Posting to your favorite social media platform is designed to be as easy as possible and for good reason. However, if you want to establish your brand as being valuable, professional, and attractive, you can’t post content without a system that ensures your agency looks its best. This article details step-by-step how you can deliver social posts that reflect how awesome your agency is and the value you bring to your community. Are you ready to post like a pro?
Let’s jump right in!
It Starts with the Image
The image will drive your post on most platforms, so you need to take care that you’re starting with a quality product. You can take a picture with your camera or phone, receive an image from a friend or coworker, or download an image from the internet (making sure to credit the photographer, of course). Once you have a compelling piece of visual storytelling, you’re ready to move on.
Edit & Optimize
Most images will need to be edited in some way before they’re posted. Here are some quick and easy tips to make it look its best:
Most phones offer extensive and easy to use editing tools so take advantage. Begin by bringing up the image on your phone, click to edit, and pull up the cropping tool. The first thing you’ll likely need to do is zoom in on your subject. Remove the wasted space around the focal point so that you draw your viewers eye directly to your intended target. Don’t overthink this step. Once your subject is highlighted, move on.
Rule of 1/3s
Now to position the image correctly using the rule of 1/3s. Within your phone’s cropping tool, you’ll see two horizontal lines and two vertical lines running across your image. Your subject (a friend’s face, a building, a hamburger, etc.) will typically want to be centered on either the upper or lower horizontal lines. For instance, try putting your friend’s eyes along the upper line, or put the horizon line of your cityscape along the lower line.
Then move the subject to the left or right, centering them along one of the two vertical lines running vertically across the image. For instance, center your friend, who’s standing against a graffiti-covered wall along either the left or right vertical line.
There are many reasons why you should position your subject off-center, but I won’t go into them. The rule-of-thumb of 1/3s is long established as best practice in photography. However, if you don’t like the way it looks, change it. Make sure you like how it looks before moving on to the next level of editing.
Once you’ve cropped and positioned your image, it’s time to rotate. The rotating tool simply allows you to level the image appropriately. This isn’t always needed, but for landscapes, cityscapes, and group photos, it’s necessary to ensure the horizon is level to the photo.
The image will usually need to be tweaked somewhat to highlight the colors, contrast, and clarity. To do this, simply click on the Auto Optimize tool. This tool isn’t perfect, but you can’t beat the ease of it for social media purposes.
I’m not big on using a filter for your images, but they can be useful in some circumstances. If you like using filters to convey a particular mood, then please continue.
Because we’re concerned with using social media as a marketing tool, it’s essential to brand all your images before posting. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you put your logo in all your images, even though that’s not a bad idea. What it means is that all your posts have a distinct feel that reflects your brand. That could mean including your logo, using the same filter for all your images, using a specific color palette, or all of the above. The simple rule is this: Be consistent with the appearance of your posts.
Here are a few of the leading tools for easily branding all your content:
This is my favorite tool for social media. It’s simple to use on your phone, intuitive, and they offer a free version that’s robust enough for anyone who’s pinching their marketing pennies. Just save your logo as an image on your phone and it’s ready to be added to any photo you choose.
This is an Adobe mobile product that is also widely used by the marketing community. Many people highly recommend Spark and I won’t disagree with them. It’s a handy free tool, and much more so if you have an Adobe subscription.
Canva has been around for years and is also widely used for a variety of digital needs. They have a great selection of templates and is relatively easy to use. It’s fast, efficient, and easy to use for the novice designer.
Now that you’ve edited, optimized, and branded your image, it’s time to post it to one of your social media profiles. By the way, if you haven’t yet set up your social profile like a pro, you may want to read my previous post. There essentially three common steps to posting on most platforms.
- Compose a thoughtful and brand-consistent message to accompany your beautiful image. Keep it short, sweet, and targeted to your ideal audience. For more on how to craft a compelling brand message, download my 10-Step Marketing Checklist.
- Double-check your image and the copy to make sure there’s nothing that would detract from your intended brand message.
- The use of hashtags is appropriate for most platforms and should be considered each time you post. A good general rule is to use 3-5 hashtags per post. You can use much more than this on platforms like Instagram, but keep it targeted to who you want to reach. Think about your hashtags on two levels. One, reach your highly targeted audience that will become a user, customer, or client. Two, reach a wide audience to attract new followers and a more diverse crowd. After you’ve engaged with the platform for a while you can begin to refine your hashtags for better efficiency and response rate.
Like any social arena, you’ll draw more flies with honey than vinegar. If you’ve never heard of that expression, it means that you’ll get new social media followers if you interact with people in a kind and intentional way. Here are three guidelines:
- Be cool, kind and consistent. Engage with the platform, interesting people, and the audience you want to reach when you have a few minutes during your day. You don’t need to do this 24/7, just when you have time.
- Read people’s posts and if they apply to your brand, like their post, make a comment, or follow their feed. Don’t do this in mass. Take your time and consistently engage with the platform and the people.
- Respond to everyone who comments on your posts or who sends you a direct message (except for SPAM). Again, engage with other people and you’ll gain followers. It takes time, but it’s that easy.
If you’d like more information about how Holmes Marketing can help you navigate the social media landscape and how to post like a pro, please feel free to visit our website and set up a free consultation call today.