Facebook Tips for School Districts: How to Produce Eye-Catching Images
Here at Box Clever we use social media on a daily basis and we’ve learned some of the best tips for getting users to engage with your Facebook posts. We're sharing our favourite tricks of the trade in a series of blog posts, starting with Part One: How to Produce Eye-Catching Images for Facebook.
Are you sharing school district news on Facebook, but not generating the engagement you were hoping for? Your photos might not be capturing the attention of your audience.
...every minute on Facebook there are 510,000 comments posted, 293,000 statuses updated, and 136,000 photos uploaded
While people on Facebook do tend to be engaged, there is so much information being shared that your posts are competing for attention with a lot of other content. In order to get your followers to stop scrolling through their newsfeed to pay attention to your post, it needs to be highly engaging, relevant, and interesting. So how do you make your posts engaging? Start with producing high quality images.
Did you know that every minute on Facebook there are 510,000 comments posted, 293,000 statuses updated, and 136,000 photos uploaded? (Source: The Social Skinny)
We’ve compiled a list of five tips for how to create beautiful high quality photos and images for Facebook. Following this list of tips will help you attract more attention to your Facebook page, and parents and teachers alike will be talking about how great your images look.
Tip #1: Learn how to use your camera
If you have access to a professional quality camera like a digital SLR, that’s great. Most cameras come standard with an overwhelming number of settings and features, so it is important to learn how to use these features before you try to take your photos. If you don’t have time or resources for a photography class, search YouTube for tutorial videos for your specific camera model.
Don’t use your smartphone's zoom feature
Many people use their smartphones to take photos for social media. This is an easy way to make sure you are always ready and available to take a photo, as most of us carry our smartphones all the time. The cameras in the latest smartphones are capable of taking photos that are of similar quality to point-and-shoot cameras, so you can get really high quality images using your smartphone only. Smartphone cameras also have complex features available, so we recommend learning how to adjust the brightness and saturation of your photos.
Tip #2: Follow photography best practices to ensure your photos look their best
Photography is a difficult skill to master, but with these quick tips you can make your photos look better than they ever have before.
- When taking outdoor shots, make sure the sun is behind you (the photographer).
- To avoid glare or squinted eyes, make sure that the sun is not glaring directly on your subject.
- Try to stay out of direct sunlight. A bright overcast day is best for outdoor photos.
- Use your camera to adjust the brightness and saturation.
- Focus on the subject of the photo. If you are using a smartphone to take the photo, you can use your finger to tap on your subject on the screen, and your phone should auto focus.
- Don’t use the zoom feature. Typically the zoom feature causes the quality of the photo to decrease, so instead of zooming, take your photos from a wider angle then crop them later.
- Most photos are taken from a standing position with the camera right in front of the photographer’s face. Try to take your photos from different angles, such as from down low or from the side. Using angles can help your photos to have a unique perspective.
TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS:
- Instead of just getting one shot, try to take different shots of the same subject, then pick your favourite from your camera roll.
Tip #3: Use photo editing apps to enhance your photos
If you are using your smartphone to take photos, there are a number of options available for editing your photos right on your phone. Here’s a short list of our favourite apps that produce high quality images for Facebook:
VSCO free on the App Store and Google Play
VSCO offers a number of preset filters and photo settings that are easy to use. You can crop your photos, adjust the brightness and saturation, adjust shadows, and more.
Camera+ $3.99 on the App Store
Camera+ is one of the best apps out there for taking professional looking photos using only an iPhone. The best feature on this app is the image stabilizer and burst option, which comes in handy when you are taking photos of kids that won’t stay still long enough to get your shot.
Boomerang free on the App Store and Google Play
The Boomerang app allows you to take video that plays forwards and then rewinds on a loop, so that it looks like the photo is “boomeranging” back and forth. Kids especially love these photos, and they are fun way to tell a story online.
Tip #4: Use graphic design tools to overlay your images with text
Consistency is important for creating high quality social media content for Facebook. If you are going to include text with your images, the best way to create consistent branded visuals is to use a graphic design program. There are some that can be used straight from your mobile device, but the best images are created on a desktop. Here are our favourites:
Canva free on the App Store and Google Play
Canva is a free graphic design tool website that we use on a daily basis. Canva allows you to choose from hundreds of free templates that are sorted by the social platform and type of post you need.
Over free on the App Store
Over is similar to Canva, but its primary purpose is to overlay text over top of your images. You can create beautiful visuals right on your iPhone.
Photoshop available from Adobe at various price points
The best of the best is Photoshop. If you have the time, budget, and the ability to use it, nothing beats the ability of Photoshop for designing and editing content.
Tip #5: Use the proper sizing for Facebook photos
There are a lot of opinions about what the best sizes for Facebook posts are. We have found that using a consistent size for photos looks best, and we typically use the templates from canva.com to standardize our image sizing. Here are our favourite sizes for Facebook photos:
Facebook cover photo:
This is the photo that appears in the header of your Facebook page. It must be 828 pixels wide x 315 pixels tall.
Facebook profile photo:
This is the photo that is above your school name on Facebook, and it also appears anywhere that you leave a comment and next to your posts in the Facebook timeline.
Must be at least 180 pixels wide x 180 pixels tall. Square images work best here.
Facebook regular image post:
This is a post that contains a picture, but does not contain a link to your website. This type of post image has an ideal size of 940 pixels wide x 788 pixels tall.
Stay tuned for the next instalment of our Facebook tips for School Divisions! Fill out the form below if you have questions about Facebook or suggestions for topics for our social media tips!