A picture paints a thousand words, or so the saying goes. In an age where your audience is on mobile and on the go, this quote has never been more relevant. You may have written the best article in the world, or have shared a video that is too good to miss, but you need something to draw your potential audience in or the quality of your content doesn’t matter one bit. To grab the attention of the people that matters, you’ll need to do more than write catchy headlines and repeatedly mash the ‘share’ button – you’ll need images that instantly connect with your fans. A good social media marketing image can be the difference between success and failure.

Copyright and Creative Commons

Imagine that your latest article is the bee’s knees. It is a thorough, entertaining read and the picture you have chosen is working well – everybody from your niche is reading (and loving) your content. Success! However, all of your hard work could quickly become undone if you’ve made one seemingly minor – but drastically important – error.

When you’re choosing an image for social media marketing, there are a lot of options. You can quite easily create interesting and topical pictures using software, such as Adobe Photoshop. If you’re not a creative genius, however, you may opt to use stock images from various paid subscription websites. There is a free alternative, though.

Using Google image search, you can find related pictures that are free to use by searching for keywords and then navigating to the more tools button beneath the search bar. From here, select labeled for reuse or labeled for reuse with modification as applicable from the usage drop-down menu. Just remember to give the copyright owner credit for using their intellectual property!

You can also search for images under a creative commons license directly via CC.

Alternative methods

Of course, you may have the skills and equipment necessary to create your own images for your social media marketing. Maybe you have the resources to pay for images, either through paying to use somebody else’s work or subscribing to a stock image service – either of those two options will yield the same result, so long as relevance and quality remain at the forefront of your decision making!

Choosing an image

When it comes to actually picking an image to go along with your content, there are no hard and fast rules. Your product or service differs from your competitors, and your audience probably differs even more so. Picking a picture which will grab the attention of potential readers is important and to the uninitiated, it can be a minefield – there are so many options to consider.

Fortunately, the whole topic can be condensed into three fairly straightforward bullet points:

• Quality – high-quality content deserves images that will help convey that quality to viewers
• Size – having a tiny featured image may undermine your efforts. Conversely, an enormous image may distract your audience
• Relevance – a picture of a kitty may be cute, but it isn’t always going to be relevant. Your chosen image should be related to your content, to avoid confusion

Picture perfect!

With careful consideration for usage rights and the style, quality, and relevance of the images you choose, your social media marketing could see all new levels of success. So, next time you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, I guess) then you should constantly be thinking about the accompanying images – and how they can help you achieve your goals!