For nonprofits, a photo is worth a thousand words

For the one thousandth and first time I was reading a post this weekend about how organizations should use more photos on Facebook. Apparently, photos and video have a higher level of engagement?!?

By now every nonprofit marketer, development and communications professional is well aware of the benefits of incorporating a heavy dose of photos into their social media platforms. For instance, photo posts receive a 120% greater level of engagement than text or link based posts. However, now that the nonprofit marketing world is rushing to create image-based content for social media, I have to wonder how much thought is being given to the photos that we are posting?

Are you posting photos or graphics-based images for the sole purpose of posting photo-based content? Have you stopped to consider that the reality that the photos you are posting create a defining impression of your organization?

ASPCA Cover Photo

Photos are powerful within social media because a photo can tell a story in a way that words seldom can. As marketers, we need to remember that every photo or image that we share is creating a lasting impression of our organization and defining how the public views us. As such, we need to remember that there is no substitute for quality and that we have a responsibility to choose photos that “tell the story” or our organization.  The ASPCA could easily show you photos of equipment, employees and the even the conditions that many rescued animals have been saved from, but they understand that photos of the pets they save tell a more powerful story than the imagery of the location from which they were saved.

Likewise, when I first joined Hope three years ago, we were an organization that enjoyed publishing photos of buildings.  The organization had good photos of the children we serve, but they were few and far between and the images that best represented us were professionally posed.  If you visited our Facebook page at the time you would have been greeted with a photo one of our schools which failed to represent the work of our staff or scope of our services.  Fortunately, we were fortunate to have hired a Director of Public Relations, Jessie Decker, who had a background in photojournalism and extensive experience.  Jessie took over our photography and has demonstrated a unique ability to capture images that represent the very core of our mission.

Click to read Chelsea's Story of Hope

So the next time you post a photo, ask yourself this:  Am I posting this photo just because I feel I need to post something, or am I posting this photo because it is a powerful representation of my organization’s mission?

Jarid Brown is the owner of HCM Brown, a digital marketing & consulting firm in Springfield, IL, and the Director of Online Interactions for The Hope Institute for Children and Families. Connect with Jarid Brown on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Comments are closed.