Make Your Social Media Stand Out with Rich Media

You may ask yourself: why am I not receiving likes on my statuses? Why am I not captivating my audience with my content? The answer is clear: you aren't using rich media (or you're using it incorrectly). "Rich media" is a term some marketers use to describe photos and videos--ones that engage, excite and persuade. Putting in the extra effort to consistently produce winning rich media content will set you apart from the others, reigning in new viewers and enticing the old. These tips are especially important to business owners and those trying to market themselves. There are a few ways you can make your social media stand out with rich media, and each one should be considered.

Create short, spontaneous video. This doesn't have to be a highly produced video--you can make short clips on your iPhone or Android using apps that help you add music and cut up your video. I love the "Video Sound" app for iPhone, which allows users to add sound and clip videos for Instagram. With Video Sound, I made this video of a local coffee shop's brewer in action:

New #Olympia #Coffee Roasting Co. space on 4th Ave.! #drip #cafe #modern #olywa

A video posted by Kathryn // Fashionably Frank (@franklykathryn) on Oct 21, 2015 at 4:42pm PDT

Set staged shoots. You'll want to find a good balance between spontaneous iPhone videos and staged videos that you create with a high quality camera (say a Nikon or Canon). I use my Canon Rebel T3 and a tripod--no fancy lenses, no fancy lights. Having higher quality (HD) video is nice once in a while, and considering most people have a nicer camera these days, you won't have to waste money on hiring anyone to take highly produced videos for short ads (unless you have that kind of budget). Lulu Lemon did this during the holidays in a stop motion video:

Heading home for the holidays? Forget packing light. Tested to hold up to 50lbs—this roomy duffel fits everything you need with room to spare, including those holiday treats. For accessories you can't leave home without, click the link in our profile.

A video posted by lululemon (@lululemon) on Dec 15, 2015 at 12:12pm PST

A body of professional photography. You should either hire a professional photographer or take your own photos with your nicer camera consistently, building a portfolio of advertising material for your destination that you can use on all social media plus collateral. While stock photos and iPhone photos are great and can work just as effectively, it's important that you have a solid representation of what you're marketing and the interior/exterior (or details) of that product. Darling Magazine is good about showcasing their volumes this way:

A photo posted by Darling Magazine (@darling) on Jan 20, 2016 at 4:35pm PST

Consistent phone photography. This is incredibly important. If you use Instagram as one of your marketing platforms, you NEED to be taking photos constantly to ensure that you have innovative content that pertains to the moment. This allows a sort of "behind-the-scenes" feel to your business, and makes the customer feel like part of the journey. Whole Foods does this always:

Happy #SundayFunday! #Brunch it up with hard-boiled #eggs, #basil, sea salt, cracked pepper, #avocado & @foodforlifebaking sprouted grain #toast. Thanks for sharing @balancewithb. #weekend What are you up to today?

A photo posted by Whole Foods Market (@wholefoods) on Dec 13, 2015 at 7:38am PST

Constant curation. This tip especially applies if you're either an individual or team blogger/creative, or a physical destination within a particular industry niche, you are able to communicate with your fans and fellow neighbors/creatives on social media by curating content from their feeds. Save an image from Instagram and give the user proper credit, allowing you to stick within your own branding but appreciate someone else's work at the same time. I strongly suggest not using a Repost app when you can credit them yourself without ruining the quality of the image with an ugly re-gram stamp in the corner. Hilary Rushford gives a perfect example of how to do this:

January 1st: Watched Rear Window for 1st time {Grace Kelly, style icon} + finished 4th book in Girl w Dragon Tattoo series {recommend it}. I'd say my year's off to a good start! {wink} 💋 What'd you do that brought you joy today? #ChooseJoy #CreativityNeedsSpace {image via @jwsinteriors}

A photo posted by DeanStreetSociety 💋 Periscope (@hilaryrushford) on Jan 1, 2016 at 11:38pm PST

{FREE} CC0 stock photography. CC0 (Creative Commons Zero) stock photography is probably one of my favorite things on this planet. No lie. The CC0 license states that the original photographer relinquished their rights to the photo, allowing you to reproduce it for both personal and commercial use (without paying a penny!). While I do recommend investing in some quality photography that you do pay for (I love Death to the Stock Photo), most of your stock photography can be found totally free.

Here's a prime example of a CC0 photo in action on my own Instagram:

A photo posted by Kathryn @ Fashionably Frank (@franklykathryn) on Jan 23, 2016 at 1:45am PST

Canva: the Godsend. Canva is a 100% FREE photo editing software located on the Internet that allows you create professional and sleek marketing collateral (yep, not making this up). This is where I create every single graphic for my blog--featured post images, along with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest-sized images... the list goes on. You can add text and graphics to your images, and even your own logo and watermarks! If you wish to upgrade and unlock more features/save your brandscript, you can purchase Canva for Work at just $9.95/mo (annually). The White House crafted a graphic that could've been made easily with Canva:

A photo posted by The White House (@whitehouse) on Dec 9, 2015 at 4:18pm PST

Did these rich media tips help? Comment with any follow-up questions you may have!

Make Your Social Media Stand Out with Rich Media 2
Make Your Social Media Stand Out with Rich Media 2