We’ve all seen photos that have gone viral. Among my favorites are the ones of the painted sidewalks that are three-dimensional – so detailed they look real, don’t they? Amazing, right? Or the magnificent nature shots of locations that most of us have never been to before.
Here are some tips to help your photos become potential viral content:
Consider who your audience is for your photo. Think about whether this is a photo taken for fun or whether it is more serious and more appropriate to be shared with business colleagues rather than friends. What will they appreciate and want to pass along to friends and colleagues? Knowing your audience will help you decide where you will share your images.
Is it a humorous photo of an animal or person doing something unusual, or a funny sign that has more than one meaning? Or is it something so magnificently beautiful people can’t wait to share it? Think: why is this photo different from others we have seen before?
Think about how you compose the photo. Is the composition compelling, sharp, has depth and contrast or is soft focus with muted tones? Whatever you decide, make sure the quality and resolution are the best it can be as it will become a reflection of you and the work you do.
Consider image orientation; portrait images have a higher probability of going viral than squared images which are more likely to be viral than landscapes. Then again Instagram is a square orientation so consider the channel and where you will distribute the image.
Pay attention to color. A study published on PLOS One established a link between a photograph’s main colors and its shareability. After analyzing 1 million images on Pinterest, they found that pictures composed mainly of the colors red, purple, and pink were more likely to be repinned, or shared. Blue, green, black, and yellow, meanwhile, suppressed diffusion.
Do you have a caption or title that elucidates the viewer, or is the photo totally self-explanatory? A photo should tell a story in and of itself, but adding a short caption can often enhance your photo. How many photos of sunsets and beaches have you seen that without a caption never would have garnered your attention? Sometimes the caption can make the photo more meaningful to the viewer. Remember to add a credit line with you as the photographer so it helps you expand your visibility and build your reputation.
Remember to add the photo to your own website in your portfolio or your blog and be sure to optimize your image for search via SEO so that it is easy to find and recognizes you as the author/creator of the content. Think about what social media channels you will use to build momentum. Then track it.
There is huge marketing value in getting your images to go viral especially if it happens more than once. You can even use the fact that they did to market the value and appeal of your work to your clients or potential clients. If the images you create have your client’s product or services in the image the boost for them will be great exposure as well.
These are just a few suggestions on how a photo can go viral. But, you don’t have to figure all of this out on your own, reach out and we can work together to get your site and photos on everyone’s mind.