Tips for Sourcing Engaging Images for Your Social Channels

Social media channels have all become very visual. Text alone just doesn’t cut it; images attract much more attention than that black and white print. However, just any old image isn’t good enough; your images must be relevant and engaging. Stock images are easy to use because you can be sure about owning the rights to use it, but at what expense? Stock images can also be used by others, repeatedly. That would mean that your audience has likely seen them repeatedly as well and if it does attract their attention, it would be for the wrong reason entirely. Here are 5 tips from RebelMouse   for creating or finding images to use on your social media channels.

Social Media - Image Sizes

  1. Use Different Images on Different Channels: Not only does each channel need a different size image, but different images work better. If you spend some time getting different images, or at least sizing your images properly for each channel, you will see better results. Refer to the sizing chart above to see the ideal size for each social media channel. As you can see here, if you use the same size across all channels, you could end up with a problem:

Snickers Twitter Image

Photo Credit:

Twitter images should be 440×220 with a ratio of 2:1. If the ratio is not set correctly, you will see the image cut off, like in the 2nd image. In addition to the size issue, Curalate (a visual image marketing and analytics firm) did research and found that colour makes a difference in engagement depending on which social network you are posting on. For example, images that are mostly blue receive 24% more likes than red images to on Instagram. On Pinterest red or orange images get almost twice the amount of repins than blue images. For more indepth colour observations from their findings, see Curalate. If you don’t have the time or budget to use different images on different channels, then try using multiple images to appeal to a wider audience base. Just be sure to resize the image so that it won’t get cropped on some channels.

  1. Images Should Be Personal: Use images that will trigger emotions in your fans and followers. Images that effect peoples’ emotions are much more likely to get noticed and be shared.
  2. Include Text on Images: Adding text to your image will get your message noticed much better than text alone. Adding text or otherwise modifying images also makes them your own.
  3. Two Free Image Sites:


Photo Credit: UnSplash

The images don’t have to be your own, finding relevant images from sources is fine, as long as you have permission and give credit. Two sites where you can access images for free as long as you give credit are Unsplash and Gratisography.

  1. Use Action Shots: Nothing is more engaging than seeing people doing what you are talking about. There is a disconnect within the post if you are talking about an action or something exciting and then have a static picture that doesn’t relate.

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