You’ve heard the cliché, a picture is worth a thousand words. In online communications, this couldn’t be more true. Using images greatly increases the engagement of your followers or readers because 40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text alone. (Source: Zabisco) Images will also help you better convey the message you are trying to make, the product you are trying to sell or the idea you are trying to explain.
So here are four things you should do when posting images online.
1) Edit – The better looking your images are, the more engaging they become and the more likely they are to be liked, commented on or shared. It is worth spending a few minutes making sure the size, color and resolution of your images is optimal before you post it. Don’t panic, you don’t have to be a Photoshop wiz to create quality pictures. There are several free online photo-editing sites (PicMonkey, Pixlr, Gimp) available and most of today’s camera apps have relatively easy, but sophisticated editing tools for enhancing your images.
2) Name and ID – Google loves images, so make sure you describe and ID your image files as best you can. For example, instead of using a picture of flowers with a file name “IMG300342.jpg” you should rename the image “JanesFloristbouquet.jpeg” before uploading it. This will help you with search engine rankings (SEO) for your website or blog and it also helps describe the image to people who might not be able to see it.
Also, if the image is your work of art, you should consider putting your logo or watermark on it, so that when it is shared, people will clearly know the source of the image.
3) Tag – If you are using images in social media, then consider tagging your image for wider audience. Use keywords describing what the picture is about (i.e. #menswear, #timemanagement #quote #TGIF), your image will reach others who are interested in your tags.
You can also tag people who are in a picture you are sharing. It’s best if you get their permission, first. When you do tag them, your image will also be shared and accessible to their followers (assuming they don’t have strict privacy controls).
4) Credit – This could possibly be the most important tip because if you don’t have permission or properly credit the source of your image (assuming it is not you), then you could be stealing. Seriously, pulling images from a random Google image search with no attribution is no joke and could land you into legal trouble. Most photo-sharing sites (Flickr, Wikimedia Commons, iStockphoto) offer details about the rights and permissions associated with using their images. Take the time to understand the permission rights of the images you want to use and give credit where credit is due.
So are you ready to aim, shoot, edit and post? Let me know how your picture posting is going in the comments and check out these articles for more resources on using images online:
– 9 Best Free Image Editors – Mashable
– Five Facebook Failures with Visuals – Social Solutions Collective
– How Images Convince People You’re Not Lying (and 3 tactics for using it online) – Social Triggers
– 9 Sites Where You Can Download Stock Photos For Free – The Virtual Assistant