Posted by on February 1, 2019

Strategies for specific social media platforms

Although you may be using similar content across all your social media platforms, you need to tailor your posts so that they meet the requirements of each platform. You should also actively target the audiences of these platforms in a meaningful, consistent and relevant way.

LinkedIn

Although LinkedIn has more than 562 million professionals it doesn’t necessarily mean they are only interested in boring, work-related content. Understand the needs of your audience and what they relate to. Make sure your LinkedIn company page is interesting and engaging to your audience.

Video content is very relevant for LinkedIn users. LinkedIn has engaged auto-play so it makes it easier for your customers to view your videos. All your motion graphics should be published as an MP4 video file rather than as a GIF. Many browsers and social media platforms are disabling auto-play for GIFs and rather converting them to click-to-play videos. Rather than letting the social platform control how your videos appear, if you create the motion graphic as a video file from the start you will be able to make sure it appears and plays exactly how you want.

Include captions on your videos so that they are effective at reaching your audience even when they are playing them with the sound turned off.

LinkedIn image specifications
LinkedIn Image Specifications
Twitter Image Specifications
Twitter Image Specifications

Twitter

80% of Twitter’s traffic is from mobile devices. You should confirm this is true for your audience using Google Analytics, and adapt your social media imagery to best meet their demands. Twitter displays your images in different sizes and orientations according to how many you attach and which type of device on which it is displayed. Make sure you check in advance that you know how your posts will be affected and how they will look on both desktop and mobile devices.

You need to be very original and creative. It is very hard to make your post stand out from the barrage of tweets every day. You can use template generating web services such as Canva to create custom images, by adding your own visual content.

FaceBook

Approximately 100 million hours of video are watched every day on FaceBook. The most successful and engaging videos are 60-90 seconds long. Also, note that 85% of FB users watch a video without sound. This means you need to be sure your videos are engaging and get your point across even when they are silent. Adding captions can be very helpful.

FaceBook even offers a short 20-minute course that will help you to develop the videos that fit best with their format and teach you to optimize videos for their platform, both silent and with sound.

Facebook image specifications
Facebook Image Specifications
Instagram image specifications
Instagram Image Specifications

Instagram

Instagram previously only allowed square images and very short video snippets. This year they have changed this in order to adapt to the increasing mobile demand for images. You can now upload images in portrait 4x5 aspect ratio and videos can be up to a minute long. It’s important to be aware of details such as the best aspect ratios of your images for different media.

On Instagram, you want to be sure that your images maximize the space they occupy on a user’s mobile phone. Although your images will be square on your grid, in order to compete with all the other images out there, you need to take up as much of the consumer’s screen as possible. Make your images into thumb-stoppers!

Compare the screen-shot images below. The first is shot in a horizontal landscape 16:9 aspect ratio while the second is shot in a vertical portrait 4x5 aspect. The second shots take up the entire screen. Which grabs more of your attention?

Drone shot of rice fields in Bali
Instagram 16:9 Aspect
Single malt whisky Aberfeldy
Instagram portrait 5x4 aspect ratio

Instagram innovations

Instagram now also offers stories and more recently Instagram TV, which is where you can post videos longer than one minute. Once you have more than 10,000 followers you can add a link to your Instagram stories that people can visit just by swiping up. This makes it very easy to direct traffic to your pages or website and drive increased conversions. Viewers don’t have to leave Instagram to view the link – it loads within Instagram – which makes people more likely to look at it. If you don’t have 10,000 followers yet you can also do the same by getting your account verified.

Although it is great to have a consistent image campaign across all your social media platforms, you also need to be aware of the intricacies of each, and adapt the images to best target the audience of each media channel and the way in which the images are presented on them.

Think about where any text will go on your picture. Is there a space where text will naturally fit? Position images so they point to the text you want viewers to read. For example, have a person in a picture looking towards the text. Make sure there is a “single focal point”. This can be achieved in a number of ways such as manipulating focus or strategically cropping an image.

Use negative or empty space in your images to give them balance and make them stand out. Creating simpler images will help the viewer more easily understand your message, and make them take notice amongst the barrage of complex imagery we face every day.

Photography tips

Most people have a smartphone that can take pretty reasonable pictures. But it helps to know a few tips for getting better images. Depending on your goal look for contrast (in colour, light and shadows, textures, etc). Utilise faces and emotions (candid shots and expressions, tell a story with your images). Try out different angles (shoot up to make people look taller and more important, shoot from behind something such as a tree branch to create soft natural frames). You can search for stock images and then use them as inspiration for your own.

Quiet mosque interior
A decorative brick wall creates a natural frame for the interior of a mosque

Faces create personal connections

We are also drawn to faces. Don’t be afraid to include faces that would attract your target market in your imagery. We feel more connected to images that portray people we perceive similar to ourselves. Use techniques such as creating “bokeh” and a “narrow depth of field” to emphasize the subject in the foreground while the background is blurred.

There is a virtual bombardment of images in social media that we filter through every day. It is the images that have meaning for us that make us stop scrolling. Images that provoke emotions, of happiness or sadness, surprise, fear, disgust, anger, love, compassion or any of our other complex emotions. Anything that is neutral or we don’t connect with on an emotional level doesn’t even register, and we just skip past it.

candid black and white portrait of woman, tranquil, peaceful
Candid portrait

I am a personal fan of candid photography. Capturing a real emotional moment is far more impactful than a staged or arranged image. People today want to connect with others who have similar hopes, dreams, and aspirations as themselves. They want to see how people are dealing with the same hurdles and challenges they themselves are facing. By exploring an emotional or sensitive topic that is relevant to issues faced by your audience in an honest and compassionate way, you can bring real value to people’s lives. They will appreciate the connection and perceive you with openness and trust.

It's "brand image" for a reason

You should think of your images as a central element of your marketing strategy. They help to tell your story and connect you to your target audience on a more personal level. With good image choices and optimization of those images, you should be able to create great content that people can relate to. This in turn will lead them to becoming loyal customers that identify closely with your brand.

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