Images and Graphics in Social Media: Why, When and How

What is the importance of social media images and how can they be a useful tool for an e-commerce business?

Today it’s a given that your brand’s social media posts need to have graphic images. Whatever the platform, they engage your audience and communicate your brand’s story, but it’s important to understand why and how to use them.

Competition to stand out is increasing, and e-commerce sites need to get creative to be noticeable. Powerful social media graphics can be a way for a business to tell their story and appeal to their customers. A consistent social media strategy should include images and graphics that create brand identity.

The Psychology of Images: Emotions


A powerful image can evoke any number of emotions in us that can range from joy and compassion to sadness and disgust. And while consumers are inundated with images every day, these images can also unite us. A compelling photo can become a universal language that can be heard across languages, cultures, and ages.

Humans have an impressive ability to remember images, and according to a study by Dr. John Medina when we hear a piece of information, three days later we’ll remember only 10% of it. However, if a picture is added to that information, we remember 65%. Pretty incredible, huh?

Colors also play a part, and while responses to color depend on personal experience, when it comes to images and graphics, you want colors to support the personality of your brand.

In marketing, which obviously includes social media marketing, images (and colors) stimulate our minds and make us curious. As a business, that initial visual hook can determine the difference between a potential customer and an actual customer. The key is to be memorable, authentic and tell your brand’s story.

How Often Should I Post?

Let’s take a look at the types of images that consumers will see when they engage with your social media. Some are static and should be updated infrequently, for example, profile photos, which are the first thing viewers see. These should be changed only if your logo has been updated. Posts are on the opposite side of the spectrum and these should be made daily, or at least every few days. Here are a few more graphics that make up social media posts:

Facebook Cover Photos: Change every two weeks to a month, can be used to communicate offers and special promotions.

Facebook Photo Posts: Daily – Every Three Days

Facebook Ads: Ads reach your audience up to two times every five days, so as soon as your ad starts being less effective, switch it to another.

Instagram: Between one to three times per day

Instagram Ads: Between 1 week to several months, depending on several factors

Want to learn more about Social Media Strategy?

Wherever and whenever you are using social media images, it’s important that they look professional, fun and relevant to your audience.

4 Tips for Social Media Images

  • Make your Images Mobile Friendly

With users spending about 70% of their media time on smartphones, it’s a no-brainer that your social media images have to work on both mobile and desktop. Make sure your images are sized appropriately for each social network – specs differ from platform to platform.

  • Create different images for each social network

Don’t be lazy and post the same thing across all your channels, in fact, it’s a good idea to post completely different things! Facebook is good for blog posts and curated content, while high-res photos and quotes work better on Instagram. Get creative with your images!

  • Minimize product-only Imagery

Product only images can feel too sales-y, so it’s important to include lifestyle and brand-defining imagery in your social media posts as well. Showing your products being used, by real people has an impact on your followers.

  • Add text to your images to increase engagement

A picture may be worth 1000 words, but an image without any context will not do well. Include graphics that incorporate text at least some of the time to drive engagement and interest your viewers.

Engagement, Consistency and Experimentation

In the end, social media images should be about your brand and its story. There is no magic formula that works for everyone – customers differ by age, geographical location and industry. Experiment and see what works, learn from your audience’s responses and keep it fresh! Check out HeyCarson’s offerings for all your social media image needs.


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  1. Pingback: What Makes a Successful Customer Journey? | Carson Shopify Blog

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