When I sit down with senior executives to work on professional social profiles, especially LinkedIn, the question always comes up – do you have great photos from your professional history? Luckily, most senior executives do. It’s everyone else who has to scramble.
These sorts of photos include team building shots, speaking onstage or in a panel session, attending an event, and meetings with famous people (or even the infamous). They can also include everyday discussions with peers, and fun moments in the office.
Why do this? Because it’s a critical branding tool now. Not only does this visual content liven up your social pages, it also gets you significantly better results. On LinkedIn, posts with photos get 98 percent higher engagement (QuickSprout). Over on Twitter, images result in a 55 percent increase in interactions or leads (HubSpot).
While it makes a lot of sense to me personally, it’s also pertinent because the majority of the population are visual learners (according to Visual.ly, it’s 65 percent).
The critical reason to capture your images is because social platforms are, by nature, visual. For Twitter, Google+ and Facebook (and others), you get allocated a small photo and banner on your profile, but it is the posts with photos that get more attention.
Paint me a picture
Besides sharing stories with images on LinkedIn to get better results, your personal profile also offers immense visual opportunities. Telling a visual story to match your words is absolutely critical now, so if you haven’t looked into how to use LinkedIn as best practise, you should consider it. And please feel free to check out my profile. While I don’t claim to have the “best” in the business, I still think it’s pretty good.
Some examples of recent Tweets with photos. See how I’ve used handles and hashtags in here? That’s what gets you interaction and social loving. Some of these images are also on my LinkedIn profile.
Telling visual stories is definitely the focus for any content creator today. B2B Insider recently wrapped up some key take-aways from Mary Meekers’ recent Internet Trends report here — visual content is among the top nine trends. Therefore, as content creators, it’s top of our agenda.
But you don’t need to be a Magnum photographer to get started. Visual content really can be as easy as you and your smart phone. And with selfie sticks one of the fastest growing tech trends in the world, consumers are set up to document their world. We just need to cement the habit in our professional lives.
Personally, I don’t think it will be an issue in Asia: we love our photos and selfie sticks, not that I’ve made the selfie stick purchase yet. Just remember: take pictures of the people, not just your lunch! Meantime, here are five quick tips to get in the habit of capturing your professional moments:
When attending an event – large or small – capture the moment. Better yet, Tweet a pic with the event hashtag, and give the event organizer some publicity. They’ll appreciate it and you’ll get more awareness and followers.
Post your activities to your Facebook company page, showing where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing. Loop in the brands that invited you (see my screenshot below, where I’m seeking to capture Outbrain). That’s good for you, and good for them too.
Create a folder where you save your professional moments and remember to regularly update your LinkedIn profile: nothing should be static today. Try and make sure at least two roles have great images. Or if you really can’t find anything, check out my friend Pete Burge’s profile. I really like the aspirational words and images he uses to support his ideas. Remember: there are no set rules. The best advice is: be creative, then be consistent. Who knows what you can come up with.
If you look at the Novus Asia LinkedIn page, we don’t include people photos. I personally think this is the right decision: there are more apt places for the human stories. For brands, I recommend treating LinkedIn as an information sharing and engagement resource. It doesn’t mean you can’t share your personal stories on LinkedIn, it’s just that a lot of brands don’t get it right. It’s always a fine line.
Finally, when socialising your photos, make sure any relevant hashtags are included and tag colleagues or companies you’re working with to maximise the potential of it being shared. No hashtags, no names, no companies tagged? Then it’s effectively just you talking to yourself. We all want to grow our reach: use these simple techniques and you’ll achieve that
Overall, the important thing is make a habit of it. If you hate photos of yourself, master the camera. I’m not always lucky escaping the glare of the camera, but I also had to have a good word with myself to get over myself about my horror of photos. Sharing is part of the world I live in now.
One final and really important point about capturing professional moments. Make sure everyone in the image is okay with you sharing it. Ask them before you tag them in photos. Certainly don’t just assume.
As guidance, if you’re at a big event, consider it approved, especially if there is an event hashtag everywhere you look. For smaller, more intimate affairs, don’t just presume it’s okay. Also, if there is any sort of self-development or personal growth theme, definitely ask for permission. Not everyone wants the world to know what they’re doing, even if you’re happy telling your community. We’re all different, and we have to be considerate of others.
Hope that’s useful and please, let me know what I’ve missed? I love hearing from you.
This blog originally appeared on the Novus Asia blog. You can follow me on Twitter or on Facebook as well.
Some more Novus moments below, captured for the WeAreNovusAsia Facebook page.