Images are one of the most important pieces of any social media campaign. Posts that feature pictures or graphics get more attention and generate more engagement from your audience, and given the fast-paced nature of social platforms, standing out is key, any way you can.
But merely adding images into your social media strategy isn't good enough. If the images you use aren't selected and designed with your audience in mind, you’ll be missing out on a chance to use clickable social media shareables to generate brand awareness and traffic
Here are some tips, and example, to help ensure your visuals work to help maximize your efforts.
1. Be Relevant
Your audience wants content that they can relate to. They followed you because you offer them something that they connect with and/or need, and all of your content should subsequently reflect this.
For example, a travel blog’s audience will expect content related to travel - so if the blog starts sharing images or tips related to home improvement, there’s a good chance followers will scroll right past.
But if your content is relevant to your audience, and helps them solve their problems, or fulfills a need, they’ll be more likely to share it. You can provide quick tips, offer something entertaining, or create an inspiring image quote that will resonate with your target audience.
Netflix is great at using shareable content to engage followers. In the post below, they offer their audience an entertaining game that film lovers are sure to share with their friends.
2. Use a Strong CTA
Even if you have eye-catching, shareable content, it won’t do you any good if your audience doesn’t know what to do with it. Pictures and infographics can be great for catching attention, but they don’t always inspire action on their own.
Don’t be afraid to be direct with your audience, and tell them what you want them to do. You can use the image description to tell them to visit your website, ask a question, enter your content, or encourage them to share with their friends.
This Instagram post from DIY Network is a great example - the brand utilizes a striking image that’s relevant to their audience’s interests, and the accompanying caption promotes their contest.
3. Use Smart Design Strategies
The way your image looks is just as important as the content it contains - you’ll be competing for your audience’s attention with the various other pages they follow, so if your image isn’t visually appealing or easily readable, they’ll likely move past it pretty quickly.
Colorful images are more likely to stand out on social media. Bright colors can help grab, and keep, your audience’s attention. If your image contains text, you’ll want to make sure it’s easily readable. You also don’t want to risk making the image overly busy by using too many different fonts in a single post.
Intrepid Travel does an excellent job of using colorful images with readable and inspiring text to capture attention and encourage sharing.
4. Remember Each Platform Is Different
Each social media platform has a different design, and as a result, your images will need to be optimized accordingly for each one. Once you know where your audience is on social media, you can get acquainted with the look and feel of the images there.
For example, Instagram's designed for square images, while longer, portrait images perform best on Pinterest. And while you can use the same image on more than one platform, it’s always a good idea to keep in mind what looks best on each site and use it to your advantage. If it looks good, people are more likely to pay attention to it.
The New York Times does a great job with post design on different platforms. Here, they utilize a shareable article with a striking image in a portrait-oriented post that looks great on Pinterest.
5. Be Original
If you really want to stand out on social media, you need to make sure that the images you create are uniquely you. Use them to let your personality shine through, so that you're connecting with your audience as much as possible. If your unique voice is in everything you create, your posts will be instantly recognizable.
When your audience recognizes and appreciates what you post, they’ll be eager to share their favorite brand’s content to their own feeds.
For example, the Geico Gecko is one of the most unique and recognizable brand mascots. When audiences see a post, they can expect fun and useful content that will make them smile.
Shareable images can make a huge impact on customer engagement, and can also make or break your social campaign. If your images resonate with your audience and encourage action, you’ll be well on your way to better engagement rates and traffic.
Hopefully these tips will help you on your way to creating more clickable social posts which your audience is excited to share with their friends.