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How to find shareable images even if your business is unsexy: Tips from Facebook’s Australian small business manager

Thursday, 16 January 2014 | By Rose Powell

Every start-up and small business should find ways to use photos and videos in their Facebook strategy, as these types of posts share better than anything else, says Nick Bowditch, Facebook Australia’s head of small business.


Bowditch told StartupSmart images are the easiest way to drive engagement, as we have stronger emotional reactions to photos and therefore want to share them.


“Think of a photo of a shark jumping out of the water, with a seal captured in its mouth. I can write a few paragraphs on that story and probably no one will share it. But I share that picture and it’ll get shared because it’s wicked and impressive,” Bowditch said.


Citing the rapid rise of image-driven social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, Bowditch says business owners are increasingly tapping into the power of pictures.


While it’s easy for an art, design or food start-up to use imagery, it can be a tougher ask for business-to-business companies. Bowditch says the key is tapping into the broader solutions your product or service can create for users.


“You may not have interesting visual content in your core business, like a photography company would. But that doesn’t mean unsexy, maybe business-to-business companies can’t do well,” Bowditch says.


“You just need to think a bit harder. I’m not a big fan of cute kittens if you’re a business-to-business start-up or something like a self-managed super fund consultant.”


Sharing news or relevant articles can be a way to leverage other people’s photos, but Bowditch says the key is in choosing images that evoke the feeling of the solution your start-up can create for customers.


“Find and share visual representations of aspirational things. So if you’re an SMSF consultant, use aspirational pictures of homes, holidays or beautiful things people could buy if they got their finances in order,” Bowditch says. “Indirectly tell the user you can help them get to where they want.”


He adds the more compelling the photo the better, but if you can’t find a genuinely impressive shot opt for one with a human in it.


“Having actual humans in the post helps too, because people can relate to them either directly or aspire to be like them,” Bowditch says.


He adds business owners should avoid images that are dull, controversial or niche.


“Beautiful, impressive or human. That takes all of the other factors out of it, because if they like the pic they’ll share it. Think about what content you would just have to share,” Bowditch says.


Businesses should avoid sharing copyright images on the platform. For more information on copyright issues click here.