You’ve just crafted the perfect tweet or Facebook post and it seems to be a perfect candidate to go viral. People will flock to your website and you’ll have more clients than you know what to do with. There’s only one problem … you forgot to put an image – or put a bad image – on the post and it gets no attention.

Your photo choice can make or break a post.

The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” may be cliche, but it couldn’t be truer. Not only do people remember information three days later 55 percent more when it is paired with a photo, according to Brain Rules but Facebook engagement rates rise from .27 percent to .37 percent with a photo according to JeffBullas.com.

Think about scrolling down your timeline on any non-photo based social media platforms.

Many of the posts blend together because there’s nothing to break up the text. But when you come across a post with a photo or video, often you stop at least briefly to look at the image and read at least the first part of the post (also a good reminder to put the most important information first).

On pages I run, I very rarely make a post without a photo or a video for the very reasons outlined above. On those rare times I do make posts without photos, I know the number of viewers will probably be lower than normal and prepare for that downturn in my analytics. However, if it is at all possible to find a good photo or video to add to the post I’ll include it.

If you know of another page that is okay with others sharing their posts and you don’t have a photo already, one alternative is to share that post and put your text in the caption. Just be careful with this method as 1) some pages aren’t big fans of sharing their content and 2) if their post doesn’t relate to what you are saying, it can be confusing to your audience.

The most important rule is to remember when posting on your page or tweeting is that you are representing a business. Creating a post or tweet with no photo is better than a bad or confusing photo that will give your post attention for all the wrong reasons.

Think of this rule of thumb “Would you buy the product advertised in the photo if it was used in an ad?” If the answer is no, don’t use the photo. You’ve put a lot of thought into your post and just as much thought should go into the visual aid with it. It’s okay to delay the post to make sure everything is perfect. Don’t be afraid to be a little daring with your choices but if you do try something new, make sure it is good quality and worth posting.

In a future blog, I’ll dive deeper into what to think about when picking a photo for a post or tweet. If you have any questions about how to improve your social media presence or you need to add to your business’s photo library, Pyrois Media offers both social media consulting and photography services. See our Services page for more information.

Have a topic you’d like to see covered here? Email Info@PyroisMedia.com with your suggestions and you could see it in a future blog!