Law Practice Today | February 2014 | The ABA TECHSHOW 2014 Issue
February 2014 | The ABA TECHSHOW 2014 Issue
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FEATURE

Use Images to Boost Your Effectiveness on Social Media

By Samantha Meinke

 

To make your efforts on social media sites as valuable as possible, you need to post content that will maximize engagement with other users and help build your online community. What you post has to be interesting enough that others will want to interact with you: to like, +1, retweet, favorite, repin, comment on and share your posts.

Social media sites favor content that inspires interactions. They work on the theory that people interact and engage with content that has the most value. Social sites reward the best content by featuring it prominently, for long periods of time at the top of users’ news feeds. Other content, the kind that doesn’t cause users to take action, fades away without anyone noticing it ever existed.

Bottom line: better content means more visibility, and a bigger, better online community.

ABA TECHSHOW 2014

Images are the best

Recent studies show Facebook posts containing images garner as much as 120 percent more engagement than posts of any other kind. Tweets containing photos get retweeted as much as 150 percent more than text-only tweets. The use of image-based social media sites, like Pinterest and Instagram, continue to grow exponentially.  

To keep your content competitive on social media sites, you’re going to have to start thinking more visually. You still want to post content that has value to your community—but in order to ensure that they see it, you have to figure out how to illustrate it.

You can’t illustrate your online content by grabbing photos and illustrations willy-nilly from anywhere on the internet. You don’t want to violate anyone’s copyright—that would get you the wrong kind of attention. Instead, you can look for free imagery to illustrate your work on the Wikimedia Commons or museum websites (the Getty Museum offers the use of its images for free via its Open Content Program). Or you can get inexpensive images for online use from stock photo sites like www.istockphoto.com, www.shutterstock.com or www.fotolia.com.

Keep in mind that the majority of people view social media sites on mobile devices. So you want to make sure the images you post make sense on small screens.

Mobile Photography and Editing Tools

You should also take a crack at creating your own images. One of the easiest ways to ensure your pictures will work for viewers on mobile devices is to create them on mobile devices. The latest models of smart phones offer excellent cameras and many different apps that can help you take and edit photos that look professional in quality. You can post your images to social media sites directly from your phone within your social media apps or within any of the following photography apps.

Instagram is a simple social photography app that allows you to take photos, crop photo sizes and add filters to make photos look antique, give them darkened edges or give them highly saturated colors. You can also interact with images posted by others within Instagram.

Adobe Photoshop Express allows you to take photos, easily crop, rotate, flip and add moody filters to photos. You can adjust colors and white balance with easy sliding tools, and use simple retouching tools to do things like remove red eye. You also can add borders and frames to photos.

Camera+ has been described as the ultimate photo app. It will allow you to do things like change your focal length and exposure time, just like photographers do on professional-quality cameras. It will let you keep your flash on to continuously light a scene, use a grid to stage photos and use a built-in stabilizer to create sharp images. You can rotate and crop photos, add effects with filters and use brushes and layers to add interesting elements to photos.

Skitch is a photo editing app created by Evernote that allows you to take photos and use direction tools to quickly draw your viewers’ attention to whatever you want by drawing on photos, adding shapes like arrows to them, and typing on them. You can save and use all of your Skitch images in Evernote.

All of these apps are available on iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices.

Use Images to Boost Your Effectiveness on Social Media, by Samantha MeinkeMobile Screen Capture Tools

Another way to easily capture images to share on social sites is by taking a picture of your mobile device’s screen in what’s known as a screen capture or screenshot. Each mobile device has an easy way to do this, and once you’ve captured a screenshot, you can run it through any of the editing apps listed above to add any desired effects before sharing it.

iPhone/iPad
With your iPhone or iPad screen on, push the Home button and the Sleep button at the same time. Your screen capture will be saved just like any other photo, and can be accessed by other apps just like any other photo.

Nokia Lumia/Windows Devices
Press and hold the Power button and Start button at the same time. Find your screenshots in their own folder in your photos app.

Samsung Galaxy/Android Phones
With the screen on, press the Home and Power buttons at the same time. Your screenshots will get saved to their own folder. To access them, go to Apps, then Gallery, then Screenshots.  

Kindle Fire/Android Tablets
Press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons at the same time. Screenshots will be stored automatically in their own folder in your photos app.

Understand Image Sizes and Resolutions:

  • Pixel (px): Smallest element of a picture represented on a screen (originally short for picture element)
  • Resolution: The number of px that can be placed in a line per square inch in an image, typically measured in dpi (dots per inch) or ppi (pixels per inch)
  • Size: Will be listed as the number of px or inches per side at a certain resolution, typically measured in width first, then height
  • Tie it all together: Facebook cover photos are 851 px X 315 px, at 72 dpi, which translates to 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall at 72 dots per inch resolution.

 

 

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About the Author

Samantha Meinke is the communications manager at the State Bar of Michigan. She will be presenting "How to…Use Facebook for Your Law Firm" and co-presenting "Making Your Content Work for You on Social Media" at ABA TECHSHOW 2014 in Chicago on Thursday, March 27, 2014.

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Law Practice Magazine, February/February 2014 | The Management IssueLaw Practice is the leading magazine on the business of practicing law. Published six times per year, it offers insightful advice and practical tips on marketing, management, technology and finance.

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Micah U Buchdahl, HTMLawyers, Inc

CO-ISSUE EDITORs

James Zych, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.
Leah Beckham, BillBLAST

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Andrea Malone, White and Williams LLP

BOARD OF EDITORS

Janis Alexander, Ambrose Law Group LLC

David Ambrose, Ambrose Law Group LLC

Priya Barnes

Leah Beckham, BillBLAST

John Bowers, Fox Rothschild LLP

Anne Collier

Amy Drushal, Trenam Kemker

Chase Edwards, Paul M. Hebert Law School, Louisiana State University

Nicholas Gaffney, Infinite Public Relations

Nancy Gimbol, Eastburn and Gray, P.C.

Richard Goldstein, Goldstein Patent Law

Katy Goshtasbi, KG Consulting Group Inc, d/b/a Puris Image

Megan Greenberg

Alan Craig Haston, The Haston Law Firm, P.C.

Elizabeth Henslee

William Henslee, Florida A&M University College of Law

Kathryn M Jakabcin, Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP

James Matsoukas, Pierce Atwood LLP

Lisa McBee, Roberta F. Farrell, LLC

Thomas "Jason" Smith, Duff & Phelps, LLC

Jay Roderik "Rod" Stephen, The Stephens Law Firm

Pegeen  Turner, Turner IT Solutions, Inc.

Gabriela Vega, Vega Acosta Law Firm, Chtd.

James Zych, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.

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