Tony Tallec / Alamy

The best images to use in your social media campaigns

Looking for a way to increase engagement for your next social media campaign? According to a study by the marketing platform Emma, the human brain reacts to images much quicker than text, so simply adding an image to your campaign could make a huge difference.

Did you know?
• Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text
• 90% of all data that the brain processes is visual

The next big question is what images should you use? In our experience there are 5 key image themes that are the most successful in social media campaigns.

1. Cute animals
We often see images of cute animals on social media and they can work for almost any business. Think of an adorable little kitty, a sleeping puppy…what’s not to like? We like to pick cute animal images that are also incredible wildlife shots – then you have something people really want to share.

USA, Alaska, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Brown bear cub (Ursus arctos) eating a mussel
© Westend61 GmbH / Alamy

For great images visit our Pets and Wildlife categories.

2. Awe-inspiring landscapes

According to the Johan Berger book, Contagious as humans we are most likely to share something that we are in awe of.  We find that we get a great reaction to images of breath-taking landscapes that remind people just how amazing the World can be.

© Cosmo Condina North America / Alamy

For great images visit our landscapes category.

3. Something topical
Social media has changed the way we interact with each other and how we talk about events. You don’t have to look any further than what’s trending on twitter to find out what’s happening in the world, so get involved. Check the latest trends and find an image that relates.

Hollywood, California, USA. 22nd Feb, 2015. J.K. Simmons, Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore & Eddie Redmayne in the press room at the Oscars 2015 at the Dolby theater. © Lisa O'Connor/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News
© ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

For topical images visit our Live News feed.

4. Something funny
We all like to laugh and social media gives you the freedom to be a bit silly. There are some readymade trends that you can jump on board with – hump day, Monday morning, throw back Thursday – they all give you an opportunity to post something funny that people will engage with.  You could also run a caption competition to encourage even more engagement.

Bad day?!
© siand85 / Stockimo / Alamy

Visit our nostalgia category for great caption competition images.

5. People
According to the study by Emma, as humans we identify from birth with the human face, so perhaps unsurprisingly, images of people spark emotions that other images can’t.

Child reveals Superman costume
© Don Smith / Alamy

For images of people take a look at our Lifestyle, Everyday and Families categories.

A few other things you need to consider…

• Landscape images tend to work the best, especially on Facebook
• Make sure you have all the right permissions to use the image for your campaign
• Buy the right license (on our site that’s the website license, which also allows for social media use)

More blogs you might find helpful…

Is it safe to use Google Images?
When and how to upsize an image
Unlocking the power of images