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The authoritative resource for news and information about law enforcement social media. From Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and Nixle, we discuss social media and its use as the ultimate community policing tool.

Facebook Photos and Videos

Facebook Photos and Videos

In this episode, Marc and Mike discuss some tricks for using photos and videos in your posts on Facebook. You'll get greater reach and engagement when you follow what they suggest.

Many of us in the law enforcement profession do not have the luxury of paying to promote our content on Facebook. If you stay on top of the latest news and info in social media, you're probably aware that Facebook is a pay-to-play platform. In other words, whoever is paying the most to Facebook get's more exposure in the timelines.

With that being said, you have to use every tactic and technique available to you when using Facebook to reach your community. One way to do that is through the use of photos and videos.

People are captivated by photos and video that interest them. If you attach a photo or video to a post, your content has a better chance of being read by your community.

The Right Way To Use Photos 

We have found that when posting photos to Facebook from our mobile devices, they are automatically resized to fit a Facebook post. Rarely do we see photos that are not properly sized anymore. Remember the photo previews you would see, which were a 1/4 of the photo? Once you clicked on the photo and it expanded, only then were you able to see what the photo actually was about.

When we refer to using photos the right way, we're talking about techniques related to sizing and relevance to the topic of the post.

If you are running out of photos or don't have a photo applicable to the topic you are posting about, consider using an infographic. Infographics are great ways to grab people's attention.

If you are going to post a photo found on your computer or an infographic, there are a couple of different sizes you can use, which we list later in this article. The one size we like to use is 1024 x 512 pixels. We have found this works great for Facebook and Twitter, which cuts down on creating another graphic for the Twitter platform as well.

Apps To Make Photos Great 

There are several, several, photo apps available for download onto a mobile device, and plenty of websites out there offering more design tools for creating and editing photos. Of all of them out there, here are the ones we use almost on a daily basis:

Web-based Software 

Canva - Easily create beautiful designs, documents, and social media graphics using Canva's drag-and-drop feature and professional layouts to design consistently stunning graphics.

PicMonkey - PicMonkey makes creative tools for photo editing and graphic design. You simply upload a photo and you can start improving its tone, remove blemishes, add text and use some cool layers.

Mobile-based Apps 

Ripl - This phone based app allows you to use the photos on your phone, layer text over the photo, and even create a video slideshow with music for use on your social media platforms.

To see more of our apps we recommend, as well as the correct sizes to use when posting on Facebook, subscribe to our newsletter.

Video on Facebook 

Using video is a great way to reach your community, and if you load it directly into Facebook, they'll reward you by giving you a little boost in your reach. Facebook wants to be king of video, and improved reach is their way of encouraging people to upload on their platform as opposed to on other platforms like Vimeo or YouTube.

Although it can be as simple as pressing the record button on your mobile device, to more advanced recording with boom microphones and LED lights, here are some tips to keep in mind for ALL videos produced by law enforcement:

  • Keep the camera steady. Use anything from a tripod to a suction cup window mount to keep your viewers from getting motion sickness.
  • Horrible audio will kill a beautiful video. Period. Make sure the background is quiet, and whoever is speaking on camera projects their voice clearly.
  • Use microphones. Because law enforcement operates in noisy environments (helicopters flying over an incident, command post generators, incoming unit sirens, etc.), you should have at minimum, one or two lavalier microphones.
  • Light up your subject. Do not record with lighting, like a window, the sun, a patrol car with flashing lights, behind your subject. This will wash out the camera and it will be annoying to watch.

If you share a video from a different platform into Facebook, just realize it will only play within the Facebook platform when you access Facebook from a computer. If viewing Facebook from a smartphone, it will open up the corresponding app.

Video Software and Apps 

Although we use Apple's iMovie to create our larger videos requiring narration, we have found one product we really like to use both on our mobile devices and our computers.

Animoto is that one product and is an amazing tool which allows you to simply drag and drop photos and videos, add text, and add music (from their library or yours) to create an amazing video.

Here is a video published on the Azusa Police Department's YouTube page and Facebook page, thanking supporters who attended a recent Coffee With A Cop event, using Animoto.

Key Points For This Episode

Make sure to take some time and pick out the perfect photo which correlates with your post. Dynamic, sharp, and clear photos which tell a story without the use of words are great. Un-scripted video always works great as well, providing you're genuine and honest.

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