The importance of images on social media cannot be understated. And with some of the fastest growing social media networks (Pinterest, Instagram) emphasizing images, consumers’ expectations are growing broadly.
- Posts with visuals see 2X more engagement on Facebook.
- Tweets with images get 150% more retweets.
- Linkedin posts with images have a 98% higher comment rate.
And that’s not all! Images leave a better imprint, and with two-thirds of the population visual learners, images give businesses a better chance to educate prospective consumers.
In simple words, if you are not adding images to your social media feeds, you are missing out on tons of engagement opportunities.
Here, let’s look at how you can avoid ‘missing out’ on the opportunities.
Consider the Social Media Network
Remember that each social media network is different, and an image that performs well on one will not necessarily receive the same engagement on the other. For example, images with plain background work the best on Instagram, while pictures with less background space do well on Pinterest.
Study each channel carefully and understand the kind of image popular brands post on these networks. Take a look at each image’s dimensions, the times they are posted, color trends, patterns, etc., to ensure your images’ maximum performance.
Moreover, keep your audience in mind when targeting the network. Each social media channel has its own custom audience, and your images should resonate with them for effective reach. You can also modify the audience according to the post. For example, Facebook allows you to set the custom audience according to age, demographics, and even interest.
Have a Clear Goal for Each Image
Consider the goal you are trying to achieve with each image you create for your social media network. Whether it’s to drive more engagement, increase traffic, or get more shares – make sure you have a set goal in mind.
For example, brands often share quotes, memes, and GIFs to enhance engagement on the posts. On the other hand, auto-generated links to websites and blog posts are often used to increase traffic to the particular space.
Avoid experimenting with too many things on one post, or you will fail to convey your message and receive poor results. Instead, have one clear goal for each image, and your brand’s presence will thrive ultimately.
Learn the Basics of Photography
These days taking a photograph is easy – thanks to the functions available in our smartphones. However, if you don’t understand the basics of photography, your image will fail to capture the attention you require on the social media network.
For starters, have an exact subject in mind and keep it as the focal point of your image. Learn the rule of thirds where you DON’T keep the subject at the center of the picture. Instead, you divide the frame into three parts and position the subject in the left or right third of the image.
Other best practices to follow:
Use natural lighting.
Make sure there is enough contrast.
Choose complementary colors.
Avoid adding too many filters.
Keep your layout simple and easy to understand.
Write captions with your customer in mind.
Use Readily Available Resources
While using customized photos is always the best, you can also go for resources available on the internet to fill in the visual gaps. Especially if you are running on a tight budget, you can make use of stock photographs available on the internet to create content for your brand.
Some of our favorite resources and tools include:
Ensure the Right Size
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make when creating social media images is using the wrong size. In fact, pictures with the wrong resolution are often cropped, stretched, and crunched out of proportion – all of which reflects on your brand’s image.
When curating images for social media, remember that each network has its own specifications when it comes to size. This is why you should tailor your content according to the network.
Moreover, always aim for high-quality images for social media. Avoid photos that are blurred, oddly cropped, or out of proportion to enhance the picture’s tastefulness.
After you create the image for your social media network, make sure to add some text to each image to represent your brand. Be it a logo or company URL – include something on the image to tell people who created it. This will also increase your brand following if someone decides to share your content.
When adding text to accompany illustrations, make the text bold, legitimate, and readable. Remember the guidelines for each social media network. Use a solid background for text overlays and be as creative as possible.
Optimize for Accessibility
Not everyone experiences visuals in the same way. That is why you should add accessibility options to each image you include on your social media, making it easy for those with vision problems to analyze the image.
Some tips to enhance accessibility include:
- Add alt text to each image.
- Be descriptive in your alt text.
- Add keywords to the alt text.
- Add subtitles or transcripts to videos and animations.
Wrap it up
These were just some tips to get you started. Follow them, and you will be able to create compelling images on the different social media networks. Good luck!
About the Author: Amos Struck
Amos Struck is a publisher and entrepreneur in the stock imagery field. He focuses on providing knowledge and solutions for buyers, contributors, and agencies. Amos is passionate about digital marketing, technology and visual imagery.