Is a picture worth a thousand words on Twitter?
When it comes to Twitter, based on some rough calculations, a picture exceeds the 140 character limit by around 4,850 characters - if a picture is actually worth a thousand words*. The ability to add rich media, or high-end photography can really help serve as the hook to get the attention of your audience when you’re running an event physically and virtually. And this extends to other social platforms (thinking Instagram), too.
I’ve covered a events in varying capacity of photography and social media, where plenty of thought is given to driving engagement and making the physical experience as ‘amplifiable’ as possible online. And that’s the wonderful crossroad of social media and photography.
People love snapping screenshots and being first on Twitter with that amazing insight or graphic. Problem is, many of these environments are poorly lit and getting a great shot isn’t overly simple.
Obviously, photography on mobile phones has greatly advanced in recent years, but so too has the connectivity of modern digital cameras (mirrorless and DSLRs). Here's me in action (on a pretty standard looking iPhone shot):
— Simon Raik-Allen (@simonraikallen) February 8, 2015
You can now shoot a keynote, a presenter, a slide, a room, the guests, an establishment shot - whatever you snap - and using wifi, then sync to your mobile phone allowing you to onward share to the world.
The best part is you can now edit photos on a mobile phone, using some very capable (and free) tools, like Snapseed or VSCOCam. Workflow wise, this can really streamline the ability to get great quality images to the wider world, super fast. It’s almost possible to have professional images, live. For example:
— Steven Wright (@regularsteven) February 5, 2016
My Experience with Two Social-Photography Scenarios
1) I’m The In-House Social Photographer
I’m able to do it all. I’m shooting, syncing, posting and running the whole show - as in, I’m in the social media team, I’ve got the keys to Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, Facebook and so on.
2) I’m The Photographer for Hire
In this instance, I’m not in the social team, so obtaining access to the social accounts wouldn’t be suitable. That said, this is okay. Because I can shoot, sync, edit - and share to someone in the social team.
Live Photo Sharing with the Social Team
Rather than posting to social, I can share to the social team as-i-shoot, providing a stream of high-end pictures which can then be posted from the company Twitter handle. But there are a few ways to make this happen, but you need to be mindful of the shortcomings of each.
DropBox / Google Drive
This is a great solution that allows for a simple sync from my mobile phone to a cloud sharing service. Prior to the event kicking off, I create the folder and share that folder with the social team. Once the social team has access (on their mobile phone or laptop), they have immediate access when I sync.
When to use DropBox or Google Drive?
If the social manager is familiar with either of these platforms, I’ll run with this approach. It’s fast and simple. I find this works best when the social team has a laptop, but can well on mobile too.
Moments is a really simple app that allows for high resolution image sharing between two Facebook ‘friends’. It’s a app that you can only use on a mobile phone. The person in the social team gets notified of a new photo, which is a big tick against the Drive & Dropbox solutions.
When to use Facebook Moments?
If the social team is a Facebook friend and they are roving on their mobile, Moments is perfect. The picture gets received with a notification and they can save and share when ready.
Email’s a bit clunky, but it still serves a purpose. Some of the shortcomings of email are pictures are often resized - it’s sometimes hard to control this. Equally, email inboxes can be a little cluttered and it’s not built-for-purpose, as much as Moments, Drive and Dropbox are.
When to use Email?
When Drive, DropBox and Moments don’t do the trick.
Messenger Services (Facebook / SMS / IM)
These tools are often geared towards general communication, not the transfer of files. That said, they often run over 3/4G technology, so can be the last plan of attack. Pictures can be resized and reduced without any control.
When to use Messenger Services?
When all else fails…
You've got two options. 1) Give this a go yourself, or 2), if you’re looking for an event photographer with technical and social experience, I’m available for bookings - see regularsteven.com/contact or search for @regularsteven - I'm all over the web 🙂
I’ve got the artistic experience to capture an event in its best light and have the technical and social experience to bring it to life in real-time. I quote fixed costs, with the social aspects included. Costs include delivery of all edited photographs in the following 2 days of the event.
Quick Note: All photography gets the professional editing treatment in post production for a broader gallery. But, the social side is a big value add!
Last up, if there are suitable photos (local landscape, establishment architecture, etc) that align with my broader style of shared photography, I’m happy to share this with my 10,000+ audience across my social channels along with a brand mention of ‘Shooting the <YourBrand+Event>’. This might be a little brand boost that could be a little tick - if you’re looking for a sweetener.
* Based on average of 5 characters per word
Have a little look for some social examples of my work in action...
— D2L Asia Pacific (@D2LAPAC) August 17, 2016
— D2L Asia Pacific (@D2LAPAC) August 18, 2016
$89,720. That's what these guys raised for us at last night's Ben Shewry & Friends Cook for Kids dinner at Attica pic.twitter.com/lzRZPDki2L
— Helping Hoops (@helpinghoops) August 16, 2016
— Helping Hoops (@helpinghoops) July 1, 2016
— MYOB (@MYOB) February 4, 2016
— MYOB (@MYOB) September 17, 2015
— Steven Wright (@regularsteven) February 8, 2015