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Delta Airlines had an image problem after this tweet.

Delta Airlines had an image problem after this tweet.

Warning: Giraffes can be a pain in the neck

Q: I have posted several interesting articles on my social media platforms, but no one is clicking on them! A friend suggested that adding pictures would help. How do I choose the right images to engage my prospects and customers?

A: Your friend is right. Social media is highly visual. If you want your post to be engaging, pair the text with an engaging image. But not just any engaging image.

You’ve got to do your homework to be sure the image correctly reinforces your message. If you don’t believe this is important, just ask Delta Airlines. A 2014 company tweet celebrating a win over Ghana by the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team was, as they say, an epic fail.

Whoever picked the side-by-side images chose the Statue of Liberty to represent the U.S. and a giraffe to represent Ghana. We’re guessing this was an attempt to be clever. But the giraffe image became a giant pain in the neck for Delta, because giraffes don’t live in Ghana.

Savvy Twitter users had a ball kicking Delta around. The company was forced to apologize, which led to a second fail. No one proofread the apology, so instead of referring to a “previous” tweet, it referred to a “precious” tweet. Oops!

To avoid sticking your neck out when picking images for social media, follow these tips:

  1. Be relevant. First and foremost, the art must be relevant to the content you’re posting. Avoid using a click-bait image of something totally unrelated. You will lose trust with readers if they feel duped.
  2. Look sharp. If you’re using a photo, blurry is bad. Choose a photo that is sharp, clear and well lit. If you’re using an illustration, remember that cheap clipart always looks cheap.
  3. Consider your audience. Choose the image style based on the demographic you’re trying to attract. For millennials, consider something more artsy than classic. A/B testing is a valuable tool to determine which style works best.
  4. Don’t stray too far from your brand. Keep a consistent look and feel in your social media images, one that supports the look and feel of your brand.

Need help with design for your website, marketing materials or social media pages? Call Kim Landry at 484.829.0021 or email [email protected].