Two major aspects of social media marketing are words and pictures. Of these two, most people are drawn in by images. In terms of social media, books, articles, and anything else in life, people are drawn to color, light, shapes and whatever is aesthetically pleasing to their eye. That’s why when scrolling through an Instagram feed, for example, you probably just scroll through pictures and don’t think too much about the caption, right? But, if you see an image that REALLY interests you, will you sometimes stop a second to read the caption on that image. I know I do.
Knowing this, it shouldn’t be a surprise that quality photography is so important for your social media marketing. If you want anyone to notice your offer, call to action, or other information, having a captivating picture paired with this text is one way to success.
If you’re just starting out as a business or are new to social media marketing, you may not have the tools or budget for the newest and greatest Canon DSLR. That’s okay! The most popular tool for social media marketing is probably next to you right now, your smartphone! It is totally possible to make beautiful and intriguing images with smartphone photography.
Here are two steps to take towards beautiful and web-worthy images:
Determine Your Brand Aesthetic
Is your business a candy shop filled with bright colors and rainbows?
Do you run a motorcycle shop with dim lights and leather galore?
Maybe you an interior designer who loves natural light, neutral colors and marble everything.
Finding a tone or color scheme that is relevant to your business will help you nail a style. Keeping that style consistent throughout all of your social media platforms will help you develop a recognizable brand.
How do you think Tiffany blue got the name Tiffany blue?
When you see that specific shade of blue, your mind automatically goes to the jewelry company, right? It’s the same concept.
Below are some of my favorite themes (My favorite way to display these is Instagram feeds, but it’s best to keep the same look throughout all platforms.)
Create Your Brand Aesthetic
The key to is to figure out how to take and edit pictures to match your brand.
As time goes on and you really get the hang of creating your ideal image, you’ll find out what smartphone photography techniques and editing apps work best, but here is a good place to start:
Bright & Airy, White, or Naturally Lit Theme
Whether you’re rocking smartphone photography or have a higher quality camera, do your best to take most of your images outside. The bright natural sunlight will give you this look. If going outside isn’t an option, find a room with a window bringing in a lot of natural light. Up your exposure in whatever app you’re using to enhance the bright look even more.
Editing app I recommend to achieve this look: Filmborn
Color or Tone Cohesive Theme
By this, I mean sticking to one particular color or tone for all of your images. The @jcrewmens and @allyssabarnes feeds are really good examples of this. J Crew has stuck to mostly brown but brings in other colors that have a similar tone. Allyssa Barnes has picked a specific color and uses it in all of her images. With this type of theme, it matters more what you’re taking pictures of than how you are editing it. You can edit an image however you want, but if you take a bright red image and put it in a mostly green feed, it’s going to stand out. You can edit with whichever app you like, but you need to be intentional with the pictures you take.
Dark & Moody or Old Film Theme
This aesthetic is very popular right now. It’s also a little easier to achieve as you have a more freedom with what images you take. Pick a filter and stick with it, and your images will look consistent. Avoid extreme sun, and you’re golden. (Ha, get it?) A good example of this type of feed is @samuelelkins.
Editing app I recommend to achieve this look: VSCO Cam
Don’t feel limited to these 3 styles! These are very basic places to start. You can always change according to what fits your brand, that’s the best part of all of this. You are in charge of how the world sees your business! Quality doesn’t have to suffer, even with smartphone photography!
By Brenna Hoffman, Digital Media Specialist at ANS