Photography and Social Media: Quality is Important

July 9, 2012

Social media isn't just text-based anymore. Audio and visual content are a significant part of the social networking experience. Platforms such as Instagram and Flickr are increasingly popular. Therefore, posting visual content can be powerful and beneficial for your department if it is done well. Social media managers now need to be as good at the visual as they are with writing and strategy. Photographs posted by an organization should live up to the same high standards as text content. This means:

  • you should use principles of good photography.
  • no pixelated, blurry, or dark photos.
  • no personal photos that do not represent the organization.
  • no photos that would embarrass the subject, such as a student mid-pose or a professor in the middle of a bite of food. Put yourself in the subject's shoes.
  • no digital stickers or emoticons on the photo.
  • no skewed or badly cropped photos.
  • captions should describe or give context unless the caption is quizzing the viewer on the contents of the photo. Either way, the photo should normally have a caption.
  • if you are not sure about your photography skills, hire a professional or use the MIT Communication Production Services photo library. Photos do not have to be perfect; they just need to be held to the same high standard as your writing.

Photography in social media isn't just about documenting a moment or point of view. It's also about capturing that moment well so it can be appreciated and shared. Even spontaneous moments can be shared with quality photography.

Posted By
Stephanie Hatch Leishman

Stephanie Hatch Leishman

Former MIT Social Media Strategist

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