How to Create a Shareable Image

You’ve seen them everywhere – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram: images people have shared. Maybe they found it funny. Maybe it was inspirational. Maybe they were trying to win a contest. You’ve probably shared a few yourself. I mean, who can’t resist a cat with attitude?

Grumpy Cat

There’s no doubt about it, people are more naturally drawn to visual content over plain text. This is what makes shareable images a fantastic marketing tool. Images can be used for brand awareness, increasing social media followers, and boosting website traffic.

Have you thought about creating some for your business? I know what you’re going to say “But my business isn’t artsy and I’m not a graphic designer!” Never fear, with a little out of the box thinking you can create awesome images people will want to share.

There are a few things to keep in mind when creating a shareable image to help you get the most bang for your buck.

Send a Clear Succinct Message

Don’t try to include too much text on your image. The attention span of people on the internet is worse than that of a gnat and if you’re not careful they’ll tl:dr your image.

Include Your Brand

If you create an image that goes crazy viral but it’s not linked to your brand in any way, you’ll have committed an internet #fail. Ideally, include your logo and your website address. If it makes sense, include a call to action as well.

Make It Pretty

You may have a great message but if your image is fugly, nobody will want to share it in their social stream. A few rules to keep in mind:

  • Use an easy to read font & colour
    • When in doubt, go bold and simple
  • Don’t put text on a busy background
    • If you have your heart set on an image with no clear space, but a semi-transparent box behind the text
  • Make sure the image is the right dimensions for the platform
    • Portrait mode for Pinterest, square for Instagram and landscape for Facebook and Twitter

Think Outside the Box

If your business isn’t something that’s inherently visual like travel, fashion, or design you may need to dig a little deeper to find a way to include images in your social media activities. For example, if you sell something rather un-sexy like plumbing you may want to focus on household tips or contests.

Create Incentive

Use contests and giveaways as incentive to share your content. If people think they may get something out of sharing an image they’re more likely to click that button. We all like free things after all. If you go this route make it a requirement that they follow you in order to be entered for a prize.

Make it Helpful

How often do you see “Life Hacks” getting passed around on Facebook? People love to share tips that make life easier. We’re all so busy these days so anything that might help us keep our sanity is welcomed. If a tip is particularly clever we’ll want to share.

Capture Emotions

People would rather be the Bluebird of Happiness than Debbie Downer so create an image that evokes a strong positive emotion. For example, if you run the Twitter account of a local animal shelter, feature cute adoptable puppies being adorable rather than abused dogs that make us cringe and look away. We’re all about the Law of Attraction here and we know that positive attracts positive.

Images are a key part of any social media plan, no matter which platforms you focus on. You always want to make sure your image is concise, well designed and branded. Share positive emotions rather than negative. From time to time, use incentives to get people to share and never be afraid to get outside the box. With a little work and planning you should start seeing more engagement in no time.

Need a little help getting started with social media images? Want to Pin like a pro? Leave us a comment or give us a shout.

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