Photos and images posted on social media websites attract more attention from viewers than anything else. And these images tend to encourage more likes, more comments and more shares than a basic text update or announcement.
Facebook’s newly released shared photo album feature has been catching many users off guard over the last month.
For those not in the loop: Facebook recently made photo album sharing even easier for its users. The popular social media platform rolled out a new option that allows for up to 50 people to collaborate on a single Facebook album. Each of the 50 users can now upload a maximum of 200 photos, meaning the shared album photo limit is 10,000, versus the usual 1,000 allowed by individual albums. Privacy settings can be limited to contributors-only, friends of contributors or public.
With this new feature, there are no limits to what types of groups will form and create shared Facebook albums. There are definitely a number of benefits for personal users in a social capacity. For example, family vacations can now contain photos from up to 50 participants — this means that fun, memorable moments captured in pictures can include everyone’s perspective and input.
For businesses, the new Facebook photo album feature allows an even greater level of interaction. There’s a bigger opportunity to further promote the sense of community that’s so imperative to businesses taking advantage of social media outlets in an effort to create a closer relationship with users and potential clients. With the new, shared album capability, businesses can invite their employees to add photos of their corporate life or even product developments to one, easily accessible album.
However, while there are some great advantages, business leaders and management teams need to err on the side of caution when allowing employees and team members to utilize this feature.
While it’s nice to be able to accumulate hundreds, or even thousands, of pictures contributed from a wide range of people affiliated with your company, management needs to ensure that the company’s brand is ultimately protected and properly conveyed.
The feature does allow for privacy settings, as well as for album control settings, however, whenever there are multiple chiefs in most situations, the opportunity for conflicting direction arises.
Think about it: all it takes is one, upset person or customer and your company could face some real liability issues.
With this new feature, content monitoring has never been more important. Business execs need to be sure everything posted on their company’s Facebook page is actually falling in line with the key message of their brand, ensuring that each and every employee correctly represents the company’s products and/or services.
Trouble can loom if 25+ social media administrators are not properly trained and “up to speed” regarding copyright, permissions and Fair Use laws related to posting images online.
Additionally, with such easy access to shared photo albums, some companies may end up with image collections that may be extremely scattered in nature, indirectly misleading consumers. For example, if there are too many photos of people sitting around the office drinking coffee, it might convey a message to Facebook viewers that no one at that company does much work. Or, conflict may arise if an employee unknowingly is photographed holding a competitor’s product.
The ever-increasing “catch a moment” mentality of today’s social media sharing makes it more important than ever to carefully monitor one’s behavior and actions, no matter what setting you are in, whether it’s personal or business.
Remember: Somebody always has a camera or video phone handy these days. And they can easily upload, in real-time, these captured “moments” — whether they are good or bad — onto a wide range of personal and business-related social media websites.
So, should your company seriously worry about Facebook’s new shared photo album functionality?
Probably not, but even the most technical among us should be much more aware that sharing everything is not always wise, and that selecting the right administrators and privacy settings, as well as properly training employees about copyright and liability issues, can ultimately help protect your business against mistakes before it becomes too late.
Noelle Federico is the Business Manager and CFO of Dreamstime.com, LLC. Noelle has over 23 years of experience in all aspects of business management, finance and development as well as media relations, sales and marketing. She teaches branding and marketing to small business people and is the author of ‘Notes on Branding’ and several other books.