Beautiful Images for Social Media

7 Tips to Create Beautiful Images for Social Media

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Images are so so important when it comes to social media marketing. I can’t stress enough the difference that carefully thought out, professionally produced and on-brand images make. When it comes to promoting a piece of content, your social images could be the difference between a page or a post getting thousands of hits, or a measly drip of traffic.

When you’re putting a lot of energy into creating well researched, carefully crafted content, to then be lazy and promote it with the first relevant image you come across could mean your efforts are entirely wasted. Every aspect of your social should be carefully thought through, and imagery is one of the fundamental parts to create successful social channels.

Here are a few statistics surrounding imagery in social media marketing to familiarise yourself with:

  • Research carried out in 2016 found that images that were colourful increased people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%

  • Content promoted with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without images

  • 55% of marketers said that their focus was to prioritise creating visual content.

So you’re no graphic designer? Not an issue, there are loads of amazing tools that you can utalise, many of which are free, to create beautiful images for social media that deliver results for your social campaigns.

1. Create On-brand Bespoke Images

There are quite a few really amazing tools online that enable you to create beautiful, contemporary and on-brand images pretty easily. My favourite is Canva, which has lots of images and templates that are free to use. I actually used Canva to create all of our product images which can be seen on our online store.

Canva make things pretty easy when it comes to creating content for social, as they already have templates ready to create images for Facebook and Twitter, you can even create custom header images too. Start out with a template and simply change the text, colours and images, or create your own by dragging and dropping images, text boxes, shapes and over lays. Canva is a great way to create custom images that are on-brand for your social channels.

So you get an idea of the kind of thing you can do, here’s a product image I made using Canva, and yes, I made the featured image for this post using Canva too!

Lifestyle Social Media Marketing

2. Source Beautiful Royalty Free Images

To create inspiring images from scratch for each and every post you would need to have a pretty big photography budget. While of course if you are promoting a new product, collection or look you will need bespoke images, for in between royalty free images are perfect.

When I ask brands and bloggers if they use royalty free images, they’re often not sure where to source really good ones. A lot of what is available out there is awful, and it kind of makes sense as it’s free, but there are some really fantastic royalty free images available.

I love unsplash.com, and have sourced a lot of images you see on this very blog here.

Beautiful Images for Social Media

3. Create Platform Relevant Images

Twitter social media marketingWhere many of us fall down is in creating a piece of content, and only sharing it once for fear of repetition, or sharing the same piece of content over and over, actually creating repetition, which is going to lead to a fast decrease in followers.

Many blog posts can take hours to create and upload, so to then only share your post once seems pretty criminal. In order to push your content to the max, create multiple images to promote it, so that your content seems new and different every time you post it.

You should create unique images for each platform too. While images with a little text overlay works well for Twitter, this won’t work as well on Instagram, and Facebook actually discourages text heavy images, and reduces your reach of posts with these types of images. When you publish a piece of content, create multiple images to promote it several times across all of your social platforms.

4. Enhance your own Images

If your social campaigns largely focus on the person behind your blog, or the people behind your brand, of course it is important to take your own images. Often the social campaigns with that personal touch are very successful, but even images taken by yourself should still look polished and professional.

Everything that gets published on your website and your social channels reflects your brand, so take the time to touch up photos to make them look more professional. Try Pixlr for photo editing. To add branding to your image, such as a little logo, your Twitter handle or your URL use Canva. You can easily upload your own images and add a little text in your brand font and colours.

flat lay for social media

5. Utalise Free Icons

Unique Social Media IconsImages for social don’t have to be all photography and text, try experimenting with icons too, to enhance your images further. A great source for free icons is flaticon.com, where you can select a variety of icons to communicate the message of your content further through your imagery. The icon categories that I find most useful include; communication, logotypes, social media icons and the essential set.

6. Create an Eye Catching Colour Scheme

If creating harmonious colour schemes doesn’t come naturally to you, there’s a tool that can do it for you. As mentioned at the start of this post, colourful images increase the chance of someone reading your content by 80%, so it’s pretty clear that colour scheme matters. Colours should be on brand, but they should also represent your content accurately. Try Adobe Color CC to create the perfect palate.

7. Create Images Specifically for your Target Market

When creating your images, think about who your target market is. If you focus on a male audience of over 50, they are unlikely to appreciate flat lays with blush pink text. All of the images you create should be on-brand, and assuming your branding has been designed to appeal to your target market, your images should naturally appeal to your audience. It is just something that is worth considering at every step. If you have a varied target market, create a unique that will appeal to each area to suit all.

When it comes to social media marketing, make every post count, and maximise your campaigns with beautiful imagery. It’s an easy detail to over look, but it’s such an important one. Creating inspiring imagery can be made easy and joyful with the help of a few simple tools. For further assistance and advice for lifestyle social media content creation, get in touch.

How do you create your social imagery? Comment below if you have any tips of your own.

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Eilidh MacRae

8 Comments

  1. This is great information. I tried Canva a couple times, but never cared for it. I suppose I’m a dinosaur for preferring Photoshop. I agree that images are important, however, and often cringe at some of my older posts with terrible photography!

    • Eilidh MacRae

      Glad you found the post helpful Leslie. I love Canva, but then I’m not photoshop proficient, so Canva provides a great design platform for me. Oh I totally know what you mean there!

  2. Thank you for all the tips –Hanna Lei

    Latest Post: Sweater Weather on Campus

  3. These are really great tips + I’m bookmarking your site. I’ve been focusing on my color scheme and I’ve noticed it really is making my blog look more cohesive!

    Alaina | http://www.pumpsandpineapples.com

    • Eilidh MacRae

      Hi Alaina,

      Thanks, hope you find them helpful. I’m loving some of the colour-combos on your site, looks really nice!

  4. Yandra

    This is so helpful. One thing I am really struggling with is my social media images. I can’t seem to find something that ‘fits’. I will definitely be trying to implement some of your suggestions and see what I come up with.

    • Eilidh MacRae

      Hi Yandra,

      Thanks for your comment. When you say ‘fits’-do you mean in terms of the style, or in terms of the actual fit and the way the image is displayed on each social platform? If the later, Canva have really helpful templates to create images that are the perfect size for each unique platform. Let me know how you get on with implementing our tips! x

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