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In 2014, 87% of all Facebook shares were posts that contained pictures. Clearly, images increase the likelihood that people will read, click on, and share posts.

To get the maximum business impact from your social media marketing, and to get consumers to read their copy, marketers should insert pictures into their posts. Since your post’s graphic will compete with the countless images on social media, it is critical to use strong, engaging images to boost clicks. These tips will help you ensure that you are choosing the optimal image.

Tailor image dimensions to fit the medium

Every social network has specific dimensions for images. If a photo doesn’t perfectly match, the social network will automatically crop or stretch, and distort it. This damages the ability of a carefully designed image’s ability to communicate. Marketers must keep this in mind for everything, including regular posts, profile pictures and previews. For those who aren’t familiar with social media image dimensions, they can find an image dimension cheat sheet for the top social networks on this link.

Use color to captivate

People thoughtlessly scroll through news feeds searching for something that will strike their fancy. Images that get a second look from consumers use bold colors that contrast with the color scheme of the social network itself.

Don’t forget that images need #hashtags too

Although images can be captivating by themselves, their initial reach is limited to the company’s followers unless hashtags are used. Hashtags index posts and make them searchable within the network.

Images get more clicks when combined with text

After an image has captured attention, it still must convince the viewer to click. Combining images with a compelling caption will help engage your audience.

Be original

Pictures that look like other popular images quickly begin blending in with the network’s background, while original images stand out.

Don’t be stuffy

Although you always want to convey professionalism, social media is a casual environment that people use to get away. It’s best, then, to use images that match the casual, interactive environment in which they are posted.

Cut the clutter

People are more apt to share images because they are easy to process. A cluttered photo detracts from a consumer’s ability to do this, which ultimately reduces their responsiveness. While images should not be bland, but they shouldn’t be overwhelming to the senses either.

Have your pictures deliver a message

Your objective in including images on social media is to communicate with consumers in a way that incentives them to share and click your post. Your images clearly convey the message you wish to share.

Great images maximize social success

Success on social media requires consistent engagement with consumers. For images to engage, they must be trend setters and cater to both the networks’ design and desires of their audience.