Your business needs clear, interesting and vibrant images on your social media pages. Great pictures capture your audience’s attention, which is particularly important since the average attention span lasts less than eight seconds. Social media posts with an image also receive more engagement because of the brain’s response to color, and people remember more information when they see an image versus when they simply hear the info. Now that you know why your brand needs great images, you can use several tips to create vibrant pictures for all your social media posts.

Choose an Interesting Topic

Every image you post should include an interesting and relevant topic. For example, use pictures of families to engage moms or post landscape images to support your graphic design company. Test several images as you determine the best options for your target audience.

Mix the Images

Rather than use the same type of image for each post, mix and match numerous options, including stock photos, memes, candid cellphone pictures, infographics, and banners. You can even throw videos into the mix as you avoid repetition and keep your social media pages fresh. Just be sure you own the rights to all the images you post.

Post Selfies Wisely

Even if you’re a sole proprietor, post selfies sparingly. Instead, focus on products, services and customers as you put the spotlight on your product rather than on yourself.

Use the Rule of Thirds

Instead of centering your image in the photo, imagine your lens as a grid and position the subject on the right or left third. Composing the photo off-center with the rule of thirds balances your picture and improves visual appeal.

Find the Leading Line

Your eye naturally follows lines, so include a leading line in your photos. A straight street, zig-zag pattern or diagonal roofline ensures viewers will observe and study the entire picture.

Frame the Subject

A photo frame defines the image’s subject. Interesting frames can include trees on either side of a lake, or you could stand your employee of the month in a doorway or place your new bracelets on a decorative box.

Include Symmetry

Look for symmetry elements in buildings, nature or almost any scene. Symmetry and patterns add interest to a photo. You can also frame the subject so the focal point is the object that breaks the pattern on the rest of the photo.

Watch the Background

Your photos will naturally focus on the main subject, but the background is important, too. Select an interesting background that enhances your subject and is free of distractions. To add interest and tie in your brand, try taking pictures in front of your retail store or your trade booth background.

Add Lighting

Unless your brand identity embraces a dark palette, you’ll want to take pictures in natural light as often as possible. When snapping photos of people, move your subjects toward the light so they face a window. You can also increase your device’s ISO settings to increase shooting quickness and lighting or match the white balance with the shooting environment. Your camera or phone might automatically choose the best lighting setting, or you can play with it to improve the lighting quality.

Adjust the Camera Angle

Changing the angle of a picture can completely alter the image’s viewpoint, dimensions and perspective. Shoot from above, below or to the side of the subject as you bring creativity to each photo you take.

Increase Exposure

The thumbnail photos you post online might look better if you increase the exposure. This technique improves the clarity of the picture after you crop it.

Maximize Resolution

As you would never use blurry or grainy picture in a professional presentation, avoid this type of image in your social media posts. The right photo resolution makes each image look great to your audience.

Crop Carefully

After you take a great image, you may want to adjust its size or remove unwanted content. Don’t crop too much, though, or the end result will be a grainy image or one that’s so tightly focused on the subject that the image becomes boring.

Build Brand Identity

When all the social media images you post include a consistent appearance, you build your brand and reassure your audience. Take a look at your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram photos, and make sure they include similar images, patterns and colors as you build your brand identity.

You owe it to your company to post vibrant social media photos. Use these tips as you create images that support your brand and engage your audience.