If you’ve ever doubted the importance of picking the right image for your Facebook post, consider this: according to a study published by Social Media Examiner, almost three quarters of marketers now use visual assets in their social media posts.

There’s a ton of visual content out there for consumers to see — and it’s getting harder to grab their attention. So what can you do to make sure every Facebook post has impact? Adopt a smart image-selection strategy.

1. Be relevant

It’s important to choose an image that’s relevant to — and reflective of — your content. You don’t want to mislead users about what they’ll get when they click, as that can erode brand trust, but you also need to make sure the people who do click are actually interested in the content. The ultimate goal, after all, is to get social traffic that’s qualified.

At the same time, your image doesn’t have to tell the whole story.

Take a look at top-performing Facebook publishers like The New York Times and you’ll find the images they include in their posts never give too much away. Think of those images as trailers for an upcoming movie: they should pique the audience’s interest without revealing the whole plot. This approach will really open up your image options.

2. Quality counts

If you were to scroll past a low-resolution image and one that was sharp and clear, which would catch your eye? Image quality matters, and since the images you select for Facebook will be visible on multiple platforms, you’ll want to ensure their integrity is always intact.

The best way to do this is to go for images that focus on a single, easily-identifiable object. Stay away from those that feature a lot of small details, as these might get lost on a smartphone or tablet screen.

Stock images work better for some brands than others, but as long as the image comes across as genuine and has the potential to evoke an emotional response, give it a try. If you decide to go with something original instead, Facebook recommends taking photos in well-lit places and focusing on still — not moving — objects.

3. Think about your audience

You know who your followers are, but do you take the time to identify your target readers for each individual Facebook post?

This strategy can help you with decisions like photography style. If you know a story related to “adulting” will appeal to millennials, you can go artsy with your image instead of sticking with a more classic look. A/B testing your Facebook posts to compare the effectiveness of portraits versus landscapes and black and white photos versus color can deliver valuable insight into what’s going to engage your audience. It’s always a good idea to A/B test your Facebook intro copy and ads, too.

When you’ve got a strong strategy for choosing Facebook images, you can increase conversions and create a better overall experience for your audience.

Want to learn more?

Attracting readers and keeping them engaged with your content on Facebook is not an easy task. We got you covered — you can read more about:

Put yourself in the driver seat and start A/B testing your content for Facebook.  Try our Social A/B tool now to find your most engaging headlines. It takes you less than a minute to sign up and it’s completely free — so why not take a spin?