Many organizations have a need to display photos online. It may be for products, services, events, staff, their location, or something else entirely. In years past, it was fairly obvious where those photos went: On their website. But now that social media is an option, including some websites that revolve around photo sharing, the water seems a bit muddied.
So how do you determine where your photos should go online? Should they be on your website, on social media, or on both?
The short answer is both. However, you need a primary location where you display most of your photos, and a secondary location (or locations) where a smaller sampling is displayed. The secondary locations serve to funnel people to the primary location.
You determine the primary location by looking at your purpose for displaying the photos in the first place.
Do you want people to fill out a request a quote form on your website? Do you want people to sign up for your email newsletter from your website? Would you like people to make a purchase directly from your website?
If your answer includes an action that individuals take on your website, then that should be the primary location.
Perhaps you’re looking to spark conversation. Maybe you want to engage past customers or donors on an ongoing basis. Or you may want it to be as easy as possible for people to share the photos with others.
Any goal related to engagement or sharing is really a social-based goal. And that’s exactly what social media is built for.
If you come to the conclusion that social media should be your primary location, you still need to pick a social media platform. Hw do you know which one to go with? After all, it seems like there are dozens of options!
You’ll need to look at four different aspects of each platform.
How well does the audience on that platform fit with your target market? Sure, a platform may be made specifically for photos and have a big audience. But if your target market is 50+, and that platform is primarily people in their teens and twenties, it won’t make a good primary location.
What are the capabilities of the platform? Not only its photo-related capabilities, but other capabilities you may want to make use of as well. Also look at whether the platform supports a presence at an organization level at all, or just at a personal level. Many photo sharing platforms are only designed for personal use, and forcing an organization to have a presence there can be awkward and may even be against the website’s rules.
3. Culture Fit
How well does the overall culture of the platform fit in with your organization’s culture? If your organization has a fairly corporate feel to it, and the platform is very casual, it may not be a good place to keep your photos. Or if the reverse is true, it may not make sense then, either.
4. Comfort Level
Finally, look at the comfort level of whoever will be managing the platform. If they have no experience with the platform and are not comfortable trying new social media platforms out, it will probably be an exercise in frustration.
Of course, if you’re working with a professional on your online marketing, this whole process is something they should be able to assist you with. But this information should help you start thinking about where your photos should be.