Since the dawn of time, humans have loved images.
The history of communication illustrates this point. “Prehistoric cave drawings are considered the first form of human communication. Some early humans dwelt in caves … [and] to convey past events of importance, rituals or ideas, cave dwellers would draw pictures on the walls of their homes. Language had not developed to the point at which it was adequate to convey these concepts, so drawings communicated what words could not.”
Fast forward several millennia later and we still gravitate toward photos and drawings. Without delving into the deep psychological and sociological reasons behind the power of imagery on the human brain, you can definitively understand how even your small businesses can, and should, tap into this type of communication. In fact, doing so can increase engagement with customers and potential clients.
For example, through Facebook usage analysis, one report suggests, “photos shared on the social network were the most popular by far… [The] top 10% of posts made by more than 30,000 Facebook brand pages found that photos saw the most action—with a whopping 87% of total interactions.”
Of course, creating an instant connection with social media fans isn’t going to happen if you own a software company and consistently post #cuteoverload kitten photos. You have to be savvy and thoughtful enough to choose photos that appeal to your audience. Plus, you should ensure all images shared across social media sites correspond to your brand and messaging.
Fortunately, you don’t have to re-invent the social media wheel to make a change in the way you’re using social media to engage with your customers. Take a page from the playbook of four companies that employ smart social media techniques through the use of images.
Lead with Core Values
For Safer® Brand, being a leading organic gardening and pest control company is serious business. That’s the reason their images throughout Facebook brand page are grounded and earthy, not contrived. While they do sometimes highlight their products, their social media photos tend to show the reader benefits of using their products. With more than 36,000 likes, they’re obviously doing something right.
Deliver Pretty, Bright and Fun Messaging
If you’re a mom, then you’ve probably seen a lot of Zulily, an online daily deals site for moms, babies and kids, offering big discounts on apparel, toys, and other products. They have taken to social media to showcase adorable kids’ clothing at discounted prices. Their Twitter feed is chock-full of images that make budget-savvy mom’s immediately want to open their wallets. Meanwhile the images showcased across Zulily’s social networks aim to deliver a fresh and simple message, and a visual presence to entice and remind.
Show Off the Goods
LA based, Big Daddy’s Antiques isn’t sitting back and waiting for customers to walk through their doors. Instead, the small business actively promotes their vintage merchandise via a Facebook brand page. Due to the niche aspect to their industry, the images and somewhat of a “hard sell” are intended to draw in impulse buyers looking for that “once in a lifetime” vintage find. Some of the photos even offer a fun-loving appeal that suggests although antique dealers work hard, they play hard too.
Offer up Inspiration
San Francisco based Minted.com wants to give customers plenty of ways to create. The marketplace for independent design and art aims to sell the best work of indie designers and artists including fine stationery, art, and party decor. The company is quite crafty in sharing their love of creativity through social media by celebrating various designs and ideas through photos. The brilliant hero image promoted on their Twitter account showcases their aesthetic while posts offer up inspiration and creative empowerment.
Even if your small business doesn’t have a product or service that immediately resonates with bold visuals, that’s fine. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm. You may be surprised at how innovative photo ideas can transform your social media messaging from plain to productive.
Savannah Flynn is a public relations specialist for WebpageFX, a full-service Internet marketing, web design and web development agency offering integrated web solutions for medium to large sized businesses across the globe. She has a passion for online marketing and PR.