Why Doesn’t Anyone ‘Like’ Your Facebook Albums?

Facebook photos are a great way to give your fans a sneak-peek into your health unit and the great work you’re doing. Facebook photos of boardroom meetings aren’t the most ‘likeable’ pics to outsiders, because they rarely evoke an emotion or inspire a desire to share. We’ve gone through tons of Facebook albums of public health organizations. The ones that resonate with us are the ones that create a personal feel to an organization’s Facebook page by showing off photos from events, programs and staff in action and behind-the-scenes shots.

Photo Album Do’s:

  • Caption every pic with conversational text.  For example, ‘Here we are checking out the XYZ Outdoor Fest! Our Public Health Inspectors are working hard to ensure food safety of all the yummy dishes that are being served here.’
  • Make your pics real-time.  Post albums and pics as they happen. Uploading your flu shot clinic photos from the fall in May? Not good.
  • Showcase behind-the-scenes photos.  Examples: inspectors on the job, public health nurses stocking up vaccines for a clinic, the inside of a sexual health clinic, graphic designers at work on campaign materials, condom stuffers.
  • Find a great pic and write content around it. People like babies. People like cats. People like stunning photography. Can you connect your content to a visually delicious photo? Here are 2 examples from Algoma Public Health and Parenting in Peel’s Facebook Pages.
  • Mimic popular culture. Yes, those ‘keep calm, don’t smoke/wear a condom/get your flu shot’ posters are overdone.  But, the flavour and style of them isn’t. Make your visual art pithy, contemporary and shareable. Lots of text will weaken the impact of a great photo.  Get ideas by browsing your topic areas on Pinterest.

Photo Album Don’ts:

  • Overload albums.  Be selective and don’t upload every single picture from an event. Album max is about 10-15 photos.
  • Over-pose staff. Try to choose candid shots. Avoid the pics of staff posed holding the organizational banner/standing in front of the booth/lined up against a random wall. While you may get some ‘likes’ (coming from the people in the photo!), the public generally want to see photos with personality.
  • Post boring photos.  Avoid uploading pictures from meetings that just show people listening intently to a speaker. They are boring to look at! There’s not about them that makes them shareable.
  • Assume print photos work on digital platforms.  Digital is different.  Don’t assume photos that work in print will automatically be visually-delicious on social networks.  Print photos often work in conjunction with text, branding, layout and overall messaging.  A digital pic on social media needs to be able to stand alone as visually stunning, shareable, cute, shocking, entertaining AND informative.
  • Think clipart is cool.   Find some real-life, engaging photos of staff.  Always have consent forms handy so you can use candid photos of all kinds.

What are some of the best public health Facebook pics you’ve come across?

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5 responses to “Why Doesn’t Anyone ‘Like’ Your Facebook Albums?

  1. These are great tips Nicole. I like the behind the scenes idea the best. Show people what they don’t know – a little bit of “a day in the life of” – helps demystify and improves the public’s understanding of what staff do when they are not directly interacting with the public.

    Pictures of our staff on our Canadian Virtual Hospice Facebook page get quite a few likes. We’ve also found that pictures of our team members receiving awards are popular. People love to see the people who serve them being recognized by others and they want to congratulate them/us.

    I’m really liking your blog! Keep up the good work.

    • Hi Colleen thanks for your thoughtful comments and the kind feedback! I just checked out the Canadian Virtual Hospice Facebook page and I can feel the warmth already from the cover photo – great pic!

      Such an important point about the audience celebrating the recognition of the people who help them. The ‘like’ button becomes a symbol of cheer!

  2. I’m going to share this post with my colleagues, Nicole. Any suggestions for streamlining the photo permissions? Or do you have a blanket “we can post photos of staff and volunteers” policy?

    • Amazing, thanks Jill, hope it’s helpful to them! My experience is the same as Corey. I like your idea of a blanket we can post photos of staff and volunteers policy, or perhaps electronic confirmation like an email with the photo attached? Let us know what you come up with.

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