Images present ideas in a visual manner, but what most people notice first about an image is how it makes them feel.
When we look at a picture of a beautiful sunset we feel much differently than when we look at pictures of disaster or destruction, and for most of your posts the image that you choose should have an up-beat, welcoming feel to it.
In other words, you want to use positive post images that help the reader to feel that opening your post is going to be a good thing, not something to be uncomfortable about.
To evoke up-beat emotions, look for humorous or inspiring images that are somehow relevant to your post content.
Positive Post Image Example
Let’s say that you’re creating a post intended for department managers, reminding them to create their annual budgets. Budgeting is all about juggling numbers, and it’s not something that most managers enjoy doing.
You can overcome this negative feeling by picking an image like this one off a happy, juggling clown. Positive post images like this one will make the reader more inclined to open the post.
Compare it to this image of a calculator sitting on top of some papers filled with figures and graphs. The calculator is, arguably, more relevant to the nature of your post, but which one makes you FEEL more like opening it?
Remember that the main purpose of the post image is to help the reader feel like opening your post, and as long as it’s at least somewhat relevant to the post’s overall theme, it can be of practically anything.
If you’re worried that your image isn’t relevant enough, your post title can help the reader make the connection. A title that reads something like, “Once again, it’s time to juggle those numbers!”, would help to tie the image of the juggling clown to the content of your post on budgeting. See the article entitled, “Writing a Post Title That Can’t be Ignored,” for guidance on creating killer titles for your posts.
Post images aren’t just there to take up space. They have the important job of enticing the user into opening your post. Carefully choosing post-relevant images that support that goal will help to bump your open rates and increase your overall communications success.