Visual posts are engaging, but they should have purpose.

When you look into creating highly engaging content on social media, you’ll notice a recurring theme: graphic content has a better chance of being shared than non-visual content.

We have long discussed the importance of creating and posting nice, clear visual content and there are several good reasons for that. The fact that it tends to stand out in your customers’ newsfeed is only secondary. The real reason that visual content resonates in today’s social media world is because it, done properly, quickly conveys your message.

Here are some best practices for creating and sharing visual content:

Make it relevant
Anyone can post a picture of a playful kitten or a puppy taking a nap in a lion’s mouth (okay, the second one might be a stretch), but if it doesn’t advance your business objective there’s not much point in doing so.

Ask yourself: Who is your audience, what do they want, or, best of all: what are we trying to solve? If you’re running an autoshop, something as simple as a picture of a corroded brake pad with a caption: “Don’t let this happen to you,” can lead in to a seasonal brake special.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t post pictures of kittens and puppies as a business, by the way. Just don’t do it too often. People like to see light-hearted stuff; just keep it to a minimum and, if possible, link it back to your business

Be real
Tapping in to your audience’s emotions can be effective, if you don’t overdo it. Adding your ‘prayers and thoughts’ to the announcement of every recently-passed celebrity is a bit excessive. Instead, choose images that articulate your personality and form a meaningful connection with your audience.

That means: avoid stock photography, when possible. And let’s face it: it’s always possible. Turning a nice photo of your staff interacting with customers will go a long way toward building a relationship with them and others. Nobody asks about the models that come with the frame, even though they look nice.

The bottom line is: when you genuinely interact with your audience, customers and potential customers, you greatly increase the odds that they’ll genuinely interact with you.

Be helpful
We’ve explained before why creating informative content in your blog can help your bottom line. The same is true with a simple graphic post. Create content that adds something to the news feed, rather than just taking up space there. You can check out what your competitors are doing, too, and add your own individual spice or expertise.

Repurpose your blogs or other informational posts as graphics
You’ve already created the content, right? It’s fairly easy to break it down and post it as a graphic concept. Check out this infographic that the Content Marketing Institute created out of several email marketing blogs.

You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create anything like this these days. You can find infographic templates at several places on the web—and many of them are free. Take a look at to get started.

Share your customer’s content
You know that thrill you get when you see one of your fans, followers or customers share your content? Well, they’ll get that same thing, too, and may even call you out for sharing it. Remember, social media is a two-way street. It’s not designed to be a platform where you shout your objectives down at the multitudes. It’s supposed to be interactive.

What else works for you? Let us know in the coments!