The Dos and Don’ts of Creating Images for Social Media



“A picture is worth a thousand words.” There is a reason that this popular saying by Tess Flanders resonates with many people. Whether it is positive or negative, imagery triggers an emotional response and, with a little help from psychologists, visual marketing has been utilized to influence consumers since the beginning of print advertising.

Social media has quickly become a major outlet for visual marketing. Hotels can be very successful by using social media to engage with potential guests. Through social media, hotels can build brand awareness, increase bookings, and encourage repeat guests. Not only are social media platforms great for showcasing your hotel’s beautiful amenities, but they give your property a way to connect with your audience on a personal level. Unfortunately, many hotels fail when it comes to creating interesting images that generate brand awareness, so we have rounded-up a list of dos and don’ts for creating images for social media.

Do Be Creative with Social Media Images

Creating images that are visually appealing is key to engaging with your social media users. Choose interesting photos that represent your hotel’s brand. All too often, we see boring stock photos plastered on a hotel’s Facebook Page paired with uninspiring copy. There is nothing wrong with using stock photos, but with a little creative thinking, you can transform a tired stock photo into an enticing, unique picture that is representative of your brand.

Experiment with Different Fonts and Color Schemes

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Use Creative Hashtags and Copy

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Don’t Over Design

Have you ever walked into a room or looked at someone’s outfit and thought, “I don’t know where to look – I feel dizzy!” That is probably a result of over-designing and is something that social media images often fall victim to. With all the great design tools out there, such as Canva and Adobe Photoshop Express, it is really easy to get carried away. Sometimes, simplicity can have more of an impact. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post, “Tips and Tricks on How to Use Canva to Make Your Images Pop on Social Media,” where Digital Marketing Manager Nicole Poggensee will provide an in-depth look on creating designs with this tool.

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Do Size Images Correctly

Making sure your images are the right size will impact the look and feel you want to achieve. Most social media platforms have recommended photo sizes. For instance, Facebook photos will automatically scale to 470px, so it is recommended to upload a larger image to preserve quality. Twitter recommends photos be 440 x 220 px. For a more in depth look at appropriate image sizes for social media, refer to Sprout Social’s Always Up-to-Date Guide to Social Media Image Sizes article.

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Don’t Stray Away From Your Hotel Identity

Keeping true to your hotel identity is important. Attracting the right type of guests will ensure that your guests will not be disappointed and are getting what they expect. For example, if you are a business hotel, do not post about family activities in the area with images of kids splashing around in a pool. A family coming to stay with you might be upset to find out you are not really a child-friendly hotel. This type of miscommunication can lead to negative reviews and unhappy guests. Use images that represent the type of guests you want to attract.

Do Use Videos and Animated GIFs

On average, there are about 8 billion daily video views, with video posts capturing about 62% more engagement than photos. Videos and animated GIFs are a fun way to showcase your hotel’s personality and, with modern day technology, they are easy to make. Does your hotel have a gorgeous water feature? Use your phone to capture the tumbling water to show guests what they can expect when they stay with you. Show behind-the-scenes videos of your staff celebrating a birthday to capture the culture at your hotel and showcase your happy, friendly staff. While videos and animated GIFs are great, they should not be overused. Posting one every other week or so is sufficient.

Don’t Ignore Insights and Analytics

Look at the data! Both Facebook and Twitter report on the engagement each post receives. Use this information as a guide for what types of posts you should be creating and what type of multimedia you should use to coincide. If a specific post is generating a lot of engagement, that is a good indicator of the type of content that appeals to your target market. If a particular post is not getting much engagement, try to understand why it might not be resonating with your audience. Sometimes experimenting is the best way to figure out what your audience responds to.

Do Share User Generated Content

Instagram and Facebook are a wealth of visual content you can use to create posts for your hotel. You can share photos of your hotel that guests tag or geotag the property in on Instagram and Facebook or share photos taken at a local event or local attractions. Look at your local CVB’s Instagram and share their photos of the city to create a relationship with the community. Picodash is a great tool to use when searching for specific locations, hashtags or users. The one thing you need to keep in mind when sharing user generated content is ensuring the photos are credited. Here are a few creative ways to give credit where it’s due.

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Watch Engagement Grow

Now that you have the knowledge to create inviting photos, watch your accounts’ engagement grow! Keeping up with photo trends will help keep your hotel’s pages looking fresh. There are many resources for inspiration; for example, look at what other hotels are posting to gain insight on what users are interacting with. Look to other industries, such as your favorite fashion magazine, and note how they create images for their social media outlets. Monitor your engagement to ensure what you are putting out there is what your target audience likes. This is your chance to capture the attention of potential guests or to turn past guests into brand enthusiasts. Curating images to tell your hotel’s story is no easy task; let Blue Magnet help you! We have the expertise and design skills to make your social media pages stand out from the crowd.