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Three “C”s for A+ Social Media Pictures

Attention spans are short on social media. How can you stop the scroll? Better visual content with your posts gives you a good head start. 

Visual Content Drives Engagement

Adding photos to social media posts serves two main purposes: photos convey a message better than words alone, making your message more memorable, and they take up space in a reader’s feed, making it much more likely that your post will be noticed, especially on mobile. The proof of their effectiveness is in the numbers: 

  • 74% of marketers use visuals in posts 
  • Facebook posts with pictures have a 37% higher engagement rate 
  • Tweets with images are retweeted 50% more 
  • Instagram, which only allows posts with a visual, has up to 10x the engagement rate compared to Facebook 

Tips for Better Social Media Pictures 

With a little planning and some easy tips, you can master the three “C”s for better visual content and increase engagement with your posts. 

  1. Calendar – Planning your marketing calendar (read our tips here) helps you identify the types of photos you need. Think outside of the birthday photos and product still shots. Is there a cause your company or an employee supports that has an annual recognition day? Take pictures volunteering to post on that day. Want to help kick off summer? Take a company logoed towel to the beach or pool when you go and snap a picture for June 21. The possibilities are endless!
  2. Content – Each month when we evaluate analytics for clients, we find the top engaged posts include people. This doesn’t mean you’re limited to posting about new hires or employees of the month. When you talk about the volunteer activities your company participates in, show people making care packages. Or if you are showcasing a product, have someone using it. You don’t need a person in every picture, but when added regularly, your brand becomes more personal and memorable to customers. 
  3. Composition – Your cell phone is the easiest way to capture visuals for your social media platforms. Keep these pointers in mind to ensure that your photo is appealing and not distracting. (Don’t forget to clean your lens!) 
    • Orientation: The standard recommendation is to take photos holding your phone horizontally. This is still good advice for most platforms. However, if your marketing plan includes Instagram stories, reels, TikTok or Snapchat, those platforms work best with vertical content. 
    • Rule of thirds: Divide your screen into nine squares. Aim to place your focal point in an outer third of the photo. Perfectly centered is not as eye-catching. 
    • Backgrounds: Be aware of your subject’s surroundings. Is there a plant behind them that appears to be growing out of their head or clutter on the floor? Eliminate those before the photo is taken because they often can’t be cropped out. 
    • Lighting: Do not use your flash! Choose indoor areas with surround lighting (add a side lamp if needed to reduce shadows) and aim to take outdoor pictures on overcast days or in the shade. And Golden Hour? It’s named that for a reason! One hour after sunrise or before sunset almost guarantees the right tint in your picture. 
    • Minimize editing: It’s fun to play with filters, but the results often look unrealistic. It’s better to be authentic in your photos.

Have fun with the visuals in your content! The best thing about social media is that people aren’t expecting perfection in your pictures, so take the photo and post often. You will grow your brand awareness simply by being you! 


This post is courtesy of MMC Account Manager Melissa Holder.

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