How to Choose Shareworthy Images for Social Media

The best type of content for social media is shareworthy images, if you want more engagement. This is true for all the social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc).

But how do you choose the best images for your social media?

You look for the stories.

Don’t post these pictures on social media:

If a picture doesn’t tell a story, it isn’t interesting.

Don’t post these pics on social media:

  • People standing next to each other – People standing arm in arm for a picture is not a story, unless they’re standing in front of the Habitat home they built.
  • Every picture on your camera – If you’re like me, most of your pictures are boring. Only share the best ones.
  • Pictures of your board celebrating your 100-year anniversary – Aside from board members, no one cares.
  • Pictures of inspiring words – that have nothing to do with your cause. Where’s the story?

But what does telling stories with visual content look like?

All stories have this one thing in common:

Stories happen over time.

All stories have a beginning, middle, and end (once upon a timeā€¦ blah, blah, blah… happily ever after).

All stories show progression, movement, action, a change of state. etc. Take a look at this classic story arc:

classic-story-arc

How to Select Shareworthy Images for Social Media

With video, telling a story over a span of time is easy. But what about pictures? How can pictures show progression, movement, action, or a change of state?

Here are four ways to go about selecting the most shareworthy images:

  1. Show Action – Pictures that show action, automatically tell stories. For example, volunteers stocking shelves in a food pantry. Or #BatKid racing to defeating a villain:batkid
  2. Show Relationship – Pictures that show relationship automatically tell good stories. That’s because all relationships have a backstory. For example, a dog finally finding her perfect person:Visual Content for Social Media - ARL
    Images about relationships also makes your pictures instantly relatable.
  3. Show Problems – Pictures that show a problem or need, automatically tell a story. In this case, the viewer can be part of the happy ending, taking action to solve the problem. For example, the cruelty of the dogmeat trade:visual content for social media - soi dog foundation
  4. Show Results– Pictures that show attainment of a goal automatically tell stories. All happy endings involve struggling towards the goal. For example, this before and after picture from Operation Smile:
    operation smile

What are your best pictures? What stories do they tell?

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John Haydon