Looking to stand out on social media? While there are several ways to do so, like posting a picture of your cat, we’ve got something better; stock photography. Stock agencies have access to a tonne of content, so deciding on which one to use for your social media campaign can be a pain. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered.

1. Understanding social media demographics

5 Tips to Choose Stock Photography for Social Media Marketing Campaigns 123RF Blog - Man hiking
While this image may get plenty of engagement on Instagram, it’s difficult to see its success on platforms like LinkedIn.

The most important aspect of a successful social media marketing campaign is to understand the differences between these platforms. Facebook has progressed into a news platform, with a clear appeal towards video content.

Twitter is perfect for reaching out to the younger audience with quirky posts, images and copy. Linkedin is a B2B heaven, so keep your images on the professional side.  Meanwhile, Instagram along with Pinterest, are purely visual based platforms, so go crazy here.

2. Relate images to your target audience

5 Tips to Choose Stock Photography for Social Media Marketing Campaigns 123RF Blog - Red and white umbrellas
The clever play on color for these oriental-like umbrellas go well for brands like The Coca-Cola Company and AirAsia when looking to target their consumers in east Asia.

Once you’ve had a clear idea for these platforms, it’s time to dive into selecting the right stock photography. Take Instagram and Pinterest for example. The former targets the younger audience and visual appeal here is everything. So images used have to be of the highest quality.

For additional brownie points with your target audience, opt for a certain theme, like monochrome or seasonal. Likewise, Pinterest is great for artsy images, with women being the main target audience. Therefore, crafty and design-heavy posts work best.

3. Pair stock photography with your copy

5 Tips to Choose Stock Photography for Social Media Marketing Campaigns 123RF Blog - Woman doing online survey
This is a classic example of an image that has too much going on and therefore, overshadowing the accompanied text.

There are two essential aspects for a successful social media marketing campaign; your copy and image. Therefore, when choosing a stock photo, ensure the image empowers the copy of the campaign.

A common mistake is having the image and the copy both angling towards different directions. Another slippery slope is having the text completely overshadowed by an image that simply has too much going on. Hence, wise up on your choices for stock photography.  

4. Complement your brand’s voice with the right image

5 Tips to Choose Stock Photography for Social Media Marketing Campaigns 123RF Blog - Flip flops on beach showing happy mood
While this fun image fits Airbnb’s vibe, it’s difficult to oversee its success with polished brands like Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide.

With the basics sorted it, it’s time to iron out the finer details. Understanding your brand’s voice is a must. It gives you an identity and allows your company to stand out on social media. And the best way to enhance this is to pair it with the right stock photo. Let’s take a look at two football superstars and the brands they represent.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are two very different species. The former oozes with masculinity and an immense sex appeal. Therefore, this bodes well with him modelling underwear for brands like Armani. Meanwhile, the little magician Messi is more of a footballing genius, so he wouldn’t exactly be the best option to model a pair of luxury briefs. While these athletes are not exactly stock photography, they illustrate the importance of voice and visual appeal.

5. Go authentic for social media marketing campaigns

5 Tips to Choose Stock Photography for Social Media Marketing Campaigns 123RF Blog - Man using lip balm
Does the lip balm make him less of a man to represent brands like Gillette and Axe?

If you are yet to realize, images play the most important aspect for brand storytelling. Powerful and most importantly, authentic images often provide the best results. Brands need to stand by their values and take charge of their stories.

There’s a massive demand for originality in today’s media. So don’t take the Hollywood path and whitewash your story. And neither should you conform to social stereotypes. Be bold and own your story.

With these tips in hand, you can now embark on your social media marketing campaigns. Alternatively, read up on our stock photography and content marketing guide to boost your online presence.