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Creating Social Media Images: 15+ Best Practices

Find out how to tackle creating social media images with our good practices and tips!
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Megan Pierce

Content Marketer

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13 min read

Social media is a great way to connect every business with customers and potential clients. The snag is that you need to publish content that is engaging and gets all users to respond and stay with the brand for longer. 

We know publishing content that looks like walls of text is nothing inviting anymore. However, there is a way to create consistent but interesting posts. 

Yes! We’re talking about incorporating images into your social media strategy!

But how do you ensure that the visuals or free photos you use are up to par? Stay with us, and you will meet all the answers!

Why Is It Important to Use the Right Social Media Images?

An image displayed on social media can be a powerful tool to convey a message or create a connection with others. 

There are countless reasons why using the right pictures is crucial. 

Visuals that don’t require the audience to read long texts are the best way to grab interest, as they stand out from the text and can catch the viewer's attention with their appearance.

Not only do they help to increase engagement and reach, but they can also be used to build trust and credibility with potential customers or clients. 

Designs that combine high-quality photos with a small number of words in your social media photos improve cognition and comparison of a lot of data. As well as that, the most critical information, say, in the form of a map, is absorbed faster.

That’s why it’s worth deciding on materials like graphics, infographics, patterns, free stock photos, and professional images. You can use them:

  • to present the results of a study in an interesting way, 
  • to show relationships between phenomena,
  • or to summarize an article in an original style.

You can therefore create simple, readable, and amazing images instead of using tons of text.

Make sure that your videos and images are both representatives of your brand and in line with the overall tone of your content. Your social media activities must be simply visually appealing to the eye and consistent with the whole. 

Just such images can help with this.

Not a fan of photography? That's okay. If you’re unsure which of them to use, consider reaching out to professional editors or creative professionals for help. It's an awesome choice for those who want to save time when creating beautiful images but also don't feel confident performing the task on their own.

Best Practices for Creating Social Media Images

#1 Choose the Right Type

In order to create social media photos that will be effective, it’s vital to consider the right type of picture. If you are creating a profile for your business, it’s better to take photos and make videos that represent your company and its products or use appropriate ones from your favorite free stock photo site - such stores provide an impressive collection of free photos!

But, if you have a restaurant, use shots of food or scenes from the restaurant in order to show off nature, the ambiance, and cuisine. 

However, if you are using social media channels to promote your personal brand, you may want to avoid using those ones that are too promotional or commercial. Instead, upload high-resolution graphics and videos that reflect who you are as a person and what interests you. 

Moreover, make sure the materials you upload are appropriate for the platform you are using. For instance, Facebook allows for more candid photos, while Twitter has bigger control and limits text size, and allows for more graphic images. Also, there are carousels on Instagram and Facebook that allow you to select different graphics at the same time and create a beautiful social media library.

#2 Use Proper Lighting

Proper lighting can make or break the final effect. When using natural light, pictures and videos should be shot in a well-lit room with plenty of windows and light fixtures. Artificial light, such as from computer screens or flashes, can produce harsh shadows and over-exposed areas. 

In order to achieve the best results, it’s crucial to test different lighting setups and adjust settings accordingly. And once you see which light looks best, don't hesitate to make use of it!

#3 Take Photos from Different Angles

When considering the use of social media photos, it’s important to keep in mind the right angles. For example, when posting a photo of yourself on social media, make sure that it’s taken from a high angle so that it appears larger on your followers' screens. You can also use low angles to create an ethereal or even mysterious look.

This will help you capture more of the story you are trying to tell on social media. What’s more, taking shots from different angles can add a new dimension your followers may not have seen before.

#4 Make Sure Your Background Is Clear and Organized

When taking images and publishing them on social media, be sure that your background is clear or organized. This can help followers better understand what you're photo is about. 

Also, remember that if your visuals contain text or other elements that are difficult to see, your followers may not be able to read or understand what you're sharing.

#5 Choose the Right Size

When it comes to social media, the key is to take your photos and make videos in the right sizes. It will be blurry if they are too small, and if they are too large, they will take up too much space on your profile or blog post and be hard to see. 

To get the best results, use a photo size guideline we have on our blog.

#6 Add CTA

Adding a CTA to your social media photos can increase the chances of converting potential customers. Even if you use public domain images or some ready-made, free photos, you can edit them and add some text and a link to your shop. In this way, you can encourage your followers to learn more about what you have to offer and take the next step in making a purchase. 

Furthermore, by including a CTA in your social media photos, you can create even more incentives for people to share your content with their followers. However, always remember copyright restrictions, terms of service, and commercial rights. Be sure to look for descriptions on the stock photo website that say “commercial use allowed” or have the Creative Commons license.

#7 Add Your Branding

Adding your brand can help give them a more professional look. By adding a ready-uploaded company logo, you can emphasize the fact that these stock photos are representative of your business. What's more, you add an element that is part of your corporate identity. By doing this, you increase your audience's awareness of your brand. And if you're planning to send a gift message on Instagram, such images can be helpful for reaching your business goals.

Also, using specific colors and fonts can help create a more cohesive look for your social media pages.

#8 Use Consistent Elements

When creating a professional image on social media, you need to use consistent elements, such as fonts, colors, symbols, etc. If you have always used some fonts, then stay with them and do not change them because they have already become an integral part of your visual artwork.

This makes it easier for the community to connect with you and gives them a clear picture of your brand. It can also help you stay organized and improve your brand visibility. 

#9 Try HDR Mode

Many people enjoy taking photos in HDR mode, as it gives a more realistic look to social media photos. 

On the other hand, many of them are unaware of the fact that shooting in HDR mode can actually occur to be inappropriate in some cases. By using HDR mode, users are creating a picture with more than one exposure, which can lead to increased chaos in the end. 

With HDR mode, people also create illustrations that are larger in file size than those shot without HDR. This can cause issues with device storage and processing speed.

Therefore, just try this mode and decide if it suits you.

#10 Use High-Quality Materials

When it comes to social media photos, you want to make sure everything is clean and crisp. That's why you should only search for images that are of good quality. Search the best free stock photos for commercial use, high-quality materials from public archives, beautiful and royalty-free icons, objects, or even a gallery from talented creators. With most are available as a free download. Get them at high resolution and use them as you wish.

If you take such shots yourself, be sure that nothing moves the subject and nothing in the backgrounds disturbs you while taking them. In addition, make sure you are using a tripod, then you will be much more comfortable. You can also blur the background; therefore, you will point out some important objects in the foreground. For example, if you're about to host a webinar, you can blur the whole background and highlight the actual host!

#11 Make Sure Your Photos are Scalably or Well-Cropped

Depending on the device or platform your created or downloaded materials are being used, they may need to be cropped or resized accordingly. Moreover, some devices (like iPhones) have different default dimensions for graphics and objects. So, cropping or resizing your social media files can help make sure that it looks their best across all devices and platforms.

#12 Check the Overall Appearance

Businesses should consider using social media photos as a marketing tool and make sure they are using them in a way that resonates with their target audience. Because of this, you should adjust your stock photos or images from the public domain to the intended audience.

It’s not only the visualization of information that benefits but also the clear distinction of the hierarchy of each piece of information.

That’s why you need to concentrate on editing to boost the overall online presence of social media photos. This includes ensuring that all of them are correctly modified and that any relevant information has been included within the photo itself. 

Aside from that, don't overdo the filters, colors, and amount of text. Don't include data that is difficult to understand as well.

#13 Use Effective Hashtags to Drive Social Media Engagement

Hashtags are an integral part of social media engagement. When used effectively, hashtags can help amplify the reach and impact of a post or tweet. In order to use hashtags most effectively, it’s good to understand how they work and which ones are most relevant to your audience and stock photos.

The best way to determine which hashtags are appropriate for a given post or tweet is to explore the hashtag database. Many tools and websites provide a comprehensive list of popular hashtags as well as information on how each one is used on social media. As soon as you have determined which hashtags will work best for your post or tweet, include them in your content.

Using effective hashtags can help drive a large number of customers from around the world to your social media photos and build a stronger relationship with them.

#14 Use the Help of Social Media Tools

If you need any help when creating consistent social media photos, consider using some awesome online apps like FeedHive.

You will find there, among others:

  • a scheduler,
  • inspirational templates,
  • a hashtag generator,
  • Instagram carousels,
  • Instagram grid preview,
  • recycle post,
  • post to Facebook groups.

The use of such social media tools means your images can become more effective as they can be adjusted for customers and different channels. Even publishing can be easier and faster as you can create one post and post it on another platform with a single click. 

You can let FeedHive find the best time to post and see how your social media photos will stand out. With this tool, you can also create a systematic posting plan and automate the entire workflow.

This web-based tool works with many platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. And other platforms are waiting to be supported.

If you want to try it out and get access to many basic and advanced features, sign up for FeedHive for free!

#15 Monitor Your Social Media Accounts Regularly

At the very end, don't forget to monitor and measure results to see how audiences from all over the world respond to your graphics. Also, when monitoring your social media accounts, be sure to pay attention to trends and changes in your audience’s interests. 

For example, suppose you see that there is a marked increase in interest in topics related to health and fitness. In that case, it may be worth investigating further and incorporating more content related to those topics into your social media presence. Then, when creating an article, don't forget about infographics and stock photos, which are great for presenting a case from a different side.

Conversely, notice that your audience is becoming less interested in your content. It may be time to re-evaluate your strategy and focus on other areas of social media marketing, including content and visuals.

Conclusion

All types of images are a powerful tool you can't forget about with your social media strategy because you'll miss out on too many benefits. Stock photos, royalty-free images, a collection of icons from talented creators, websites with paid materials, and even videos will boost your business on social media.

These are some easy tips and amazing resources that will help you take better pictures for your social media posts and will save you time. Thanks to this article, you now know how to use them and what to do to benefit from them. 

You don't have to be a master of photography to captivate others with beautiful graphics. Just follow these tips above, and you'll be on your way to connecting with more people! Also, incorporate FeedHive to enhance your efforts and make your work even smoother. Take advantage of the free trial, sign in or create an account and watch your social media thrive!

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Megan Pierce

Content Marketer