Visuals That Say Something Beat Eye Candy

A survey by Hubspot shows that marketers believe social media success requires visuals. When 300 marketers were asked how integral visual content is to their 2017 strategy, 60.8 percent said it was absolutely necessary. Only 2.6 percent found it somewhat important or irrelevant.

We already knew that posting impactful images gets more people to follow us. But what kinds of images do the best job? That’s a science in itself.

Let’s look into the elements of an “it” still photo that didn’t involve a high-impact stock image. Last month I attended the International Bar Association’s Asset Recovery Subcommittee Meeting run by clients and professional acquaintances. I couldn’t help but feel the vibes of energy and influence at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development building in Paris. The setting was grand and all about diversity in cultures, skills and genders — with experts exploring ideas to advance and promote a meaningful global agenda.

The best image is all about the right scene – the backdrop, your demeanor and your assembled group. As we filed down a corridor to our meeting room, I zeroed in on the OECD’s perfect custom step and repeat backdrop – and in that moment I knew how we could capture and share our commitment and passion for what we do. I shot a few images and then jumped in for the last photo, taken by my favorite Serbian litigator, Tomislav Sunjka. The result: Two corruption fighters and their marketing colleague, happily pursuing awareness and promoting alternatives from different perspectives and parts of the world. So in our element – spontaneous and authentic.

The image clicked big time. My LinkedIn feed registered just under 4,400 views. I wonder what the feed tallies were for Yves Klein and Andrew Bodnar, the two men in the picture with me. What I do know is that our little image walloped my previous post on Artificial Intelligence, which didn’t even reach 100 views.

So next time you’re wondering how to gather a crowd on social media, ask yourself this: How can I best achieve my objective? Is it by writing, by speaking, or by sharing a candid shot?

The answer is all of the above. But you already knew that.