What Makes For Great Social Media Visuals?

When it comes to doing your very best on social media, then following the trends is usually the best way to go. This means not just in terms of what topics you cover, but also in the format and style of your posts. If you have looked much into social media marketing, you will have heard that posts with images, on average, perform much better in all relevant metrics (clicks, shares, and engagement), than posts without. However, not all images are made equally.

Here, we’re going to look at some of the types of images that perform best across social media. If you work a little harder to incorporate these styles of imagery into your posts, you can start seeing a major change in your average engagements.

Know your platform first and foremost

The same images are not going to have the same appeal or impact on different search engines. You should make sure that you are optimizing them to the platform that they are on. The first is to make sure that you are finding the perfect picture size for each platform and resizing, cropping, and clipping existing photos where you need to, in order to make them better. There are already picture size guides available on the web so you don’t need to do all the work of figuring this out yourself, either.

Product images (with the right framing)

If you’re selling or marketing a product, then people want to have a good idea of what the product you’re selling is. This means not just taking a photo of it, but also using images that show how it interacts with the physical space around it, its dimensions, and even how it is used. Great product photography from teams like Pencil One make good use of framing on backgrounds and against other objects to help people get a good sense of what a product might really feel or look like in their hands or in their home, which makes them more likely to pay attention to it.

Photos of people (especially photogenic ones)

We are social creatures. We respond better to images that feature other people, be it expressing some kind of emotion, embodying an aesthetic, or interacting with a product or a service. There is a lot to be said about using images of you and your team, but there’s no denying that people have their eyes caught more easily by photogenic people, so if you want the best results, you want professionals from firms like Unruly Agency. Models can also help lend a sense of professionalism and prestige to your products while amateurs can make it look a little low-budget at times.

Make use of collages

When you’re looking to set a story or to tell a scene, to get across an aesthetic or an emotional point or even a simple narrative, then you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a collage. Most social media platforms have some sort of collage or carousel function that can display related images around one another or one after the other. It’s a good way to get your audience invested in a story.

Plain text on backgrounds

It might seem like a relatively cheap and easy option compared to some of the others (and it definitely is) but it is one that is being used to great effect as of late. Finding the right combination of topography and background (which can sometimes just be a plain black background) works great if you’re trying to bring attention to a hard-hitting headline, a direct message to your readers, or a mantra or affirmation you want to share. Sites like BG Generator make it very easy to generate these, so if you have a message in your head that feels powerful, you can really heighten its impact.


Carrying on with the theme of plain text on backgrounds, it’s an important point that pictures on social media can be more effective ways of delivering text content, not just visual content. For fact-rich content, you can make it a lot more digestible and easy to read, especially for mobile users, by using infographics. There are tools like Visme that make it easy to create infographics, so if you have stats to share or a report that could be made more visual, this can be a very impactful way of doing it.

Simply incorporating the images above is not going to be enough to completely transform your social media performance, of course. But when used appropriately, they can be a huge help to your analytics.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *