Social media remains one of the most effective marketing vehicles for promoting brand awareness, encouraging conversions, and boosting sales. It can be used in a stunning number of ways to reach just about any target audience. Though this also means that your closest competitors can also use social media to do the same things.
A lot of times, being able to stand out from the rest of the crowd comes down to the use of images that capture a user’s attention. This increases their likelihood of clicking on your site or social media platform rather than the competitors. With great brand strategies and customer service, you get the leg up on converting that user into a purchase, and perhaps even a returning loyal customer.
This puts a lot of weight on the quality of your images and the graphics associated with them. Having a quality image is key!
Digital camera technology has come a long way in just the last decade. Today, with the right techniques you can take high-quality images that are deserving of use on your social media platforms and perhaps even on the products pages on your company’s website.
Of course, using images taken from your phone isn’t as easy as point and click. There are a few key techniques and tips to keep in mind.
Tips for Taking Quality Photos to Use on Social Media
The following are some simple tips, and techniques that you can use to take the best pictures for your social media site and other online images.
Tip #1 Clean Your Camera Lens
This might seem like a simple and obvious thing, yet there are a lot of people who overlook the value of cleaning their camera lens. They spend precious minutes trying to take pictures that don’t look blurry, before realizing the problem is a simple finger smudge on their phone’s camera lens.
Tip #2 Check The Lighting
Even the highest resolution camera can’t fix a lighting problem. Deep shadow, lighting that alters the color of the product, and improper vantage points can all have a huge difference in the final image quality. This might mean using multiple light sources or taking the product outside for more natural light.
Of course, the ambient lighting can also influence the need to use a flash. In general, most phone cameras that use a flash suffer from poor image quality. The flash tends to cast a yellow light or shadows over your subject and make them less appealing.
Tip #3 Use the Rule of Thirds
In the world of professional photography, the “Rule of Thirds” is designed to improve the composition of a photo by creating balanced and generating visually appealing images. A lot of smartphones allow you to use grid lines when setting up a photo. You can use these lines to make it easier for you to follow the rule of thirds.
A grid pattern with two vertical and two horizontal lines spaced equally apart lets you position your subject where those lines intersect. This helps you create a more professional and attractive image.
Tip #4 Capture Images Horizontally
Ideally, you want to take your images in a landscape profile instead of a vertical portrait profile. This will make it easier to crop these images and ensure they display properly on all social media platforms.
Tip #5 Don’t Use Zoom
It is better to move the phone’s camera closer to the product than it is to use the zoom feature on the phone’s display. Zoom typically makes the image look blurry or grainy.
Tip #6 Take Pictures from a Variety of Different Angles
Changing the perspectives and angles gives you some additional flexibility later when you are trying to choose the right image to post. Just make sure that the subject of the image and all of the facets can be seen.
Tip #7 Use a Creative Yet Simple Background
When taking pictures to be used on social media and other online platforms, the background matters Intersections that are created by doors and windows can sometimes visually distract from the subject which can take away from the composition of the picture.
If possible, try to find a colorful, bright background. If you are going to be taking the photo outside, try to take the picture in front of a colored wall or building with brick, stone, or rock. For product photos, it helps to place products on a floor with an interesting pattern or perhaps a wooden table with organic character.
Tip #8 Make The Most Out of Editing Tools
These days a lot of smartphone cameras come with a suite of editing tools. They let you gently alter the exposure, color, hue, contrast, and more. Save an original copy of your preferred image and then use these editing tools to enhance image quality. This can help you narrow down the choices for the image you will eventually post to social media.
Tip #9 Demonstrate Use With Product Images
A lot of images used in social media marketing are product-related. If your product has a use that can be demonstrated in some sort of action shot, you should try to include it. You might want to take a photo of just the product, and then a second action photo. The two images can then be integrated if necessary using your phone’s onboard editing tools.
Tip #10 Create Comparison Photos With Lighting & Editing Tools
Many images used in social media marketing will use a comparison context, which is sometimes called a “This-or-That” picture. Making use of lighting and/or your smartphone’s onboard editing tools will help your product stand out as superior to the competing option.
This includes shooting your photo in warm light or blue light while adjusting the opposing photo in tones of yellow light. Just don’t overdo it. You still want both images to look natural.
With the advances in smartphone camera technology, more people than ever before are using their phones to create high-quality images that are worthy of use for social media marketing. Taking the time to think about the lighting, avoiding zoom, and capturing images from different angles will give you a lot of great options to choose from. You can then tastefully apply some of the filters that come installed in your smartphone’s camera interface.