Don’t even get me started on Snap Chat and Vine, two app-based social media programs that utilize a quicker method of viewing. In Vine’s case it’s a six-second video (a feature that Instagram picked up as well) and for Snap Chat it’s a one-time-only timed view of a picture before it’s gone forever.
I’m not saying you need to get on these bandwagons. Time will test these two new forms of social media. But right now, you need to embrace pictures.
You may think you already are, and are doing a spectacular job. You are probably right! But just to be sure, here are some tips to make sure your pictures are working for you and maximizing their potential.
Consider HOW you are taking your photos.
Are you pulling out a point and shoot digital camera? What about a nice, professional camera? Maybe you’re shooting all of your pictures on your smart phone. None of these methods are wrong, but some do have their advantages, even if you are developing film. (If you are developing film, high five to the old school methods and finding a pharmacy that still does 1 hour photos!) But there are definite advantages to some. Smart phones, for example, sync up directly to social media for instant updates. The con there is that storage and organization is tougher, as you have to take the additional step to transfer the photos to your computer and your association pics are likely mixed in with your granddaughter’s dance recital.
Using a digital camera solves that organizational problem, but takes away some of the timeliness and the “live updates” quality to your picture sharing. Like I said, there’s no wrong way, but depending on what the photograph actually is, one may have the advantage over an other. That’s your call.
WHAT and WHOM are you taking pictures of?
Are you documenting association events? People? Showcasing work or a project? All of these things are totally snap-worthy. They’re also very shareable among members on social media and within your AMS’s social community, which is great to spread some positive buzz. My advice is to always have picture-taking capability with you. If it’s not your phone, make sure your camera is charged and ready. Better to have it and not need it than find yourself without one.
WHERE are they going?
As in where are the pictures being used and displayed. Do you have a regular magazine or newsletter where your photos could be featured? I’m sure you’ve gotten the social media message by now, pictures are easy content for Facebook, twitter, and really any other social media out there. Don’t forget your blog, if you have one, and your website. There are a million fun, creative places where your pictures could be featured: slide shows in presentations, on fliers and promotional material for events, community bulletin boards, or even just framed and used to decorate an office or workspace.
Timing is important. WHEN you are taking photos and posting them is important too.
After an event, it’s become pretty routine to have a good night’s sleep, decompress, get a cup of coffee, and review the photos from the night/week before when the pleasant memory is fresh on the attendees mind. That’s when you should be posting that stuff, when they’re having a casual ramp-up to their day and are interested in seeing how they looked and what was done the night before (although if the event was on a Friday, posting on Monday is definitely OK.) Longer than that and they pictures might not get the appropriate number of views because the event has lost its buzz.
From a promotional standpoint, “live” posting pictures to social media can be a good idea too. If you’re showing progression or variety, this is a wonderful place to start. Just be sure they are organized into galleries for future viewing later.
Don’t forget to tag! That way your members and visitors know there’s a picture of them out there somewhere and they are pinged to check it out. Use some discretion, though, and don’t tag photos that are really unflattering or inappropriate. In fact… don’t post those at all lest people start avoiding your events to hide from your camera.
For more information about social media usage, including pictures: