Posting Images: Harnessing The Art Of Social Media Pictures

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Photo by zola-studio via FlickrIf you’re setting out to establish an author brand, then images may be your best friend—both on your website and on your social media platform. Whether your images go viral or simply resonate with your fans, your pics are social media party favors that help ensure people are having a good time on your page.

So take advantage of key promotional opportunities by learning the art of posting images on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Goodreads, Pinterest—and your own author website.

What Images Or Photos Do People Want To See?

Who doesn’t love pictures of grumpy cats and fat puppies? Enhance your social media content with pictures that draw people in. People want eye candy—images that inspire, make them laugh, or go “Aw…” They like photos of cute animals, funny photos with captions, pictures of signs with terrible typos, inspirational images, and motivational quotes.

When it comes to the Web, a striking image has more power than text alone. People are much more likely to take notice of a funny meme than a paragraph-long posting about your latest novel. Photos and other forms of visual content keep your readers interested!

What To Avoid Posting:

Let’s emphasize that an embarrassing photo or image can be linked anywhere and everywhere on the Internet. As a writer, you’d rather be known for your publication credits than pictures of you waving an empty tequila bottle or passed out by the pool.

For safety’s sake on social networks, don’t post pictures of your kids on public access sites, and don’t encourage an unprofessional reputation by posting pictures of yourself in racy attire or bathing suits.

Also, avoid the bathroom mirror shot—you know, the duck-lipped self-portrait so popular among teenagers… For more tips on what to avoid online, check out our article: The Eleven Deadly Sins of Online Promotion for Writers.

More Helpful Hints:

  1. Add text to your photos. Some pictures are so adorable or funny, they can stand alone, but photos with captions are more likely to be shared by others.
  2. Have a professional photograph taken of yourself, something that would be appropriate for a broad audience. Go for a professional, yet warm image to help people put a face to the name.
  3. Take advantage of Pinterest, a social networking site that appeals to creative types—perfect for writers! If you have a blog, make sure you insert at least one image that readers can “pin” for each post, and tap into a wider audience. The pins can also be shared on Twitter and Facebook.
  4. Spread the word of your accomplishments! Have you won an award, received a great review, or published a poem in a literary magazine? Take a screen shot of the award, the review, or the cover of the magazine and toot your own horn.
  5. Use stock images or edit your own to illustrate a blog post. There are dozens of sites offering stock images—some are inexpensive, others more expensive, and some are freebies. (Check carefully for usage rights!) If you’re using your own images, there are many photo editing programs you can use to add text, crop, or otherwise enhance the photo.
  6. Nonfiction authors, you can use pictures and videos related to your subject matter to establish your expertise. If you wrote a how-to book about building tree houses, post images of some of the world’s craziest-looking tree houses or a how-to video of yourself demonstrating building techniques.
  7. Make sure your pictures are at least 400 to 500 pixels wide. Social media readers tend to scan quickly, and they’re more likely to skip over posts with tiny images.

By mastering the art of posting images on popular social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, you can help boost your engagement with fans. Whether you’re posting images of your book cover, pictures of yourself at a writer’s conference, or simply catching people’s eyes with a meme of cuddly koala bears, visual content increases the success of your social media strategy.

And let’s not forget about the power of a strong website and blog. Don’t have an author website? Web Design Relief can create an affordable, custom site for you—we take care of the technical details, while you maintain full control. Let’s get started!

QUESTION: What kind of photos work well for you?

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