Using social media to garner interest, increase revenue, and boost your business can be effective. But there are some dos and don’ts when it comes to what to share and what to keep to yourself. Not only that, but there is a big difference between a picture that is alright compared to a picture that grabs people’s attention and gets you clicks and interest. So what makes a strong picture to post on your business’s Twitter or Instagram?

Add Content to Photos

While they say a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes a little informational content can make a mediocre photograph much stronger. Of course, sometimes images can speak for themselves, but at other times you’ll want to link the image to your business with some well-placed words. In order to do this, connect the service you offer or the product you sell to the image. This means the image must be contextual to your product. For example: if you run a landscaping business, a picture of exotic flowers with a caption that informs readers of where these flowers might grow will not only show potential customers what they are missing, but also teach them about your expertise. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re part of an identity theft prevention company, focusing on the specific dangers of traveling might go well with picture of exotic beaches, or airplanes in flight.

Sharing2Consider Composition

Taking an interesting picture is easy; taking a photograph that pops off the screen is difficult. What can you learn from other companies? A lot, actually. From boutiques to restaurant groups and even clothing lines, it’s easy to get an idea what a good Twitter or Instagram photo looks like. For example: The Derschang Group, a series of restaurant establishments in the Seattle area, does a wonderful job of communicating the feel and vibe from their restaurants in social media posts. Notice how each picture plays to the strengths of the particular place. Fine dining, full bar, fun bartenders–these pictures tell people about each of these places without any words at all. Kalakala Co. is a small mercantile shop and cafe, just outside of Seattle. See how their Instagram isn’t only geared toward their products, but also the people who work there, the art they enjoy, and the composition of the foods and beverages they sell. Note the use of white space that makes the captured items jump out and look defined and pleasing to the eye. Never underestimate the power of white space.

Don’t use Instagram and Twitter to post about everything that happens, instead use it to highlight momentous things.

Hashtag It

While content and composition are important when it comes to grabbing people’s attention, no new potential customers will see your pictures if you don’t use relevant hashtags for the posts you make. If you’re posting about travel, include a hashtag for the place, the day of the week, and the activity. Don’t use tags that are irrelevant. If the image is one of a beach in California, don’t hashtag it with Hawaii. While you can add hashtags on to the end of your captions, it’s best to work them in. Since Twitter only allows 140 characters, make them count by using hashtags as a way of giving context to your photographs.