Taking photos for business social media accounts

Staying active on social media is a vital, ongoing priority for almost any modern business. Key to achieving the greatest levels of social media engagement for most brands is often the visual format… But taking photos for business social media accounts is a little different to snapping a shot of your friends at dinner (although many of the same skills do apply). Here we’ll look at how to take high-quality photos for your business’s social media profiles:

1) Be engaging, not promotional

Being active on social media can be hard work. Most social media marketing specialists will recommend – depending on what industry you’re in – that you post on a very regular business. Perhaps even daily. That adds up to hundreds of shots per year. If you spam your followers with hundreds of promotional “buy me now” shots, you are going to quickly start losing your valuable audience members. Instead, aim to produce high-quality content which your audience will appreciate on a more personal level.

2) Have a social media strategy

Smart business and franchise owners succeed by having social media marketing strategies in place and stick to them. For potential franchisees, this can be an easy way to spot better franchise opportunities. Look for clearly laid out marketing plans and guidelines. When you’re looking into buying a franchise, this is definitely something worth enquiring about first as it can make a world of difference later. When you’re a solo entrepreneur or business owner, developing your own social media strategy is the cornerstone of strong consistent growth from day one. You’ll want to have it nailed down long before you start to snap some photos.

3) You can use your smartphone

Nowadays, if you own a recent smartphone that has a high-quality camera, you might not need to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional-quality DSLR. But that doesn’t mean you can simply point, shoot and post to your social media account. When using your smartphone camera to take business shots, be careful to:
  1. Clean your phone first – pay special attention to the camera lens. These quickly get dirty thanks to constantly being in your hands.
  2. Check the lighting – natural light is always better. If you regularly shoot in an environment where you don’t get much natural light, it will almost certainly be worth investing in a small lighting set or light ring.
  3. Prioritise the focus – most smartphones offer functionality which allows you to easily set the focus of the image. For example, if you’re taking a picture of a person, tap on them in your viewfinder before you hit “take photo” and your camera will know to make them the focus.

4) Use an editing app

To further increase the quality of the social media images you take on your smartphone, you can use one of the many handy editing apps which are available. Some of the best-regarded are:
  • A Color Story
  • Lightroom
  • Facetune
Don’t go too far with editing apps though. Usually, a couple of tiny tweaks is all it should take to perfect your shot.

5) Take tips from the professionals

Here are some classic photography tips which even beginner camera operators can take on board:
  • Use the rule of thirds – most cameras and smartphones come with optional grid lines. Turn these on and you will be able to easily exploit the so-called “rule of thirds.” This classic law of image composition says that you should put the important objects in your photo at the intersections between the grid lines rather than centrally. Try it out.
  • Shoot for symmetry – symmetrical images tend to be better images. If you can make your shot symmetrical, it’s always worth trying to do so. 
  • Look for natural frames – many objects in the world, such as windows and doorways provide natural frames which look great in photos. Keep an eye out for them.
All told, taking photos for your business social media accounts can be relatively easy. It certainly gets easier once you get a little practice. Just be sure to stick to your social media strategy and try to give your audience shots which they will value instead of being plain sales spam.
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