Social media has become an important part of every business’s marketing strategy. However, if you really want to get the most out of your social media campaign, you need to be using quality graphics on your page and in your posts.
Why? Because using high-quality graphics can help increase social shares and bring more traffic to your site– it’s that simple. Great images, properly optimized, can bring in traffic from Google images, Pinterest and Flickr. In fact, according to MDG Advertising, articles that include images generally see 94% more views. That statistic enough should get you in the mindset of improving your content marketing strategy right away.
The Limits of Sharing Images
While images can be found in every corner of the internet, getting permission to share these images may not be so straightforward. There are copyright laws to abide by, and without clearance to share, you could be getting yourself into a whole heap of liability trouble. However, if you capture or create the image yourself, you then likely own the copyright and can do whatever you wish with it.
If you aren’t sure how to create great graphics for your social posts, there a few ways you can get started. There are various free and low-cost tools available for this very purpose, and you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding tutorials to address any questions you may have about a certain program.
Creating Eye-Catching Social Media Visuals
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the case of a content strategy, creating interesting and compelling images to share with your audience is a no-brainer. However, not everyone is born to be a graphic designer or has the cash at hand to hire a professional. Fortunately, there are plenty of other low-cost alternatives available that can help you turn your images from good to glorious!
Some of the most popular image editor alternatives include PicMonkey, LiveLuvCreate, Paint.NET, PicCollage, and Canva. Each of these options offers different features depending on what you want the overall image to be. Whether you’re aiming to create a beautiful collage of a recent event or want to make a clean DIY guide, image editors will be your best friend when there isn’t an expert around.
Of course, hiring a professional graphic designer or someone who is experienced with Photoshop will be the best solution, but it’s comforting to know that there are other options available to those with smaller budgets.
Using Social Images to Increase Engagement
In general, having your own inventory of self-created images leaves a lot of the guesswork out of determining whether or not a picture is free to share. Once you’ve got the perfect image to share with your audience, doing what you can to further optimize that image can increase the amount of engagement you receive.
Sharing the image by itself will only get you so far, and if your content marketing objective is to improve your rank on Google, consider the following optimization tips:
1) Adding captions to your pictures will be very helpful to your readers as they will be able to understand what the image is and how it relates to the content. Images will almost always be more attractive than text, and although adding captions won’t do much to impact search rank, viewers will instantly be able to make a connection between image and text, which can ultimately decrease your bounce rate. And with the short attention span of most social media users, the quicker you’re able to grab their attention, the better.
2) Believe it or not, choosing the right format for your images greatly impacts how well viewers respond to images. In general, uploading images in JPEG format will be your best bet, as they are easily compressible and they tend to be the best option for small, high-quality photos. PNG and GIF formats can be acceptable as well, but they don’t always offer the best quality images, nor have fast loading times.
3) Add a proper title and ALT text to each image that you upload to your blog or website. Doing so will help search engines identify what the image is about, as well as improve your search rank. This would be a good opportunity to include keywords; however, be careful not to overstuff the description.
Keeping it Clear and Simple
The images you use on your social pages need to be clear, clutter-free and relatively simple. Pages that look poorly put together or contain images that are blurry or unclear can actually be worse than having no graphics at all.
A page that is cluttered with graphics will also bombard social users and distract them from your real message. Keep your graphics clear, simple, and above all, focused.
People who visit your site want to see that it is clean and easy to look at. Making sure your website is well-designed will definitely increase traffic to your site.
Tracking Your Success
Once you begin optimizing your images to turn them into likeable, shareable posts, what else is there to do other than to track how well they connect with your audience? But first, in order to track that success, there needs to be a primary goal in place.
For example, is your objective to acquire more conversions? Perhaps more engagement from fans and followers? Like image editors, there are also plenty of tools and resources to find out exactly how well your content is performing amongst the masses, including the well-trusted Google Analytics. But again, make sure to carefully consider your vision of success so that you can be sure you’re selecting the right metrics to measure.
Social media graphics help to make a brand memorable, and sharing quality images through social media will only help you get followers and increase your overall search results. Once you get the hang of creating graphics and begin to share them with your audience, you’ll see growth, and you’ll wish you had started creating your own images a long time ago!
Ivan Serrano is a writer with a background in social media, business marketing, and globalization. He is an avid writer, and often contributes to 1800NumberNow.com’s blog, where he also writes about technology and its effects on the gradually shrinking global marketplace.