Facebook and Instagram are incredibly cost-effective marketing channels that we can use to promote our brand, our products and services, our events and our messages. However, we must always remember that while we are using Facebook to communicate our messages to our target audience, our target audience is using Facebook and Instagram to catch up with their families and friends or to be inspired by beautiful images.

If we want our content to capture their attention and engage their interest on these platforms, our visuals need to be thumb-stopping-amazing!

Here are six tips for creating social media images that create an impact…

1. Use real people

People connect with people. And as much as we would like to get our logo and message out there, we are far more likely to capture our target audience’s attention by using engaging photos of real people that they can identify with.

For example; say you are a professional tennis coach looking to gain more clients. You have identified your target audience as a keen tennis Mum who is eager to enroll her young primary school-aged children early so that they grow up enjoying the sport as much as she did.

One way to get her attention on social media is to show her some people just like her, doing exactly what she is thinking about doing.

Another example of this is a campaign that we worked on with Linked Community Services and Lindsay Moller Productions. Linked Community Services are a transport company who specialise in providing subsidised transport to elderly and vulnerable members of their local community. Our customer research had revealed that what the existing passengers valued so much about the transport service was that the drivers were helpful, friendly, compassionate, and thoughtful. This was an incredible strength of the organisation and we thought it made sense to amplify this and use it as a point of differentiation.

By using images of the actual drivers, interacting with real passengers in our social media marketing, we were able to demonstrate that Linked Community Services provided way more than just transport from point A to Point B. The volunteer drivers for Linked provided company, conversation and compassion; precisely what the target audience valued.


2. Capture expression

Most people are using Facebook and Instagram on their mobile phones so we always recommend to capture your photos as close up as you can so that you can easily make out the face and the expression of your subject. Make sure your photos portray people’s emotions.

Here is an example of when the How to do Marketing Book was launched, it was pretty hard to hide any expression in this photo!


3. Encourage Connection

Humans are wired to connect with other humans. If you can use your social media images to introduce your audience to the people behind your brand, they will be far more likely to form an emotional connection to your business.

We use this strategy with one of our clients Morgans Financial Port Macquarie. By bringing out the people that work for Morgans, we not only provide existing clients with an additional opportunity for connecting and engaging with the team, but we can introduce prospective clients to they type of people that they will ultimately form a professional connection with if they choose to work with Morgans.


4. Let there be light

Try to take your photos in a light space so that viewers can understand the context of your image quickly. When taking photos of people, get your subjects to face the light source. If you are outside this will be where the sun is shining or if you are inside get your subjects to face the window where the light is coming in. Be careful that it’s not too bright to avoid your subjects having to squint!


5. Review your background

Sometimes when we focus on capturing something in the foreground, such as the people in our shot, we might miss the detail of what’s happening in the background. Make sure your backdrop is presenting a professional and appealing picture of your business.

Your background also provides a great opportunity to provide context. We’ll often encourage our clients to think outside of the square when taking professional headshots. Rather than take headshots against the somewhat plain (boring) white wall, why not use a background that tells a story about your location or your community?

This is an example of a headshot that we organised for one of our clients; Men at Work.

A proud Port Macquarie based organisation, we chose to get the headshots taken with one of the region’s iconic beaches as the backdrop.


6. Consider the channel dimensions for images

As a default, take your images in landscape (horizontal) orientation. This orientation is better for versatility across social platforms.

If you are taking a photo for a story upload on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, take your photo in portrait orientation.

You can also consider taking the photo as a square for newsfeed shots on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram. However, a square photo will not be the best orientation to use in the Facebook Ads platform.


Dragonfly Marketing is an award-winning marketing agency for small regional businesses. If you need help with social media content, contact us. You can also sign up to our newsletter for regular marketing tips.


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