Everyone who’s anyone knows that pictures are king on social media. But why? What kind? Does it matter? Yes. It matters a lot. 

First, pictures are king because vision trumps all other human senses. We process images at incredible speed, and we retain content paired with images exceedingly more so than with text alone. In fact, the human brain sees words as many tiny pictures — which are time consuming to decipher — which is why a single picture and very few words are ideal. And pictures go a long, long way toward building your brand. But what kind of pictures are best?

Rule number one: avoid selfies or other posed pictures. Those who connect best with their audience know that social media is about their audience, not them. Post pictures of your team in action — not posed — doing what they do best. Post pictures of your audience reacting to you, volunteering for you — smiling, laughing and having a good time. And don’t stage it. Catch them in the act. The people who surround you, and the way they react to you says a lot of good things about your brand. It suggests to others that there’s something cool happening around you.  

Rule number two: avoid sharing other people’s memes — especially divisive ones. They only appeal to those who already agree with you, they’re mean spirited, and they don’t add to your numbers.