With many of the major social media platforms now allowing companies to sell their wares directly to users of the site, being on social media can be more important than ever. While the images you posted were always a critical part of helping to drive engagement and raise brand awareness on social media, they may now be the difference between making the sale and having users scroll by.

Of course, just because you can sell on a social media site doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be right for your industry. Furthermore, there are four primary techniques for using images to sell on social media that can have varied results for your business. For best results, learn about the four techniques and test how they work for your brand.

Technique 1: Showcasing Goods

This technique really boils down to how you want to present your goods visually on social media. Whether you should photograph the items on a table or blank background or do an action photo shoot so that customers can see how an item will fit into their lifestyle will depend largely on the product.

Whichever way you go, plan to give it at least a week before you switch to the other technique so that you have enough baseline data for comparison. Also, while lifestyle images may be the best way to showcase your products—as is the case with clothing—consider mixing in a few tabletop images of the product to add variety to your page.

Technique 2: Demographic Targeting

This technique is exactly as simple as it sounds. Are teenage girls your target audience? Then make sure you use female teenage models wearing your products in the images you post. Going after the established businessman? Use a male model who looks the part when you do a lifestyle or coupon photo shoot.

Technique 3: Coupon Images

Let’s face it; people love to save money and will frequently spend more than they intended just because they have a coupon in their hand (or on the their phone). This technique often works best when you already have some social media data to work with. For instance, you can repost your top-performing image post on the site with a coupon code attached. See what happens after a week. If the post stats skyrocket and you see the coupon code being redeemed, you have a customer base in love with savings.

More importantly, you have a social media customer base in love with savings. Adding coupon codes or special savings to the images you post when you want a sales boost can increase brand engagement while providing an extra infusion of cash when you need it most.

Technique 4: DIY Ideas

Depending on the nature of your business, you may find that your products fit nicely into the DIY trend. If this is the case, post images that show your products used in creative ways that your customers can easily duplicate, such as party themes, holiday decorations or family game nights.

Let’s say your products would fit particularly well with a Princess Birthday Party theme. Consider offering free downloads with theme-specific signage for things such as Makeovers, Pin the Kiss on the Prince, or whatever else would make it easy for a busy mom to quickly create activity stations that go perfectly with the products you’re trying to sell her.

A word of caution: Regardless of which social media image technique you select, remember that Facebook—the social media platform that currently boasts the most active users—will only boost image posts when the image itself contains less than 20% text.

Also, keep in mind that your sales images will often do better if you’ve mixed them in with images that aren’t designed to sell a product or service. The more social media users see sales pitches, the less likely they are to pay attention.


Mackie, Diana. 4 Essential Image Tests For SMBs Selling Goods On Social Media. SocialMediaToday. November 11, 2015.