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BizReport : Social Marketing : August 31, 2018

How to improve your social photography strategy

With 300 million images uploaded to Facebook every day, it is clear and engaging images are key for consumer engagement. The problem is that many marketers aren't sure how to best use photography and other images to engage their customer base. We asked Adrian Dubler, Foap's CEO, for advice.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Several recent reports have shown that social is key for many businesses to make a good impression or begin a good experience for customers. What part does photography play in social media campaigns?

Adrian Dubler, CEO, Foap: Photography is extremely important when developing a social media campaign. With visual content getting shared 40 times more likely on social media than other types of content, marketers understand that this is crucial. However, if the visuals being used do not reflect the brand's message, story, or are inauthentic, they risk the chance of not resonating with consumers.  Consumers want to experience a brand's personality, values and individuality via its social channels and feel themselves as part of your messaging. In order to grab their attention, increase engagement and drive ROI, brands and marketers must incorporate authentic images that their target audience can identify with, not stock imagery or photos that looked too staged.

Kristina: Are marketers and brands using photography in a good way currently?

Adrian: So far we've seen brands like Nivea, Shake Shack, Vans and Glossier killing it on social media and building stronger connections with consumers and it's because they aren't relying on stock imagery. Rather, they are crowdsourcing authentic images that align with their brand message and core values. Stock imagery can feel out of reach or out of touch when too overproduced or there's models that don't connect with consumers.  Using "real people" can build trust-worthiness and create a clear and honest portrayal of what your product looks like and how it functions

Kristina: How could they better utilize photography?

Adrian: We remember 10% of what we hear but 65% of what we see, so a brands' photography should tell a story and share your message.  Determining one specific style and sticking to it will help you craft a cohesive brand that's immediately recognizable by your target audience. Also, there are a few ways brand and marketers can better utilize their photography. First, they can take a page out of Nivea's book and leverage authentic images with their products being used in real life. Again, remember to focus on using real people, not models. Consumers want to see a reflection of themselves when they view a social post from brands.

Next, brands should remember that photos taken outdoors with a unique background make a greater impact than ones indoors. Finally, brands should bring diversity into their photos by crowdsourcing their images. With Foap's community of 3 million photographers, brands are able to select images from multiple content creators all with a fresh lens that will still represent their core values and messaging.

Kristina: What are your top tips for brands to improve their photography strategy for social media?

Adrian: 1. You need to constantly evolve in order to remain competitive in your market. Part of evolving includes changing up your marketing campaigns and the images that are used in those campaigns. If you fail to evolve, your images and brand become stale.
2. Quality is better than quantity. No matter what you post, in order to drive engagement and loyalty, be sure your photos are high quality and high resolution. Also, over-saturation is a huge mistake. A little bit of color saturation in photos are not bad, but too much color makes images appear fake and unnatural.
3. Social responsibility is a win for all. Today's society is hyper-focused on brands that stand for a cause because it triggers an emotional response and shows they are socially responsible. Choose photos and videos that help tell that story and create emotion.
4. Don't use staged photos. Audiences (especially millennials and Gen Z) want content that is interesting yet not too staged. Your photos should evoke emotion through authenticity and relatability.

Tags: advertising tips, branded photography tips, Foap, photography tips, social advertising, social marketing, social marketing content, social photography for brands

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