If you put 100 social media marketers into a room and asked them about the hardest parts of the job, the vast majority would agree that the difficulty of coming up with the sheer amount of content needed to stay relevant was at least in their top 5.
Quantity does matter, after all; most brands need to post at least 3x per week per platform (though no more than once per day per platform) to keep engagement up.
That’s a lot on its own for an ongoing basis, but the fact that you need to do this for Facebook, Instagram, Stories, Pinterest, Twitter, and any other currently-popular app becomes overwhelming. Because of course it’s not just about quantity; the quality needs to be there, too.
And that’s where diversity in social media images comes in. You want to include more images into your posts, since they’ll result in an average of a 37% increase in engagement on Facebook and can’t even be shared on Pinterest and Instagram without them. So you need enough images to keep your audience engaged, but you also need diversity so that they stay interested and you’re able to generate enough content without grasping for straws.
We’re here to make that a little simpler for you. In this post, we’re going to look at 8 types of social media marketing images you should include into your social calendars to mix it up for everyone involved.
1. UGC-Oriented Images
User-generated content (UGC) is one of the most powerful types of content you can use on any social media marketing platform ever.
It’s created by your customers, so their peers automatically read it as more authentic and trust it 12x more than any marketing messaging you could dream up. As a result, it sees an average of 28% more engagement than standard posts.
Since UGC is created and shared by your customers, there’s not much you need to do except encourage its creation and to find it. It’s typically best to share the image exactly as it is after you’ve asked for permission, and to thank the customer publicly. This can encourage other users to swoop in and create more for a chance of a public call-out, too.
2. Product Images
While only about 20% of your content on social media should be directly promotion, that still gives you 20% of your posts to be promotional.
Take advantage of this by sharing beautiful and interesting product pictures.
When it comes to product images, consider the following options:
- Use text and arrows to point out features, announce sales, or list the name of the product.
- Show the product in use so people can get a good idea of how it would benefit them.
- Add the product picture overlaid onto an interesting or seasonal background pattern or image.
In the example above, you could easily add an image of the knife to a large number of different bright backgrounds in a few seconds with Snappa, allowing you to repurpose the same concept weeks or months later without much work.
3. Pictures Of Employees & Business Owners
Your clients like to get to know the people running the businesses they’re working with or purchasing from, and featuring images of your employees, your team, or your business owners can help with that.
Spotlight pictures of a single employee or two at a time and sharing fun facts or brief information about their story allows your audience to really feel like they’re getting to know your team, which makes a big impact.
It also is a great source of fast content; just shout over to Greg to ask his favorite ice cream flavor that you sell and snap his picture with it, and boom, instant post.
For these images, you can keep them simple. Make sure they’re high quality, but they typically don’t need much editing. Try to choose a neutral and non-cluttered background in your office for best results.
4. Behind-the-Scenes Images
Behind-the-scenes pictures work similarly to the employee spotlights. They can include pictures from company retreats, what’s happening in the breakroom, and your team assembling products or preparing for a lunch.
It doesn’t really matter what you’re showing, as long as it feels like it’s an exclusive insight look into what your business is doing. A simple image with text overlay can do really well here, as you can see from the Instagram story example above, just make sure that you’re explaining exactly what your audience is seeing.
5. Store Announcements
Social media is an excellent place to make big brand announcements, whether it’s about an upcoming event, a soon-to-be flash sale, that you’re hiring, or new store hours.
Whatever it is, remember that you don’t want to just post it in text; images will be more memorable and they’ll dramatically increase the visibility of your post.
Store announcements can be simple; you want them to get the message quickly, so information-based images are best here, and may do best with writing on the image itself to establish context quickly.
Take a look at some of the following examples (some that we found online, and the rest that we made with Snappa) for some inspiration:
6. Seasonal Images
You can’t go wrong with simple seasonal or otherwise-timely images, whether it’s a generic stock photo that you add messaging to or you showing off your in-store decorations.
Keep in mind that social media users are always looking for content that’s relevant to them right now, and seeing something you post that aligns with a big event in their life– even if it’s just got a summer vibe or we’re all celebrating Mother’s Day– can capture their interest.
Seasonal images can include the following:
- A picture of your jack-o-lantern, menora, Christmas tree, or Valentine’s decorations. Bonus points if the post itself asks users to share pictures of theirs to increase engagement.
- A relevant stock photo, like those that come free with Snappa, that captures the spirit of the day/season and allows you to focus on engagement-building in the comments. You can add text (like a quote or seasons greetings) and your logo onto the image.
- Images of your products, store, or team, with a festive border around (and for Stories, graphics on it) with a message wishing them a happy holiday.
7. This-or-That Images
This-or-that images is what I call those that somehow give your audience two options and ask them to choose which they like more. These pictures give you a fun way to promote your brand in some way and are excellent ways to effective drive engagement.
This-or-that images can include quick multiple-choice based answers, like the example below, where people are proclaiming their love for pineapple on pizza or swearing it off.
You can also feature two products side by side and ask which your audience members like more and why. Both can drive engagement quickly, which helps you boost priority in the algorithms for more visibility. They also keep things interesting and can act as basic market research, too.
8. Quote-Oriented Images
Everyone loves a great quote every now and then, especially when it’s relevant to your business or industry in some way. That doesn’t mean, however, you need to relegate the nuggets of wisdom to text-only posts.
Instead, use Snappa’s quote maker to make it easy. Find a list of quotes that you think your audience would love and compile them into one document. Then find a template (or templates) that you love for our pre-made content, and just insert the quotes in place. You can always switch up the backgrounds– or anything else– if you choose, but this is quick and easy work to help keep your social media profiles diverse.
Social media marketing isn’t something that you can phone in on (or, potentially even worse, hire an eighteen year old “intern” to take over for you). It needs to be strategic, and you must consider what types of content will help you capture the attention of your followers and keep them interested.
Images are a big part of that, so you can’t afford to neglect them. If you struggle to create them regularly, make time at the beginning of the month to create as many of the month’s images as possible, and then upload them into social media scheduling software like Agorapulse. This will cut back on the time involved and improve your results along the way.
In the meantime, need some help generating enough great images to keep your audiences interested? Start your free trial with Snappa!
What do you think? Which social media marketing images are most impactful for your campaigns? What does your audience respond to most? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!