When you see something funny, or interesting, what do you do? Well, if you respond as around 80% of us do these days, you grab your phone and take a picture; uploading it to the social media platform of your choice, so that your friends and followers can enjoy it too. It seems that we can’t even have a meal in a restaurant without Instagramming it, and if our dog (well, my dog) does something cute, it’s on Facebook before he’s changed position. You see, we humans are inherently visual. We process a picture in milliseconds. Imagine all the data that goes into a simple photo. Think of the last photograph you shared. Now imagine describing that photograph to someone who couldn’t see it. There’s a lot to say about it, isn’t there? All that detailed information that we absorb instantly when we see a picture – quite amazing, really. Pictures also have tremendous power; they can make us feel a strong emotion, and they can go viral overnight, spreading to tens of thousands, and millions of people, courtesy of just a click on a phone. When I look back through my Facebook feed, there are a lot of photographs of food. It seems my friends especially like home baking (17 photos in the last two months), eating out (24 photos) and alcohol (11 photos). As we are apparently pre-disposed to photograph a plate of food and share that picture with our (on average) 130 Facebook friends, are restaurants making more of an effort to arrange our food more carefully? Does the chef add an extra flourish of garnish, or artistic swirl of sauce, so that when the plate arrives at our table, we just have to take a photograph of it before we touch it? He should! Look around you the next time you eat out, at just how many folk do just that. (In fact, this is me photographing my lunch with my family in New York last month – note that my son is doing the same. Pretty sure my daughters had already taken theirs…. ) If everyone is looking for interesting content to photograph and share as they go about their busy lives, then why don’t we take advantage of it? Do this – go outside your office, onto the pavement, and look at your window. Is there anything in it that someone might want to photograph? I’m guessing there isn’t. Take a look at this photo:
This quote was posted on one of the noticeboards at a London Underground station. It made me smile as I walked past. What would you do? Assuming you weren’t in a tearing hurry, wouldn’t you take a quick pic to share? You could easily do the same! A quote of the day is a really easy thing to do. Make it funny, and you’ll get even more shares. Put one in your window today and count how many people photograph it. What do you think they’re going to do then? Share it, of course! And if your logo is on it, it’s effectively a mini viral advert. Free. Add your Twitter ID to the poster and you’ll be able to track your mentions. There are lots of things you could try – how about a joke of the day? Make it at the expense of estate agents and people will love your tongue-in-cheek humour. Or a fake property advert, criticising the house and saying how awful it is. Maybe even a spoof celebrity’s property description, of someone currently in the media spotlight. Have fun with it – don’t overthink it. Keep it up for a few days each time and watch the shares rise. Make your ideas good enough, and those people who trudge past your office day in day out, head down, might actually start to look, and notice you. And when they decide to sell their house, who are they going to think of first?
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