Leveraging Social Media for marketing
Anyone who knows about marketing knows that people are largely visual creatures and respond well to imagery. It’s vital therefore to grab the casual viewer’s attention with an absolutely perfect picture which sets the tone of your marketing campaign, communicates the way you want your brand to be perceived, how your brand or product will benefit the viewer and ideally, make that prospective customer feel something. Such a picture is usually referred to as a ‘campaign image’ or ‘hero image’. These hero images are likely to become the most recognisable part of your brand’s identity in your marketing campaigns.
When you engage a professional photographer to produce the imagery for your next marketing campaign, it can be tempting to concentrate on the ‘money shot’, the picture or pictures that are likely to be the hero images for your future marketing and product photography to go along with it. However, for your fans and followers, consider how interested they’d be to know what goes on behind the scenes of their favourite brand. Just like the extra bonus footage you find on DVDs.
Don’t fall into the trap of publishing only your polished hero and catalogue images on your Social media accounts. You’ll either need lots and lots of them or will be forced to repeat what you’ve already posted. While your brand and your inventory will no doubt be absolutely wonderful, too much of the same will inevitably cause people to lose interest over time if your feeds become ‘just another advert’. Part of the photography brief should,therefore, include shots taken specifically with social media in mind. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the most obvious.
What to include
As part of your brief for the commercial photographer, make sure you include ‘the making of’ shots. Taking pictures of the photo shoot in progress, including close-ups of the equipment being used.
While your product images should be taken with clarity in mind for your catalogue, your social imagery can be a bit more playful and creative. If you’re getting ready to launch a product, tease your followers with a tiny part of it. Arrange your products into interesting patterns, be artistic, be deliberately casual. Group shots, odd angles and taking the occasional risk can all keep your fans interested and make them wonder what’s going to be next.
While you have a photographer available, capture the people behind the products your fans love. ‘Day in the life’ type pictures and candid images that make them feel like they’re being let in on what goes on behind the scenes.
Treat your social accounts as more than just another catalogue
While your social feeds are great places to show off your most perfect images, they’re also ideal platforms to draw your fans into your world. Make your followers feel like they’re a part of your story and that they’re privy to behind the scenes secrets. Involve them, interact with them and be a little less formal.
Treat your social feeds like you treat your house – you should definitely make it super clean and tidy to impress the letting agent when he comes round for an inspection, but if your mates come round to see you, it doesn’t really matter if there are dishes in the sink every now and then. It’s the same house, but one example gives an impression of artificially curated perfection, whereas the other reflects the ‘real’ you. Who do you like better and who likes you better? The letting agent or your friends?