Images have always been a critical part of social media, but are more important now than ever before. In early 2012, Facebook opened the door to image centric social media by buying Instagram and introducing the new timeline. We are only a year removed from these game-changing moves, and the results are significant.
Social media users are more likely to interact with images and graphics. A recent Adobe study that found images drive interaction. On Twitter, attached images generate 88 percent more retweets than other links and 19 percent more retweets that Tweets containing only text. Creating these images may seem like an arbitrary task, but here are some things to consider to make it easier.
Profile and header images are the first line for quality graphic design in social media. For a business, a quality image on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube is a valuable tool. When designing these images, remember that these are not places to sell—instead, view them as the first way to connect with your target market. Making your profile picture your logo means that any post, retweet or share puts your logo in users’ feeds.
Cover images are a great place to let users know about you. Find an image that represents your business or product and showcase it. A cover image is like a storefront window; use this space to make the user want to know more about what you are selling.
Considering that large shift to mobile usage, also consider how the images are condensed and cropped to accommodate mobile platforms.
Images in Posts
Placing an image in a post can increase user interaction—but that doesn’t always mean quantity will increase your social media marketing campaign conversions. Design quality is important. The design needs to consider your target market. These images need to be relevant and carefully considered to convey your main message. Make sure each images are optimized for a specific platform—in other words, use each platforms to its full potential. It is worth the time make two nearly identical images to post, optimized for each type of social media. The main difference between platforms is the required image size—do not rely on the site to resize your image.
Do not be afraid to be creative or, when appropriate, humorous; a relatable image can drive interactions and impressions, and on social media interactions drive customers.