By Guest Blogger: Kelvin Claveria, Blogger at KCCLAVERIA.COM
A couple of weeks ago, I attended NetSquared Camp Vancouver, an unconference that brings together social media users and web innovators with social change makers and nonprofits to swap stories, mix ideas, and build new relationships. The purpose of the highly successful event was to empower non-profits with emerging tools, trends, and best practices, allowing them to fulfill their mission statements in new and innovative ways.
Although I’ve taken away many insights from the event, what struck me most was the session titled “How NGOs win on Facebook”. The folks at Capulet Communications looked at thousands of posts from a number of big non-profits to answer two questions:
-What kind of content earns the most likes, comments and shares?
-Which organizations are killing it on Facebook?
Some of their findings are not really surprising. For instance, they found that that photos and videos tend to get the most engagement. They also found that non-profits that are less self-promotional tend to find success on Facebook.
Where the study got interesting, however, is when they dug in deeper and looked at the most “engaging” photos to see why those images received the most likes, shares, and comments.
When people talk about photos in social media, they tend to talk about the technical stuff: rule of thirds, composition, balance, etc. But when it comes to getting people engaged, a technically superb photo isn’t sufficient.
Based on the top photos from Capulet’s Facebook study, here are four tips that you should consider when selecting images to share on social media.
1. APPEAL TO EMOTIONS.
Use photos to get your audience to react emotionally. Get them disgusted over an environmental issue. Or perhaps use an image that will get them excited over a news story about your organization. Make them happy with cute photos of babies, or perhaps make them depressed with striking images of famine or war.
Emotions are powerful, and an image is the perfect tool to get people to feel.
2. BE INTERESTING.
All the photos that got a high engagement in the study were interesting.
Of course, what qualifies as “interesting” is subjective, but I think you’ll know that a photo is interesting when you see one.
To make the mundane more interesting, I suggest experimenting – a lot. For example, try shooting from a different angle. You can also try zooming in or out to catch a different view. More importantly though, keep your eyes open for anything in your organization that might seem boring and “normal” to you but may actually fascinate an outsider looking in.
Photo credit: Surfrider.org
3. CONSIDER ADDING A SIMPLE MESSAGE TO YOUR PHOTO.
This was certainly a surprise for me. As it turns out, adding text over photos do work. The Surfrider example above would have worked okay if it just had the image, but adding the text “What goes in the ocean, goes in you” made the message clearer and drove home the point.
I don’t see many organizations doing this yet, but if you do, make the message concise. Also, keep the formatting simple and clean. You wouldn’t want the message to ruin your photo.
4. SHARE TIMELY PHOTOS.
Images that are relevant to specific events — e.g. Valentine’s Day — received a lot of likes and comments. Organizations that took advantage of memes (e.g. the “S—t girls say” meme) also saw more engagement on Facebook.
Keep your eyes peeled for timely events and discussions where your organization or business might be able to contribute.
WHAT TYPE OF PHOTOS DO YOU “LIKE”?
With the growing popularity of Pinterest and with cell phones’ cameras continuing to improve, we can only assume thatphotos will remain an important part of the social media culture. Consider the tips here to make sure that your photos stand out and that they tell your organization’s stories well.
Your turn – what type of photos do YOU comment on, share, or like on Facebook? Share your tips below.
Kelvin Claveria is a Marketing Generalist who blogs about marketing and social media and a regular Guest Blogger for Getinvolved.ca. Kelvin has extensive experience working in the NFP sector and has worked with Volunteer Services at Simon Fraser University. Kelvin is currently working at a PR firm in Vancouver. Find out more about Kelvin or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can view Kelvin’s other Getinvolved! Blogs here.
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