Below highly condensed article is based on the research conducted by (Colliander and Marder, 2018).
The study revolves around two types of images used by companies in social media marketing. First one is the snap images. These are the typical ones that are ‘’snapped’’ and uploaded through phone cameras. These are referred to as snapshot aesthetics here. The second category is the traditional professional photos which are referred to as studio-grade aesthetics. With this background below states the findings of the research.
Using pictures with a snapshot aesthetic in image-based social media (i.e. Instagram) will result in a higher level of liking than using pictures with studio-grade aesthetics.
Using snapshot aesthetic images increases the credibility of the account/brand. Even though using studio-grade aesthetic photos do signal the company’s expertise in advertising, it is a different story when it comes to social media. The usage of snapshot aesthetic images in social media signals that you grasp the decorum of the platform and that outweighs the above-mentioned perception of expertise.
Using snapshot aesthetic photos in image-based social media results in a higher brand attitude than using studio-grade aesthetic images. Also using snapshot aesthetic photos results in greater intentions to recommend the social media account to others.
Contrastingly, these findings are less likely to hold for social media which are perceived to be more professional, such as LinkedIn.
In summary, this study confirms that using real-life photos that are more comparative to everyday user uploads (snapshot aesthetic photos) in advertising on social media is more beneficial in every single aspect than using professional photos (studio-grade aesthetic photos).