Many of those who have come to see me speak at conferences and who read my articles have heard me say over and over again how important it is to never post anything to social media without an image. If you need more reasons why, here are some stats that help to back me up: your audience is much more willing to engage with visual content. In fact, 40% of online users will provide a more favorable response to visual content than plain textual content. For instance, tweets with images get 150% more retweets than tweets without images, while Facebook posts with images generate 2.3 times more engagement than posts without them (all stats from this article).
Simply put, visuals make your readers stop and pay attention. Without them, your content falls flat and it just doesn’t “pop” – you need to use every trick in the book to capture your audience’s attention in this very competitive market.
Including images in your posts makes your content (and your firm) more engaging, interactive, relatable and memorable, and can help attract new followers as well as keep your existing audiences interested in what you have to say. You also look like a modern, 21st century firm, and in the legal industry where the bar in social media can at many times be low, this is a very good thing. Stand out from the pack whenever you can. Also, keep in mind that visual social content is a quick way to:
- uniquely express your brand enabling you to stand out from your competitors
- bring boring information to life
- highlight important data
- differentiate your firm and lawyers
- showcase your practices/industries and news about the firm and lawyers
- increase traffic to your web site (including lawyer bios, which are the most-visited and I think the most important pages on law firm web sites) and blogs
One of the worst things you can do today is to post an incorrectly sized photo to social media accompanying your content. That demonstrates that you 1.) lack fundamental understanding of the social networks on which you are posting and 2.) did not take the time to resize your photos for each platform (remember one size does not fit all when it comes the content you post on each social platform or the photos you use), which isn’t being very client-centric or putting yourself in the shoes of your audience.
The good news is that it’s very easy to resize, compress, edit, crop and convert your photos today for most people even from your mobile phone. You certainly do not need a graphic designer or Photoshop to do it. There are many free online tools that will easily enable you to do it such as picresize.com, resizeimage.net, simpleimageresizer.com and more. These sites are all pretty no frills and easy to use. You just upload your photo, make the adjustments and then resave it.
If you are on the go and trying to edit a photo and post it from your mobile device, just know that what you can do is somewhat limited. You can’t natively resize an image from your iPhone (which is a huge bummer), so you’ll need to download an app like Image Size, Resize Image, Photo & Picture Resizer, PicsArt or one of the other photo resize apps available today on iTunes for iOS users. Many of these are also available for Android users of which I am not going to pretend I am an expert (insert smiley face). By using a tool like this, you can take headshots, practice area images and other snapshots and easily resize and then post them to your social media channels. Reusing and repurposing visual and content assets to your advantage is one my favorite social media tricks, and one of which so many companies do not take enough advantage.
If you want to do more than just use a single image, try using Canva.com to create custom images with graphics and text. They have many templates already designed in which you can just upload your photo or text and depending on your membership, you can gain access to their robust stock image library as well, which is very useful when trying to add visual interest to a post. For example, I made the image above using one of Canva’s templates, which I edited a bit. In total, it took me 5 minutes to create from start to finish, and I am not graphic design savvy in the least, so if I can do it, you can do it! I’ve created so many other images like this and it’s been really fun to explore my creative side in doing these, which I don’t always get to do working in a law firm.
In my free time, I volunteer for the Legal Marketing Association, because I really enjoy giving back to the professional association that has given me so much in terms of education and lifelong connections. I do a lot of social media and content for the LMA Northeast region and use all of the same principles that I use in marketing a law firm to promote our programs and members. The images featured here in the post are just a few of the ones that I created to highlight our activities. The LMANext Fellows is one I created using one of Canva’s pre-existing templates. I just swapped out the colors (it was originally an engagement announcement – ha!), made a few design and font tweaks, uploaded headshots, added captions, a logo and voila! – I have a professional-looking, custom social media image to accompany my social post.
Sometimes the optimum image sizes for the various social platforms will change, so it’s a good idea to do a Google search every few months for the latest specs. Here’s a handy cheat sheet on the latest image sizes to use when posting images from Social Media Today. In short, it’s never been easier to post an image to social media – and armed with these tools, now you have no excuse not to post an image with your social content!