Social Show and Tell: The Image Toolbox

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 29 Mar, 2013

Images tend to resonate with audiences on social networks better than text-based posts. In fact, after Facebook launched Timeline for brands, visual content, which includes images and videos, received a 65 percent increase in engagement according to a study from Simply Measured.


The reason that images resonate so well with audiences is because people are inclined to scan their social feeds quickly, and images stand out on text-heavy pages. And, since an image is worth a thousand words, brands should implement a "show and tell" strategy for their social media marketing campaigns. 


Even companies without in-house graphic designers can create original visual content, thanks to a variety of Web-based tools and services, which are explored below. 


Web-Based Image Editors

Chances are that your company already has some images lying around that could be used in a social post - whether its photos from a company party, which can be posted so that fans can better relate with your staff, or product images that show off one of your best seller's unique features. However, sometimes those images need to be cropped or edited in another way, which is where Web-based image editors come in handy. In fact, many of these services can even be used to incorporate other features into images, such as text, arrows and icons that can be used to create memes, as well as other special effects that can help images stand out. While my personal favorite image editor is PicMonkey (which I used to create the image below), here are nine other services worth checking out:




Infographic and Chart Builders

Content marketers can easily recycle content by putting their stats into visual charts and infographics. These data-packed images capture both audience members' and industry professionals' attention, and often times end up going viral. But not every company has a graphic designer on staff, which can make the creation process for this type of content a difficult task - unless you leverage one of the Web's infographic or chart builders, such as the services mentioned below:



Stock Photos

Sometimes you might have a good piece of content that fulfills the "tell" part of your social strategy, but you might be missing an appropriate image for the "show" part of your post, which is when stock image services are useful. While some of these services offer free images, other services require users to purchase rights to use photos:



Mobile Image Apps

Many Web workers don't stop working when they are away from their desktops, and nowadays, smartphones make it easy for professionals to continue working while on-the-go. The most popular mobile image editor is Instagram, but there are other apps that can personalize visual content, including:



Additional Strategies

Brands can incorporate images into their social strategy in a variety of ways. For example, social media managers can ask for user-generated content from their fans and followers, which can then be shared on the brand's social networks. Moreover, businesses can get innovative by putting text into images. For instance, you could take screen shots of interesting content, such as a positive consumer review, to share with your company's social audience, take a picture of someone holding a homemade sign promoting an upcoming event, or even create an image quote with a service like Quozio, as seen below.



How does your brand incorporate images into its social strategy? Let us know in the Comment section below.