Over the past few columns, I had written about tips on how to improve your photography skills and shoot like a boss. This time, it’s about how to present your work on various social media platforms.
Edit and export: Once you have captured that amazing picture, it’s time to brush it up with a bit of smart editing. Use your favourite photo editing apps; I personally use Snapseed, Lightroom, Photoshop, and Google Photos, depending on the type of editing I want to do. Or depending on how I want the photo to look. Once done, export the edited picture in high resolution. While it may be tempting to use several tools in the editing app, remember to not overdo it. Keep it simple.
Pro tip: Set the screen brightness to mid-level while editing your picture. This will help you view the picture at its best while you edit it. This will not blow up the highlights if the brightness is set to max or won’t make the picture too dark if the brightness is at its lowest.
Captioning: Type out the caption on a notes app and copy-paste the final one to the social media app. This lets you easily re-write the caption and avoid those accidental posts with incomplete captions, which might get embarrassing. Instagram allows one to type out long captions, enabling one to express a detailed story with a 2,200 characters limit. But it does not mean you have to use all of it. The general rule of thumb is to keep the caption clean, without errors, and short. Simply because people have a limited attention span. This also helps to easily post across different platforms.
Hashtag: Hashtags are the best way to get discovered on social media platforms to gain new audiences and for better engagement. The right tags will reach the content to the target audience and an opportunity to gain new followers. Use the hashtag suggestion feature or research using tools online, which will suggest top trending tags based on your requirement and the platform. You can use up to 30 hashtags on a post on Instagram.
Pro tip: Hide the hashtags in the comments section or give sufficient space below the caption and paste the tags. This will keep your post tidy.
Timing: Social media platforms work in mysterious ways through complicated algorithms. Timing is one of them. There are several studies that have determined optimum traction to posts, however, such studies vary widely as it depends on variables like gender, location, age, education, income, etc.
For now, the pandemic has disrupted this, but on a normal day, studies have found that midweek mornings and afternoons are the optimal time to post and weekends are low on engagement. Each platform offers insight and statistics to understand the traffic to your profile in addition to third-party platforms. There are tools that offer cross-posting across different platforms. For instance, if you post a tweet, these cross-posting platforms will automatically post the same on other social media handles.
Maintain uniformity: While your pictures and videos are important, a uniform profile creates cohesiveness. Keeping them in a set palette makes it easier for people to recognise your content. Most influencers follow a set colour scheme in editing or simply use a particular filter. Maintain a style guide, experiment by posting during low engagement times to know how your post looks in the profile.
Tools: There are several apps that help make interesting posts on social media. For example, Whitagram lets you add borders for photos in different colours. This makes your profile look uniform. Likewise, SCRL and Canva help you get creative with posts and stories across different platforms. Beware of fake apps; check reviews and ratings before installing.
In conclusion, post what you love and not what your followers want.
Lenscraft is a monthly column on all things photography — tips, tricks and everything in between.
The writer is a photojournalist who tells stories with his pictures. Find his pictures on Twitter and Instagram @pushkarv