content.
Our favourite stock sites are:
- Negative Space.
- Death to Stock Photography (a newsletter with regular photo packs to download).
We have a whole other article on Free stock photos. We really love them.
By following these tips, your social media imagery will start to improve. Practice makes perfect, so don’t expect to become a famous photographer overnight. If you want to improve your images further, have a look at our Design and Imagery series.