Sometimes I think I should have been a nun instead of getting into marketing and social media.
Not the kind of nun that sings, like on Sound of Music or Italy’s “The Voice,” but the kind in the 1950’s who walked around with a ruler, ready to smack children on the knuckles when they used crappy images on their social media posts!
There are only a few things that send me over the edge when it comes to how poorly some companies are using social media: One is when they don’t respond to a comment or question left for them on one of their social sites, proving they don’t really want people to talk to them, they simply want everyone to read their stuff.
Another is when people use those idiotic services like TrueTwit validation to make others on Twitter prove they are not robots by going to a robot site and jumping through a bunch of hoops. (See a past post for more on that rant here).
And the one that my team, here at SocialKNX, has heard me preach over and over again (with my ruler in hand) is when people and especially brands, use crappy images on their social media sites. I think my issue started back in the days when Microsoft's Screen Bean characters were all the rage in corporate presentations and marketing material.
I wanted to rip things apart when I would see them. (Anger management courses have helped a bit.)
But today it's even worse, when great visuals are available everywhere and the cameras we carry in our back pockets take fantastic photos, there is just no excuse for poor images (except laziness, or a love for screen beans) being used on social media sites.
Twitter now displays your photos HUGE, as does Google Plus. With Facebook going back to the single column format, photos now can be as large as 504px x 504px (to resize images we love using PicMonkey—FREE and EASY), so you want to take advantage of these eye-popping, traffic-stopping opportunities whenever you can.
Here are some of the types of images that will get knuckles cracked, and why:
Clip Art (of any kind)
These just have the same smell as my great grandmother's TV room. They are old and stale. A great photo of an actual wind up doll in an antique store would be better than this one shown. Take a trip this weekend and snap some great photos to use instead.
Phony team or corporate porn
Oh these are bad on so many levels, it's hard to know where to start! First any of the overly staged, fake corporate team photos tell the world you don't even try. You may have purchased these photos from Shutterstock or iStockPhoto, but you didn't look past the first 3 or 4 choices. A personal favorite, is the overly enthusiastic team meeting photo that shows everyone giving high fives around a flipchart! Come on! Show us REAL people, doing real office activities. Get your own team members to pose for a few shots, or look for great photos that depict the message you are trying to convey. These phonies are called corporate porn. They should be banned and someone should lose their job for even looking at them on company computers!
No explanation needed! Don't make me get my ruler out.
So where do you go to find these GREAT images? Here are 18 stock photo libraries to get you started. You can also take some great pics with your mobile devices and then add a bit of pizazz with apps like A Beautiful Mess, or even Instagram. Don't settle for boring images.
Do you have a type of image that makes you cringe? If not photos, what are your pet peeves on social media sites?
If you need help with your social and digital marketing, contact us. We'd love to help you avoid the ruler.
Connect with me on Twitter, @GinaSchreck or via email Gina@SocialKNX.com