If you are a business on social media, you can’t ignore the power of visual content for your digital marketing strategy. Images, GIFs, video, and any sort of visual content is absolutely king on social media, due to the way it imparts a message, a personality, or a point in just a glance. Did you know that people form a first impression of your brand in no more than 50 milliseconds? This statistic shows you how important it is to grab your audience fast, and nothing works faster than a visual. Getting your images shared by followers is even better – it means that your message resonated enough that they wanted to support it. But if you don’t know how to take great photos, how can you go about making sure your images are “share worthy”? Here is an easy guide to taking great pictures for social media marketing.

  • Choose natural light when possible. Natural lighting is almost always more flattering for both people and objects. It is softer and warmer than artificial lighting in most cases, which makes people look alive, helps diffuse flaws, and gives a true representation of color. It also provides the best clarity to the human eye.

  • Think about angles. You don’t need to be a pro photographer; just take a look at what kinds of angles are popular in the niche that you serve. If you sell small items like enamel pins, for example, an overhead shot, with the camera pointed straight down towards the product, is a popular option for angles. Just consider how to highlight the focal point best.

  • Consider the background. There is nothing that makes an amateur photo stand out more than a background that clearly wasn’t supposed to be photographed. Look for obvious things that shouldn’t be there before you post, and be sure it isn’t so busy that it distracts.

  • Less is more when it comes to colors and props in the photo. Choose a color scheme and stick with it in the photo. Unless you are doing “live action” shots of a store or event, be sure to use just a simple color scheme and a few props, nothing more. Any more than that distracts from your focus.

  • Make sure the photo’s story matches your brand’s personality. If your brand has a fun and casual personality online, don’t post a super-polished, museum-style photo. Use candid snapshots instead.

If you aren’t the world’s most awesome photographer, you may find value in hiring a professional. After all, with visual content being so important for social media marketing, having great quality pictures on your profiles is not just a “plus”; it’s a necessity. Utilizing photography in your social media marketing is not a place to skimp: if you don’t have time to take, edit, curate, and post images that make your brand shine, consider working with professional photographers as well as social media marketing professionals like Organically, to make the first impression of your brand the right one.