Stop Using These Crappy Images On Your Social Media Posts

Stop Using These Crappy Images On Your Social Media Posts

images and photos for social media and marketingSometimes 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.

crappy images

 

 

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 our websites, blog posts or social media sites.

Every social platform allows for very large images and we want to take advantage of every pixel we can. I love using Canva to ensure we are sizing the images correctly. Their templates for social media sites are very helpful, and they do a pretty good job of keeping up with the ever-changing sizes.

Here are some of the types of images that will get knuckles cracked, and why:

Clip Art (of any kind)

bad images

These just have the same smell as my great grandmother’s TV room.  They are old and stale. A great photo of an actual boy on a tricycle or a cool close up of a tricycle would be more intriguing and interesting than this one.  Take a trip this weekend and snap some great photos to use instead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why not go with something more interesting?

Photo by Rodolfo Mari on Unsplash

Phony team or corporate porn

corny images

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. I know they are harder to find. You have to look at new collections or unique sites like Unpsplash. Better yet, 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.  The fake looking, overly-staged pics are called corporate porn. They should be banned and someone should lose their job for even looking at them on company computers!

where to find great images for social

Photo by Steven Lelham on Unsplash

Corny Images

corny images bad images for social media corny images dont use these in social media

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No explanation needed! You’re just embarrassing yourself if you are using these anywhere. Don’t make me get my ruler out.

Where to Get Great Images

So where do you go to find these GREAT images?  Here are 12 stock photo libraries to get you started.  You will still have to look through their collections to find the great ones.

The photographs from the first 8 sites are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. This means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

However, some photos may require attribution. We’ve done our best to identify which license they fall under but we still advise you to do your own research and determine how these images can be used.

The last 3 resources are paid stock photo sites that are great for those who blow through hundreds or thousands of images a month. You need more than one place to find just the right image to tell your stories!

Here you go:

  1. Unsplash – This website offers amazing and beautiful photos absolutely free. It’s one of my favorites.
  2. Pexels – Pexels is another great resource offering high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.
  3. StockSnap – This website offers many similar images to the paid subscription sites (probably the images that didn’t get purchased from them). They are free and free from copyright restrictions.
  4. Life of Pix – a great collection of high-resolution images with no copyright restrictions.
  5. BURST (by Shopify)– All photos are licensed under Creative Commons CC0 and can be used as you see fit.
  6. Picography – Beautiful free images to use however you’d like.
  7. PicJumbo – This site offers free images you can use without copyright restrictions and you will also find a “premium” level for more hidden gems.
  8. StyledStock -This site offers free “feminine” stock photography for every woman entrepreneur. The collection is totally free for your commercial & personal works.
  9. Pikwizard– This site offers over 100,000 completely free images on the site and over 20,000 are exclusive to Pikwizard. They have a lot of pictures of people in business settings which is helpful for corporate accounts.
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  10. Deposit Photos– a typical subscription stock photo site. You must pay for individual photos or buy a monthly subscription to download the images.
  11. Shutterstock– a typical subscription stock photo site. You must pay for individual photos or buy a monthly subscription to download the images.
  12. iStock Photos– a typical subscription stock photo site. You must pay for individual photos or buy a monthly subscription to download the images.

Don’t forget that photographer inside of YOU. You can 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.

Infographics are another great way to add visual appeal to your social media marketing.  Check out tools like Canva,  Easel.ly, Piktochart, Venngage, and if you want a little help, check out Visual.ly 

how to make infographics for social media posts

Do you have a type of image that makes you cringe?  Do you have another great resource that you use for great images? I’d love to continue the conversation here in the comments or on our DIY.social Facebook Group.

Connect with me on Twitter or via email Gina@SocialKNX.com

Facebook Algorithm Changes: 3 Things Your Business Must Do

Facebook Algorithm Changes: 3 Things Your Business Must Do

people panic over Facebook changes

Many of us woke up this week to find business owners and marketers running through the streets screaming and gnashing their teeth as the news of Facebook’s algorithm changing again came out. What will happen? Business pages will no longer be seen by anyone…ever!

Facebook calls its algorithm the “Audience Optimization Tool” and it is optimizing the newsfeed to correct its focus on paid news and more specifically, “Fake News” delivered in the past. It will be making a significant change to the way content will be shared in the newsfeed.

In a post on Facebook’s Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg said business and media posts are crowding out more personal moments. They want to encourage more “meaningful and personal connections and to do this they will increase content from friends, family, and groups in the news feed; and limit content from companies, brands, thought leaders, authors, journalists, celebrities and more. They want to “put the social back in social media.” Ask yourself right now, has your business been more social or more promotional? Are you talking to your audience or are you just posting content?

facebook changes killing business

So what does this mean for your business? Are you doomed? Should you go out and buy that CLOSED sign to hang on the door this weekend? Here’s the simple math equation that will help you solve the algorithm problem:

If a post goes out at 8am and reaches 300 people and you multiply it by 2 shares and divide by 13 likes and 2 laugh responses you will get a score of …. Oh come on …do you really think we can EVER figure out Facebook’s algorithm? Instead of trying to outsmart the Facebook brain, let’s talk about 3 actions you should be taking:

  1. Shift Your Thinking Back to Email

    Let’s all remember that no matter how many people see your posts, and regardless of the number of fans you have acquired, you are on rented land. You don’t own the platform and therefore having a million fans that see your content should never be the endgame. Your focus should be to pull people into your email list and nurture the relationships there as well. (Nurture being the keyword. Do more than COLLECT email addresses.) Social media is the tool, or driver, to get new people to your property…your email list. (Read: What is a lead magnet and why do I need them in my marketing)

  2. Create a Different Kind of Content

    Keep in mind the reason the algorithm is needed: There’s just too much content out there. We all have more “friends”, more pages we have liked, and more ads calling to us.  This algorithm change is just another filter to bring the best (or most popular) content to the top. Soooo… quality content is going to be CRITICAL. It has always been important, but perhaps now before you hit publish, you ask yourself questions like:

    • Is this unique information? Look around and see if others are posting the same stuff.
    • Does this elicit a response from people? Am I asking questions or making a provocative statement that will get people talking? There is an art to asking great questions. If you ask waste-of-time questions like, “Who wants to make more money?” “Who wants greater health?” you will get crickets (or you should). Instead, get personal. Talk one-on-one. Ask people to share what they think or what they will do with the information.
    • Am I providing content that people will find actionable and helpful? Does it give people something to ponder or do that will impact their lives or business?
    • Is this piece of content just unnecessary? You know the pretty quote overlays and the funny gifs we post to get likes? Well, those may not serve you well on Facebook any longer. Sure we may get people to chuckle and click LIKE, but unless a comment or conversation is started over it, Facebook will probably bury it 6 feet under.
  3. Get back to basics.

    In the old days, when we still had phones hanging on our walls and televisions sat on our living room floors, we used to get out and greet others on social media. We joined forums and groups where we asked questions, shared answers and formed a community. We got to know people who were not on our business pages and some of these relationships turned into friendships or business collaborations. I call it “walking about” (Read: 4 Tips for Better Social Media Management) and it will benefit you to go back in time and get social again. Build relationships on social media platforms. Don’t just post your content and sit back and wait for the analytics to show you how many people read it. It may seem like a tedious or slow process, but you will build solid relationships that will spread and who knows…you just might find your next customer or business partner.

social media community

So let’s agree that instead of wasting our energy crying over Facebook ruining our businesses, let’s get refocused and make some needed changes to our social media content and habits. I’d love it if you would share your ideas for greater connections here in the comments or of course you can jump over to our DIY Social Facebook Group and share then with us–you may just meet some other fabulous people while you’re there.

We also put together a “DO’s and DON’Ts for Facebook’s New Algorithm Changes” resource for you with actual questions and comments to use instead of the old “engagement baiting” LIKE THIS or SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS. You can download it here:

Facebook New Algorithm Changes Engagement Bait

 

Gina Schreck SocialKNX and DIY social

 

@GinaSchreck is the CEO at SocialKNX and loves connecting on any social platform to share and learn together. Just don’t send creepy private messages that just say “Hi.”