The Ultimate Photo Checklist for Creating a Social Media Content Archive
We discussed the importance of having relevant and authentic social media images on our blog post earlier this month. Part of acquiring those images for your social media posts is going out and finding them with a strategic plan, or a checklist. Creating this checklist takes some effort and brainstorming to get started, but it will save you time throughout the process of building your social content.
For obvious reasons, there is no master photo checklist. It varies from business to business depending on your target audience, location, brand, industry and if your business is product or service based.
Know your audience. Speak to them directly.
Understanding your target audience plays an important role in every aspect of business and social media is no exception to that rule. Be inclusive when trying to understand your target audience, but also be specific. Find things to photograph that your target audience likes and that they can relate to. When they are scrolling through social media, doesn't it make sense they'll stop to look at something they like? Maybe a fashion-forward female should be more interested in your insurance policies, but they're not going to stop scrolling for that. Take a photograph of a great outfit to catch their attention, then relate the copy to, "Losing your favorite clothes in a flood accident would really suck..."
Invest in your community. It matters.
You've been handed something your target audience likes, and has in common--location! People have pride when it comes to where they are from or where they live. It brings people together; that's community. Label a folder in your photo archive "Location," and relate your social content to where you are. This could supply you even more image content if you have multiple locations! Track and analyze clicks, likes, and comments you receive from these location-forward posts and push out more community content if it's performing well. Furthermore, use #hashtags that stem from your city and tag your location on Instagram and Facebook to emphasize your posts.
Utilize every angle and setting possible for product-based businesses.
Lucky you! You have something tangible which means you have something to show people. You should be creating new and innovative ways to display your product on social media. Ways that grabs viewer's attention while separating you from your competitors. Don't be random, but get original. Taking your product out of its natural habitat could link back to involving your location and it should be intentional to your target audience. Brainstorm different places, spaces and backdrops that relate to your product, your audience, and that enhance the likability of product overall. Create a checklist of these different concepts to add some excitement to your products. For example, your restaurant is featuring a new Spring menu with an emphasis on fresh ingredients. Photograph those new dishes on a green backdrop, in a green field or even a garden. You're involving your location, you're catching the attention of your target audience with "fresh and green," and you're separating yourself from other restaurants by being original.
Get creative with conceptual ideas for service-based businesses.
Giving visual references to a service based business can be challenging, but you just have to break it down a little bit. Follow these checklist guidelines:
- List your services.
- For each service, list 5 conceptual ideas that stem from that service.
- List 5 tangible, visual things you can photograph for every conceptual idea.
- Go get 'em.
When you find something on your list to photograph, take at least 5 different angles of it.
Approach social photography differently than other platforms.
It is absolutely vital that you are taking photos that make your product look great, otherwise what is the point of showing it off? If you are proud of your product, be proud of the way you market it on your site and social media platforms. Bad photographs will ruin the charm of your product for someone who hasn't even gotten the chance to try it.
Here are some tips to composing a good photograph:
- Step away from the zoom. Cropping is your best friend when it comes to social media photography. Your photos should have the flexibility to fit into different shapes and sizes for different platforms. Instagram is square, Twitter and Facebook work best with horizontal, wide rectangles, and Pinterest works best with vertical rectangles. If you overthink the cropping while you are taking the photograph, it stunts the opportunity to tailor that photo to certain social platforms.
- Focus on great lighting. If you're unsure how to capture good lighting when taking a picture, watch a YouTube tutorial like Joe McNally's Photography Tips.
- Create cohesive visuals. Explore the idea of creating a cohesiveness visual display throughout your social media photos by limiting the filters you use (ideally the same one or two throughout) and edit your photos the same way. If one photo is black and white, next to bright, hight contrast colorful photo, it won't look nice. Keep the saturation, exposure and color balance the same throughout your photos.
- Include branded content in your social media photo archive. Here are some ideas:
- Print your logo on t-shirts and photograph a model or hang it up creatively.
- Print your logo on stickers, place them around town (legally) and take interesting angles of the photos.
- Pull up your website on a computer and photograph the computer screen.
- Aquire different angles of your sign at different times of the day.
It's a quality-over-quantity content world out there. Whether you're a business owner, a marketing coordinator, or a just looking to step up your social media game, remember to understand your audience, get out into your community, photograph your product in a innovative way, brainstorm if you're service based, and keep your photographs flexible to fit into different social platforms. Being prepared never fails, especially when creating your social media content checklist!
Digital Coordinator & Junior Designer
Maddy is a graphic designer and enjoys being immersed in everything digital. She has been an East Side resident for over six years and believes Milwaukee is the place to be! She prides herself on always having a restaurant recommendation and believes a screen should be replaced with a good book every night.more posts by Maddy →