Humans are visual creatures, and all the social media with which we’re currently enthralled fits so well with our
inherent love of pictures. Photos on Facebook catch our eye as we scroll by, we devour the visual content on Pinterest, and Instagram became popular virtually overnight due to its all-visual nature.


In the past few years, it’s been well established that social media posts containing images have a much higher level of user engagement than text-only posts. “Show, don’t tell,” we’ve been told since grade school, and we’re finding that nowhere does this apply more than on social networking sites. It all sounds great — until it’s time to actually start posting! What images should you use? What you should be showing? Your current marketing campaign may cover you for two or three posts, but then what?


Here are six ideas for generating great and highly visual social media content.

  1. Show what you’re working on.

    This works best for companies that create products rather than provide services, but with some creative thinking, it can work for any business. Give your followers a sneak peek of your latest innovation with some prototype shots. Or, if you’re not ready for a full reveal, some clever close-ups of the details are a great teaser. If what you do is more intellectual in nature, a well-composed photo of the process can work just as well. The goal is to create excitement about the future and show your followers that the best from your company is yet to come.


  1. Create visual humor.

    A good visual pun catches the eye, and the lightheartedness is often the perfect break from all the dramatic and political posts that can sometimes dominate social networks. It does take some creative photography or graphic skills, but if you can show your product in an amusing light or place it in an unusual context, you’re likely to grab your followers’ attention.

  1. Explain something and offer visual guidance.

    Your followers have questions, either about your product or about things related to your field. Give them something of value with a visually captivating post that answers a frequently asked question or gives them some helpful everyday advice. Think infographics, carefully labeled photographs, and the like.

  1. Show what goes on behind the scenes.

    Whether it’s quirky, funny, or just honest, an insider’s point of view can help to create connections between your business and your followers. Maybe you do things a little differently than your competition, or maybe there’s something happening in the office that you want to show off, or maybe you just caught a colleague hard at work. Whatever it is, share it from time to time.


  1. Use outstanding stock photos that visualize your message.

    A few weeks ago, we shared some sites that offer great and copyright-free images. Take a look at these and see if you can find some striking photos with excellent composition, beautiful lighting, and compelling subjects — and a connection to what you want to share with your followers. Use one as an attention-getter for your social media post, then write a caption promoting an aspect of your company to go along with it.


  1. Invite content.

    It’s one of the things that social media is best at: crowdsourcing! Ask your followers to send you photos of them using your product or service in some way. Then, post the best ones, and be sure to include a thank you to the person who took each one. Getting content in this way encourages engagement and interaction, plus it feels authentic — people are truly benefitting from what your company does. As a bonus, you may get more views and followers, as people who have their photos features are likely to share your post.


When you’re trying to come up with great ideas for social media posts, don’t get stuck! Try one of these six ideas to get some fresh and exciting new visuals on your pages. They’ll get your followers’ attention, they’ll encourage likes and shares, and hopefully you’ll see both your post engagement and number of followers increase substantially.