Here are 10 photo strategies that lead to measurable increases in Facebook engagement for brands this month:
Draw attention to a promotion.Lakeshore Learning Materials hosted a giveaway of “get moving” games for kids this summer; the photo featured the prize, and the caption explained how to enter: “Just tell us your kids’ favorite outdoor activities by commenting on this post, and we’ll randomly pick a lucky winner.” Coldwater Creek’s used a highlighted, 2-column image to alert fans that a popular sweepstakes was coming to a close and provide a link to the entry form: “’Like’ this post if you hope to win our 10th and final $100 gift card. Yes, alas, it’s the last day of our FANtastic Summer Sweepstakes. Someone will win. It could be you!” (If you use this strategy, don’t violate Facebook’s promotion guidelines. One of these promotions was “illegal;” can you tell which one?)
Shoot the breeze with fans.ModCloth’s recent photo of an adorable kitten asked fans, “Does your cat have a creative name? Let us know right meow!” (It also linked to the brand’s cat-themed products.) And Wet Seal’s popular image filled with words like bikinis, flip flops, sunglasses, loud music and pool parties was accompanied by this question: “How else would you describe S U M M E R?”
Throw down the gauntlet. Got competitive fans? Lids said “Happy Friday” with a smack-talking image that compared contemporary basketball players’ trophy collections with Michael Jordan’s stash of awards. In-image text read, “Children, please.”
Host a caption contest like this one from Advance Auto Parts: “Create a caption for this photo. The caption with the most likes by the end of the week will win a prize.” The status refers to a photo of a red car with a front end that looks like dentures; the “uppers” – the hood — open up like a mouth. Like this tactic? Just be careful: if it’s tied to a prize, it has to be within Facebook’s guidelines. (This one was not.)
Celebrate the seasons: summer, fall, winter, spring and, of course, baseball season! Shari’s Berries posted a photo of strawberries covered in white chocolate with red stitching to look like baseballs. Its caption — “Who’s on first?” – delighted fans of the brand … and America’s pastime.
Tug on the heart strings.PetSmart’s super-cute photo of a really big dog nose-to-nose with a teeny, tiny puppy carried this caption: “Best friends come in all shapes & sizes. Like if you agree!” And nearly 35K fans did!
Publish an entire album. Fans love photos. Put them together in an album, and you have Facebook engagement gold! Still, the collection should be relevant to your brand, as with an album Breitling posted earlier this month. It featured an event – an NYC celebration of a historic moment involving an astronaut – and a lengthy caption-story recounting the accomplishment 50 years ago by “Lt. Commander Scott Carpenter [who] orbited the Earth three times aboard the Aurora 7 capsule.”
Post affirmations. They can be fun (like Shoe Carnival’s in-image message: “Repeat after me: I DESERVE NEW SHOES!”) or motivational (like Beachbody’s “Life has no remote. Get up and change it yourself!”).
Showcase your Instagram photos. When Nasty Gal “Instagrammed” a picture of a fashion shoot with a clever caption – “Babesaurus Rex” – it got nearly 15K likes on Instagram. When the brand pulled it into Facebook, it got a little bit of additional mileage (around 2,600 likes) … and extra exposure for its Instagram account.
Provide a discount code.Kohl’s used a photo to give Facebook fans an exclusive discount for online shopping. The brand didn’t mention the promo code in the caption — “Sitting on the patio with a tall glass of raspberry lemonade sounds really good right now. What’s your favorite drink to enjoy under the sun?” – but instead provided it as text within the image (a picture of patio furniture from the brand’s collection).