“Photos are social media gold.”

Sharing compelling photos, videos and graphics with your customers can drive sales and foster trust and interest in your brand.

Whether you’re sharing beautiful, styled product images on Facebook, tweeting behind-the-scenes snaps of your office or uploading a YouTube clip to your blog, sharing content is a clever marketing move.

Photos can have a significant impact on your marketing campaigns and sales – you’re essentially showing consumers what they can have rather than just telling them. People like pictures.

For many, photo sharing has long been one of the drawcards of Facebook, and according to HubSpot, posts with an image are 53% more likely to attract ‘likes’.

But more recently, platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are gaining in popularity. Pinterest (a pin board-style photo-sharing website) has blossomed and according to our recent Yellow Social Media Report 2014, more than 12% of social media users in Australia are on it regularly. Meanwhile, 21% of users in Australia are on Instagram which is more than Twitter (19%).

Facebook’s purchase last year of the hugely popular photo-sharing site Instagram perhaps cements the fact that images are an important slice of the social media marketing pie.

But this is nothing new – catalogues, billboards, television commercials, visual merchandising – images have long been at the centre of conventional marketing campaigns.

David Lee King, author of Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections, believes businesses and brands must become savvier at transferring traditional tactics across to social by embracing photo-sharing applications and tools.

King says to get started, post photos of new products you’re excited about on whichever social media platform your customers are using the most. Be careful not to go overboard with vast product catalogues, but instead upload several exciting, new products along with a description.

If you are selling a service, upload a photo of your work or consider purchasing stock photos. King also suggests you “show off the friendly faces behind your business”, going for natural rather than posed shots, taking close-up snaps with the best possible lighting.

You can get creative too with filters and vintage-look washes with apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic. Then ensure the photos you post are named and described.

“Photos are social media gold,” says social media and marketing specialist Janine Popick, who says it also lets people know that you have other social accounts too.

Popick says that engaging with consumers once you’ve shared images and video content is important and sometimes overlooked so make sure you ‘like’ their comment, keep it interesting and give people something to come back for.

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