How to boost your engagement on Social Media with your photos

How to boost your engagement on Social Media with your photos

“In 40 milliseconds, we’re able to draw conclusions about people based on a photo.”

(ref: BufferSocial)

The stats are so conclusive, so significant in their numbers and researched over many years by the top markets that it’s crystal clear that the right photos with links are needed to maximise your all-important click-through rate. Photos are the most engaging type of content on Facebook with a 93% interaction rate and they get 84% more click-throughs. Likes, Comments and Shares are nice but they don’t bring in the money.

Click-throughs mean that your readers, on Social Media, are clicking on the link that takes them to your website, or specific landing page, where you have the best opportunity to convert them from a prospect to a client.

Here are three key ingredients in boosting your click-through rate on your Social Media promotions using photos.



As an Entrepreneur, we recommend you use photos of yourself because people are buying YOU as the expert, leader and authority in your field. And this builds the critical Know/Like/Trust factor as was proven in a study which showed that ‘35% of visitors would be more likely to sign up when they saw the real deal’, as in you, not some overused and cheesy stock images promoting your products and services. The types of photos that work really well are of you portrayed in a real and natural way that shows your personality and energy plus you in action delivering your content such as speaking, facilitating, coaching, consulting, etc. Additionally, only post photos you own or have the right to publish.



The law of diminishing returns, in respect to your photos, means that the more you keep using and re-using the same photos the less impact and they will have and therefore decrease the effectiveness of your promotions. By offering new content, as in new photos, to your prospects and clients you will keep them engaged for longer.

Think of it this way, photos for business have a Use By Date of about 1-2 years when used on Social Media, less if you use them heavily such as in ramping up a campaign. So you’ll need a reliable source to ensure you have a steady supply of great images.


There is a massive amount of competition for images on social media, so yours must stand out and cut through the noise. As reported, in an article by ConversionXL, ‘67% of online shoppers rated high-quality images as being “very important” to their purchase decision’. So protect your brand, you will have a certain standard that you will want to maintain with everything your post, especially for your promotions, which you are using to drive sales. This is not the area to skimp out on as your buyers have an expectation of you, in order to attract them.


Keep your photos real, fresh and of a high quality so that you maximise your click-through rate and increase your engagement!

Here are several examples by our clients on how they’ve used their photos to promote their events and products.

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1. Social Media Examiner: Social Photos Generate More Engagement: New Research
May 13, 2014

2. VIRALTAG: 10 Statistics To Get You More From Your Photos On Social Media
September 29, 2015

3. BufferSocial: 7 Powerful Facebook Statistics You Should Know for a More Engaging Facebook Page
July 23, 2013

4. ConversionXL: Stock Photography vs. Real Photos: Can’t We Use Both?
no date provided

5. Law of diminishing returns

How to build loyal fans with effective Timeline photos

How to build loyal fans with effective Timeline photos

“Facebook wants your Page cover photo to be an eye-catching photograph, not an advertisement or wordy graphic.”


This is the intended result from Facebook’s new cover design rules for this premium piece of real estate on your Facebook business page. In fact, this holds true for all your Social Media platforms, like Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Using your Timeline cover photos effectively will capture the eye and intrigue of your audience so that they continue to engage with your business on a regular basis.

4 Hot Tips To Create Effective Timeline Covers

1. What photos to include?

“Images are a powerful way to create an emotional state, so your Page’s cover photo should embody the essence of your brand. Use high-quality photos that are in focus, have a balanced colour and good lighting …”. Above all, be unique and use images that represent your brand and your business.

Here are a few ideas of photos to include:

  • Lifestyle images of yourself that portray you as the leader in your industry that conveys your brand essence.
  • Candid photos of your customers using and enjoying your products and services
  • Your core popular products/services
  • Logos of awards you’ve won and you winning the awards.


2. What text to include?

Engage your audience on an emotional level to grab their attention. Be inspiring and empowering, no one wants to be sold to.

Here’s what to include:

  • Company tagline or short phrase that explains what your business does
  • An impactful word that embodies your brand
  • An Inspiring and emotive quote
  • Names of people in your photo

3. Protect your brand by being consistent

“Establishing a consistent look and feel across pages and personal profiles, Timeline for pages provides significantly more opportunities to create a visually compelling page…”. You never know where your audience will be consuming your content at any one time, so you need to have consistency with your branding across all the platforms you engage in. A similar look will ensure your audience feels reassured that your message is consistent and congruent.


4. Update regularly.

According to ‘The Content Queen’ your Businesses Facebook Timeline photos needs replacing every 3 months! 
This is to keep your content, for your audience, fresh and current. And on Facebook updating your Timeline Cover will place it in the newsfeed which helps to promote your business a second time. It’s a good idea to create a series of Timeline images for the year, possibly based seasonally or in line with your campaigns so they are ready to use before they are required.


Include the right photos and text, be consistent across all platforms and refresh your Timeline photos regularly to maximise your opportunity at engaging your prospects and clients.

Have a look at these great examples by our clients …

Here are some examples by our clients, from Entrepreneurs with Alarm Systems to Personal Training and Marketing. Check out how they’ve structured their Timeline cover photos. And yes, you’ll see there are many from Ben Angel, and why because he does it so damn well! See the consistency between his Facebook (many examples), Twitter, Google Plus and YouTube banners, they’re all On-Brand.

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Download our FREE Personal Branding Accelerator Checklist:

55 Ways To SUPERCHARGE Your Personal Branding

Discover the 5 BRANDING CHANNELS you can promote yourself and raise your profile PLUS the 55 different practical and brand building ways that you can use your photos to build your best brand ever!

References 1. CopyBlogger: How to Create a Cover Photo for Your Facebook Timeline

How to Create a Cover Photo for Your Facebook Timeline (Updated)
May 11, 2012

2. Social Media Examiner: 5 Ways to Enhance Your Facebook Timeline Page With Images

5 Ways to Enhance Your Facebook Timeline Page With Images


March 11, 2015

How to use your photos on your PROFILE HEADSHOTS

How to use your photos on your PROFILE HEADSHOTS


Read our 11-top tips to help you get started.

“In 40 milliseconds, we’re able to draw conclusions about people based on a photo.”

(ref: BufferSocial)

Yes, there is an art and science to creating the perfect Headshot for your profile photos. Whether they be for your Facebook, Linkedin or other Social Media sites, your website’s About Us page or for your email signatures you’ll need to make sure they are remarkable.
Because in as little as 40 milliseconds people will judge you based on your profile photos before they even get to read your bio or written profile. But do not despair, for we have the perfect formula so you are able to create the perfect profile photos.

Follow these 11 tips to create profile photos that will attract the right prospects, make you look credible and position you as an influencer.

1. Know your ‘brand look’ and style.

Do you know what your ‘look’ is? What colors work for you, make you stand out and get noticed? What style of clothes best reflects your brand? Think of this as your ‘uniform’ that you go to when dressing for your business meetings. If you are unsure of what works best for you, we recommend that you engage the professional services of an Image Consultant. And discuss this with your photographer during your planning session as it’s paramount that you have it worked out before your photo shoot and are fully prepared.

2. What’s the right expression? 

For most people, it will be a smile showing your teeth. Think friendly approachable, competent and successful.  If you don’t normally smile or you prefer your teeth not be shown then go with lips closed with a slight smile or smirk. Remember that either way your goal is to look likable, professional and influential. It’s a good idea to practice in front of the mirror, this might be a little confronting but great practice to know your expressions.

3. What’s the best composition and cropping?

Include your head and shoulders, up to about mid-chest height, unless you add in something of interest, like an obvious prop, or get in closer for impact. Position yourself slightly off centre and to the left which adds to the ‘look and feel’ that you’re facing into the content of the page. And you should be facing into the light so your face is bright and clear without any harsh shadows.

4. How to pose? 

Standing will give you the best posture and help you look slimmer and more confident. Your body (from your shoulders down) should be facing towards the right of the photo at about 30 degrees to the camera and hence into the page and not front on like a passport photo. 
Your face and eyes should be facing straight into to the camera, head forward stretching your neck, like an emu, and slightly down to create a defined jawline which will highlight your face. 
Eyes, now this is a tricky one, should be ‘squinshed’ (a phrase coined by the great Headshot Photographer: Peter Hurley) this is where you slightly bring up your bottom eyelids, not squinting your eyes, as this will create a more powerful and commanding look. However, this may not be the best idea if you have small eyes, so practice in the mirror to see the results.

5. What to wear? 

My answer to this question is always, it must be on-brand for you, reflect your personality and your style. So always be true to your brand and ensure your photographer designs the look that will compliment this. Generally speaking darker clothes (eg. mid-dark colored jacket and a lighter shirt/top) with a clean light colored background works best. The profile photo is meant to show you so keep it simple and direct.

6. Accessories

Only wear the items you normally would wear in front of your Target Market or at the first contact with your clients. This way what people see in your photos will translate into reality.
If you wear glasses for at least 50% of the time in front of your clients, not if you are using them for reading, then you should wear them in your profile photos. And watch for glare and color cast created from the lenses of your glasses and compensate by slightly tilting your head until they are minimised or eliminated. Your photographer will be able to guide you on how to achieve this.

7. Should you include props or logos?

Generally speaking, this is a no-no unless the prop is very clear as to what it is, specific to your industry and it adds to your message and branding. Several of my profile photos include one of my cameras, it’s an obvious item to everyone, it’s large enough to be clearly seen and adds to the message that I’m a professional photographer. To add some oomph, you can include some logos of the media outlets you’ve been featured in, but only a few, make sure they are well known to your target market and ensure your profile photos are taken leaving space for the logos to be added in later.

8. Hair, what to keep and what not to

Get your hair cut at least 1 week before your photo shoot so that it doesn’t look too sharp and freshly cut. If you colour your hair do that as well at the same time. 
Make sure you have groomed your facial hairs, eyebrows, nose hairs, ears hair and neck hair. You’ll look and feel so much better when you’re viewing the photos during your photo shoot without having to imagine what you would look like with no nose hairs or bushy eyebrows once they have been photoshopped out.

9. How many profile photos should you have?

The minimum number here is 3. Three different profile photos that are all on brand and are your style. Make sure your photographer gives them to you in colour and B&W so you can change them every 2 months so they last for a full year. This will avoid ‘banner blindness’ which is what happens to 86% of the population when people see the same thing over and over again in the same place online. Your photos have an expiration date, no more than 1-2 years, depending on how many you have and how often you use them. We’ve created a Photo-Decision matrix which is part of our Personal Branding Guide that will help you determine when it’s time to get new photos, you can access it here. So, establish a good relationship with your photographer and get them updated regularly to keep your content fresh, up to date and relevant.

10Specifications of your photos

FORMAT: Square (get your photographer to crop your photos into squares as they will know how to do it in a way that maintains your brand and message).

FILE TYPE: JPG or PNG is best for use online uses (not BMP, TIFF or PSD).

SIZE: Width and height, 500 pixels x 500 pixels (square), as this is the current size recommended for Linkedin plus it still looks great on other Social Media sites. On Facebook we go for 1200 pixels x 1200 pixels sized photos to maximise the screen size. Bigger is better when you want to make an impact and get the attention of your viewer.

COLOUR: Color or B&W: get both for variety

 and change your profile photo on a regular basis, say once every three months. And, if your photographer has their own signature look, get that as well.

11. What to avoid?

They have their place, for sure, but not as your profile photos. They can easily look cheap and unprofessional which will damage your brand.

Looking too sexy, like a criminal, bored or overly excited. Perception is everything, so the safest bet is to look friendly approachable and like someone who can be trusted.

Ladies and gentleman, please, no bare shoulders. For example, ladies wearing off the shoulder tops and guys actually being topless, as you may appear to be naked (since it’s a head and shoulders photo). This might attract the ‘wrong’ type of inquiries, and no one needs that.

Adding fancy graphics on top of your photos in an attempt to make you look more ‘funky’, ‘hip’ and ‘cool’. This is a relationship building opportunity not the time for creative expression.

Thinner clothes are better than bulky ones, so no thick jackets or coats, bulky scarfs and chunky jewellery covering your neck, unless of course, that’s part of your brand and style and that’s what you wear every day.

Hats, caps, bandanas, fascinators (you’d be surprised), unless you always wear them as part of your brand.

Clothes with large prints, abstract colours and loud logos are a big no-no. Remember who’s brand your build here, yours not someone else’s.

In summary:
Your Profile Photos need to be on-brand with your styling, posed in a specific way so you look appealing and attractive to your audience and that you have several photos for maximum variety and cut-through.

And here are some examples of the Branding Headshots we’ve created for our client and how they are being used on Social Media like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

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Learn the inside secrets these three experts use with Australian industry leaders


BufferSocial: The research and science behind finding your best profile picture
25 Mar 2015

GraphBaron: Banner Blindness – Causes and Solutions

No date provided