HOW TO TAKE PICTURES THAT BOOST ENGAGEMENT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA August 8, 2023 | Marketing , Social Media | Facebook , digital marketing By Melisa Rana, NPI, Inc.'s Graphic Designer Managing a business’ social media page can be a lot of fun for the right marketing-minded owner, but for many, a lack of substantial engagement can quickly dampen any motivation for online interactions. Presence and activity are so important for growing businesses - so, how do you identify which pictures will drive engagement (comments, likes, shares, etc.)? Business owners don’t need to be professional photographers to learn how to take eye-catching pictures that make their followers pause. Here are a few tips to get started. Nail Down the Basics You Don’t Need A Dedicated Camera One misconception that too commonly keeps business owners from committing to posting pictures to social media is the need for a high-end camera. Every year, smartphones are becoming more and more sophisticated - and their cameras are no exception. Today, the cameras that are built right into phones can capture clear and professional images that are more than capable of engaging an audience. Lacking an expensive DSLR camera should not be a roadblock to get started! Make Sure To Clean Your Lens Every day, so many potentially great, but smudged pictures get uploaded to Facebook or Instagram. Take a test picture for clarity and simply wipe off your camera’s lens with your shirt or sweater. It may seem like a no-brainer, but this quick step might be the easiest way to elevate your social media game. Take Plenty Of Pictures Next, once you’ve found a subject worth sharing, don’t stop at just one picture, angle, or orientation. Smartphones have a surprising amount of memory, so feel free to experiment with tons of different vantage points and orientations. A discerning use of angles can emphasize depth and the size of the subject, and paying attention to the background (making sure the background is interesting, but not distracting) can further direct the viewer’s attention. There’s a good chance that an unexpected angle can lead to a surprisingly impactful picture which could have been missed by moving on too quickly. Experiment With Editing Editing can sound intimidating, but many phones come with their own tools that effectively enhance photos. In other words, no, you don’t need photoshop or some other editing software with a high learning curve. Targeting contrast and warmth is a great place to start to give every photo a more polished and presentable look. Note: it is important not to go overboard with editing! Pictures that lose a sense of realism will often have the opposite effect, discouraging your audience from engagement. Always Remember Lighting Finally, good lighting is an extremely important part of taking an appealing picture worth looking at. The first priority should be making the main focus of the picture as clear as possible, whether it’s a person, object, or landscape. Natural lighting is always a plus, so consider using windows to your advantage when taking pictures indoors. Just be sure to face away from the window! Any sources of light immediately behind your subject will be too bright, and ultimately darken the part of the photo that you should be highlighting. Find Engaging Subject Matter Take Advantage Of Networking Events Now that we’ve outlined the basics of taking a clean photo, you should be ready to start taking photos that interest your follower base. As a small business, your audience will enjoy seeing your company interact with your community and with other businesses through networking events. Your colleagues will be happy more often than not to take a picture or two to commemorate the event - just be sure to tag their socials and thank them for taking the time! Many businesses operate as a faceless brand on social media, making them much more difficult to relate to. Going out and volunteering as a representative of your business can be a powerful statement, plus it’s always nice to reinvest in your community. People Are Drawn To Faces Speaking of faces, it’s a well-known fact that posts that have real, living, breathing people in them are far more likely to receive engagement - which is vital for running a growing, effective social media page. While some people might be camera shy, pictures of employees, families, and pets are sure ways to motivate more interaction. Note: consider placing your subject off-center for a more intriguing photo. Pictures that place the subject directly in the center of the picture tend to draw less interest overall than pictures with a more interesting composition. Take Pictures “On The Job” Home inspectors encounter many odd defects and DIY fixes during their job, which are obviously tempting to share on social media. As a brief note of caution, pictures that speak too poorly of a home on the market probably shouldn’t be shared, and shots that might invade the privacy of a new homeowner should likewise only be shared with permission. Still these photos can be an opportunity to display your expertise to the public. The best photos should be easy to explain in the caption for someone without a home inspection background. Even photos of an inspector climbing a roof or exploring an attic can be engaging reminders that the business is active and capable. Use Drone Shots For A New Viewpoint Pictures of homes or other inspected properties (with permission) can also be engaging when taken well. As drones become more common in the home inspection industry, new opportunities for striking, shareable photos arise (see what we did there?) with every job. These photos also will have the added benefit of reminding your audience of the unique services your business can provide (as long as you have the proper certifications ). Main Point: Pursue Variety Photos certainly drive a lot of interest to social media pages, which leads to more likes, more follows, and more attention for your business. The important thing to consider when looking at your feed as a whole is to not become too repetitive! In the same way that profiles that only post graphics or articles can seem bland, a profile with only one kind of photo will feel repetitive. The best social media pages will incorporate a variety of photos with custom graphics and shared posts to drive engagement, getting the most out of your time investment. To learn more about how to beef up your social media activity, reach out to our marketing team to brainstorm! If you’d like to learn more about how franchising with NPI can benefit your marketing efforts, start with our info packet ! About the Author Melisa Rana, Graphic Designer Melisa graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a B.F.A. in graphic design in 2022. As the team’s dedicated in-house graphic designer, she creates digital and print marketing collateral for NPI and GPI inspectors on a daily basis. With a background in layout design, brand identity, and photography, Melisa also creates visual content for our organization’s three blogs, email marketing campaigns, and social media accounts. She enjoys crafting professionally branded materials so our inspectors can always make a great first impression and stand out from their competition.