Photographs are key in achieving viral success
A picture is worth a thousand words. Or perhaps today, pictures are worth hundreds of shares, thousands of retweets and a million likes.
In the last few weeks, several New York businesses have earned social media stardom simply because someone was smart enough to photograph their products and post them on Instagram. Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer, The Bagel Store (Brooklyn) and Eggloo have all received major viral push across just about every social media platform due to their unique – and beautifully photogenic – consumables. Black Tap’s gravity-defying milkshakes nearly “broke” the Internet, and Eggloo, opening just a few short weeks ago, doesn’t even have a website yet. Further, both The Bagel Store and Eggloo were forced to temporarily close their doors due to too-high demand and an inability to manage the traffic, while Black Tap has consistently maintained a line of milkshake connoisseurs out its door from 11 a.m. until the restaurant closes at 10 p.m.
How did these small, new, relatively unknown, non-chain businesses gain overnight following? They showed the world their products in the best light imaginable and turned novel brands into something smashingly viral.
Photographs are perfectly suited for social media. They provide quick, easily digestible snippets of detail, a necessity in today’s fast-paced communications environment. Posting images for successful social media isn’t necessarily rocket science, but keeping the following tips in mind will ensure your photos go viral rather than receive a lackluster reaction from viewers:
1. Make it memorable. Whether using humor, pretty colors or a unique quote overlaying an image, your visual must be eye-catching enough that it causes our speedy-swiping fingers to pause. Rainbow colored bagels, gigantic milkshakes akin to three desserts and egg-waffles filled with ice cream were all dramatic enough to take even the smallest bagelry on the block into super stardom in mere hours. Social media experts have said regularly: Make it Instagrammable, and it is bound to blow up. Images simply break through the noise and attract people’s attention.
2. Make it bright and clear. The images made available by each of the businesses above followed important rules in photography. Each one is bright, allowing complete depiction of special primary colors, and the photographs are close, clear and inviting. Photos that are fuzzy, off-center or over-filtered tend to not be shared or liked to a viral level.
3. Appeal to the emotional (or hungry) side of your viewership. In the case of the examples above, the posted photos definitely connected with our fascination with sugar – in all its glorious forms. Every culinary enthusiast knows that you eat with your eyes first. Based on how often these images were shared and liked, we are a very hungry population. Aside from food photography, however, research shows that images that appeal to us on an emotional level – especially those that make us laugh – are the images that most often go viral. Social media users tend to reshare and like positive images more frequently, presumably because they wish to portray themselves as upbeat.
Social media, for some, may seem extremely challenging and difficult to master. There are nuances on each platform, but when it comes to visuals, the rules are generally the same. Download Axia Public Relations’ social media e-book for additional tips to make your business shine in its own unique way.
Wendy Bulawa Agudelo has more than 15 years of experience in technology, business, consumer and non-profit public relations. She regularly pens feature articles on parenting topics for Bay State Parent Magazine, serves on the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress PR Task Force, is a culinary enthusiast and champion for the special needs community. Wendy has worked with Axia since September 2014.
Featured image credit: 123rf.com