By: Lisa Wozniak
Are you getting the level of engagement on your social media platforms and websites that you want to see? Are people coming back to visit you time and again? If not graphics could be to blame. Here are four things nobody told you about social media graphics. To succeed at marketing your own practice, there are some things you need to know.
Graphics Increase Engagement
Let’s face it, there is a lot of competition for people’s attention out there. And in order to compete you have to find a way to grab their attention to get your message across. The two best ways to do that these days is with video or graphics. If you don’t have the time or the know how to create compelling video, graphics may be your best option. But rest assured, you’ll need a visual image to stand apart from the crowd. Think of your own timeline on Facebook for example. As you scroll through your timeline looking at things others have posted, which are the posts that caused you to stop and pay more attention and read the text? I’d be willing to bet that it’s those posts that have a compelling graphic attached to it. We’d all like to believe that we’re there to stay current with friends and family and maybe we are, but you can’t deny the power of those posts with the cute kittens or puppies are undoubtedly the ones that cause us to stop and look, even if it’s just for a second or two. So why should your private practice be any different? In order to compete for attention all of your social media and blog posts need to have a graphic attached. In fact the evidence is so compelling that studies show, Facebook pages who post status updates with visuals in the form of videos, photos or graphic images create up to 180 percent stronger engagement than those with strictly text. But will any old image do?
Graphics Should Convey Your Message
When selecting an image for your blog, social media post or website, you’ll want to consider the message you want to convey. What is your niche? What is the target market you serve? These are great places to start when considering your graphics? If there is a specific message to your blog article or social media post, what image best represents that. While I’m sure you’ll agree that posting a picture of a cute puppy on an article or social media post talking about cardio vascular disease makes no sense, it can go a bit deeper than the obvious. Let’s use an example of a blog or social media post about depression. You’ll want to think about what your specific message is with regard to depression. Does it offer the reader the approach you use to treat the disorder or are you providing information about the disorder itself? You’ll want to match your graphic to the message to have the most impact.
Legal Images Are A Must
Now that you have a handle on the importance of graphics in your online marketing and what kinds of images to choose, it’s important to stay legal. I can’t tell you how many times I’ll be working with someone and see a great graphic they have posted on their site or blog and ask them, “What a great picture where did you find this?” only to have them tell me that they Googled a term and found this really great image. This is a major no, no and can get you into trouble if you’re not careful. At the very least, if you’re caught using copy written images you’ll be asked to take them down to avoid further legal action. At the worst, you could face serious fines and/or legal action for the use of copy written images without expressed consent. There are a number of sites that will allow you to download stock photos for free and avoid the copyright debacle. Some of them include, pixabay, morgue file, Free Range Stock, and more. You can also use Google, but you have to do this in the advanced search settings and select the option to search for under usage rights that says, “free to use, share or modify, even commercially.” Anything less than this is just not worth the risk.
Edited Graphics Are Free Advertising
Once you’ve selected the perfect image for your blog, site or social media post, you’ll want to take one extra step to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck out of the graphic. You’ll want to take a moment to apply the URL of your website and logo to the image. The reason you’ll want to do this is that each time someone shares your social media post, or your blog, the image will go along with it. This is where your free advertising comes in to play. Each time it’s shared and a new person sees this image, your URL and Logo on the graphic are doing your advertising for you. You would be surprised to see how many new followers you gain as a result of this simple step that takes just seconds to perform. There are a couple of FREE sites to consider when editing images you’ve selected; picmonkey.com and canva.com are both sites that allow you to overlay your logo on to an image and apply text over the top. Be prepared however, these two sites can become addictive as you explore all of the fun features that they have available to edit your images.
We hope these four things nobody told you about social media graphics has encouraged you to become more creative in your online marketing. We’d love to hear what you’ve learned about the use graphics in your marketing and how it’s impacted your follower engagement.
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