Over the last couple of years the consumption of visual content, and hence its significance has been growing drastically. Between 2013 and 2014, the amount of videos in users’ newsfeeds has increased 3.6 times. But if producing videos isn’t ‘right-up-your-alley’ you’ll be glad to know that even the photos you share have a great impact on your engagement ratios. A research by SocialBakers showed that 87 percent of all interactions on Facebook happened on photos.

But not every image garners the same level of engagement. A large number of factors influence how your audience would respond to an image, starting with whether or not they even see it (which is a possibility). Here are few ways in which you can use photos more effectively on Facebook.

  1. Crop them to the right size

    You could use either vertical or horizontal layouts for images on Facebook. Based on the layout of your image Facebook will crop it to display it as thumbnails on your timeline. The standard thumbnail is 470 pixels in height and 470 pixels in width. Horizontal images are automatically displayed in these dimensions. However, vertical images are aligned left, and the width of the thumbnail will depend on the original size of your image. Using a narrow image will create whitespace on the right – narrower the image, greater the whitespace. For a better understanding of how sizes are appropriated on Facebook read this post by Have Camera Will Travel.

  2. Use high quality images

    With photos being used so commonly on Facebook, you need to pay greater attention to the quality of the images you share. Using unique, eye-catching images will make your audience stop in their tracks and take notice of your post. The pictures you share must be relevant to your business and also appeal to your audience. Pixelated images are more of an eye sore now, than they were ever before. And the easy access you have to image editing software makes it all the more unjustifiable to post a bad picture, even if you aren’t a professional photographer.


  1. Keep them real, keep them human

    A simple picture of your product against a white background is okay, but it does only so much to tingle the senses. Using images of real people in real situations helps audiences connect better with your brand emotionally. When you use images to convey a mood, you’re more likely to hold their attention. According to researchers, positivity is largely more successful in triggering action than negativity. So, happy, funny, interesting, unbelievable are all good reactions to aim for.


  1. Spend time on your captions

    Image captions afford you an opportunity to create context for your images, adding more meaning to them. If you think of your photo as an opening line, the caption is what lets you carry the conversation forward. It’s a good idea to occasionally run caption-contests, where you could ask your fans to submit captions for the photos you share. But most often you’ll have to write these captions yourself – witty, humorous captions do a better job of attracting likes and comments.


  1. Check the performance of your posts

    Knowing what kinds of posts are getting shared most will help you understand audience preferences. Once you identify the posts that are getting shared more than others, you can create a few templates for layouts, or messaging and use the same formula more extensively (just not to a point where it becomes an overkill). When analyzing these posts consider all the factors that influence share-ability, such as the image itself and the accompanying text.

Go get your hands dirty

The diversity of audiences on a popular social platform such as Facebook makes it more challenging to achieve mass appeal. Identifying patterns and creating every day formulas makes social media management a tad bit easier. But you’ll still have to experiment with multiple approaches before you find the ones that work for you. So, are you ready yet?

This post was originally published on the DrumUp Blog.