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The Anatomy of a Social Media Post

Lesson 32 from: Developing a Social Media Strategy for Photographers

Colby Brown

The Anatomy of a Social Media Post

Lesson 32 from: Developing a Social Media Strategy for Photographers

Colby Brown

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Lesson Info

32. The Anatomy of a Social Media Post


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Ages of the Internet


What is Social Media?


Social Media by the Numbers


How Social Media Changed the Photo Industry


Social Media Myths


Finding Value in Social Media


How does Noise Effect Social Media?


Lesson Info

The Anatomy of a Social Media Post

So Instagram. Vertical image, again, highly recommended on Instagram itself. It's going to be the most engagement. It contains a person. I just mention this because Facebook or sorry, Instagram specifically, images that have photographs of people where you can't see their face generally do much better than a lot of others because people feel that anyone could be that. Any follower of yours can be that person standing at Crater Lake like this shot from Andy Best. It contains a bright image. Again, Instagram is known for the quality of engagement you get or that size of engagement you get from bright images. It also does much better for warmer tones, so yellows and oranges and reds from a brighter perspective. Blues still do pretty good, but you start getting dark images. You have to really have curated your following to speak to that. People like Michael Shainblum that we talked about that does a lot of Milky Way shots and things like that, he gets a great engagement, but for most peopl...

e, it's this idea of bright content. It's going to do better. A simple short caption, little to no hashtags. I highly recommend on Instagram you keep almost no hashtags in there, maybe one or two, if you have to. Save the rest of them for comments. This is Andy's screenshot of his first comment in the post. So he posted the photo out there, and then he had this grouping of hashtags that he uses for a lot of his landscape stuff. And he put that in a comment, not in the actual image itself. Twitter. So again, you have 140 character limit, although they're not going to charge you or they're not going to take away from that limit if you are using images, so that's kind of big. Make sure your Tweets are kind of direct and to the point, and especially when you're using an image because you still only have 140 characters. So I contain the appropriate tags. Tags that I really care about being part of the story or that I want to help further my engagement or like them to re-share, I put in here. So in this post, it was Sony and Carl Zeiss Lenses where I wanted to make sure that they would see it. And not only would they would see it, they have a higher propensity to re-share it. And anyone else that might be involved in it, I will hide their tags inside the post. Well, they'll still get tagged and maybe they'll still do something, but I'm not giving them as much love. So, again, minimum use of hashtags. You only want to keep it down to a couple, mostly because, again, you only have 140 characters. And the Tweet contains an image. Images will always do better. Twitter, it doesn't matter so much about vertical or horizontal, although still most people are using vertical images or, I'm sorry, most people are using mobile phones for Twitter. Just know that I haven't seen a ton of a difference between the two. And, again, you can hide a Tweet between images. Now, image sizes. This is something that I want to quickly talk about. What are the sizes that you should use when you upload photos to Instagram? Now, this is not a talk about copyright. We'll save that for a little bit later. This is essentially the idea that on Facebook, the max resolution that you can upload that they will actually showcase the people is 2048 wide. It's the max resolution. That's what I upload every single photo that I upload to Facebook is max resolution because when I want people to see it, regardless if it's on their high resolution small little phone or on their desktop, I want my images to look the best. I care much less about image theft and other things. And we'll shelve that conversation for the end of this class, but 2828 is the max resolution. A Facebook ad, specifically if you want to create a post that you want to convert into an ad, know that you want to create it around 1200 by 628. That's going to be the perfect size for the little window, the little image size, that's going to go above a Facebook ad. If you just share a normal image, maybe you'll have to crop it or figure out a way to make it work. It will try to make it work and you can change that crop, but if you are creating a post knowing that you eventually want to turn it into an ad, you need to post at this resolution or at least that ratio. So 1200 X 628. Instagram, max resolution is 1080. So 1080 X 1080 is the square that they use to do. I believe the vertical is 1080 max. And I don't know, I can't remember what the vertical size, what they accept now, but essentially, 1080 pixels is the max size. I often, honestly, create everything that I shoot at 2048. Even though Instagram doesn't use it, I create a folder on my phone full of all of my thousands of images I can pull from at any time, and all of them are generally at 2048. And I'll upload those to Instagram anyway, and it doesn't really matter. And all of those images still look crisp. As long as you're uploading above the resolution, you're fine. Below is when your images are going to degrade quality because it has to upsize them. And Twitter, the max resolution that it's going to show is 1024 by 512, but, again, I upload it at 2048. It's simple. I use all three networks. I don't want to sit there and have three different folders. Pinterest is just 600 pixels wide is the max it really ever shows. It's up to you, again. I just wanted to include it because I wasn't aware that it doesn't elongate too much. So things to avoid when it comes to this. Posting and running. Again, if you're scheduling your posts, make sure you're creating time to come back and engage with your followers, even if it's just a couple things. Saying thank you for commenting is a great way to have a secondary call to action or a secondary engagement. It's not as great as having a conversation but it's something. And you're tagging them and maybe they'll respond back, and maybe you can start a conversation. So people chime in and say, "Nice photo." You can come back and say, "Hey, thanks for chiming in. I appreciate that." It's little, but it's something. Conversation starters. Don't post overly dark images. Now, again, you can curate a target audience that appreciates this, but for most people, overly dark images are not going to do nearly as well as ones that have bright colors, at least in some aspect of their image. Don't use keywords that are like sale, deal. You can ask for shares. I do, every once in a while. Say, "Enjoy and share," a smiley face, exclamation point, whatever. But any time you do any of this, any of the business keywords, the main ones at least, I find that the reach drops. Don't over tag or hashtag your images. Again, it just doesn't look good. If you're going to do it in Instagram, hide it, like the rest of us. And politics and religion. Again, I know that I'm going against my own advice because those that follow my personal accounts know that I do talk about things that are controversial from time to time, but in general, at least, you will never see it on my business pages. Neglecting your platforms. The more you neglect, the more, the longer it's going to take to get it back. We talked about the fact that it took me a while to build this class over the last two weeks. A lot of my platforms were neglected. I wasn't posting every single day, I'm going to pay for that. I'm going to have to go back and be posting every single day and getting back that engagement. It's probably going to take me a week or two to get back to where I was.

Ratings and Reviews

Giles Rocholl

This course is designed to help you develop a Social Media strategy if you are Photographer. I am a professional photographer with over 37 years of experience and although I know how to use Facebook and Instagram I didn't really understand how to use them to achieve business and personal goals. I started watching this course about 2 months ago and have just finished it due to work commitments. However I have put into practice his advice as I learnt new understanding and my following has grown rapidly. Also my work load and quality of assignment has increased dramatically too. It takes some brain rewiring to understand how social media has taken the place of many traditional media streams but Colby does an excellent job of painting a picture that helps hugely. The best thing about Colby's strategy is that it is real life, honest and something I feel I can personally and ethically live with happily. I happily endorse this course and recommend it.

Beatriz Stollnitz

I was very lucky to be in the audience for this class. Colby is an incredible instructor - he has the rare combination of being successful, knowledgeable and talented, but at the same time down to earth, approachable and genuinely willing to help others succeed. The content presented is actionable - I have so many ideas of things that I can do right now that can help my online presence! I can't wait to get started!

Rob Lettieri

I learned a few things I never knew...especially the whole inside scoop on LinkedIn....who knew??? Easy to listen to....a lot of deflection to later answers to questions...which would have made a director allow for less...why ask if you cant answer just then....and he says every question is a "great question" but it clearly isn't in a few credibility goes down...I understand positive enforcement for the millennials...but every question is not great. otherwise easy to follow and straightforward....

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