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Social Media - How To

By Lowell Brown

6 Tips To Ensure You Create Thumb-Stopping Images That Attract Attention & Encourage Engagement

Have you ever been scrolling through your social media feed and something caught your eye? What happens? You tap or hold your thumb on the screen and are visually engaged in that specific post.

This is commonly referred to as “thumb-stopping power.

This blog post will cover 6 tips to help ensure your social post images catch attention and have thumb-stopping powerPlus, we’ve included a special bonus video for you below, a video demo of a free tool we use to create amazing images and graphics.


Tip #1 : Keep Your Corporate Branding In Mind

How recognizable are your images? Do they follow a style with consistent fonts and colours across all your posts? Do your images include your logo?

If your look, your style & your value is consistent, people will remember you. That’s one element of branding – being identifiable, recognizable and consistent. It all adds to that power of getting people to stop and take notice.

We recommend creating a branding guide that includes:

  • Details about your main corporate colours with both their Hex as well as RGB colour codes,
  • Include the names of 2+ different fonts you will always use, and
  • Include file names for various logo files.

The idea here is to have a document of reference for you or other members of your team to always refer to and have easy access for any new graphic you create. This will be a huge timesaver and ensure you have brand consistency.


Tip #2 : Add Text With Images – But Not Too Much

  • To make your images punch and to capture attention, consider adding a short phrase or attention grabbing sentence on top of your images.
  • Make sure the text is readable. Putting white text on top of the white part of an image will make the text hard to read. So always make sure you can read the text. It sounds obvious but I’ve seen so many people use images with text and part of the copy is unreadable. You may need to add a solid or transparent background behind text to make it punch better.
  • Consider placing the text in a spot of the image that will get noticed.
  • Don’t make the text too large. If it’s too big and covers too much of the actual image, you won’t benefit from the eye-catching potential of your image.


Tip #3 : Lighting, Positioning and Setting Make A Big Difference For Photos/Selfies

  • It sounds obvious, but make sure people can clearly see faces!
    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen pictures where people’s faces are cropped or not entirely visible.
  • Lighting makes a huge difference in the success of your “thumb-stopping power”. Make sure your pictures is well lit. Many apps have various filters that can help brighten or adjust the original photo and improve it greatly. Lighting and app filters can make a world of difference to the quality of an image.
  • Lastly, keep your background de-cluttered! No Instagram user wants to get overwhelmed by your photo.


Tip #4 : Check Your Focus

No one wants to see a blurry or out-of-focus photo – Great photography requires a steady hand.

When taking a photo on your phone, tap the screen to focus and try not to shake your hand.

You can lean your phone against something, or invest in a tripod.

Again… make sure you have good lighting

Get closer to your subject and isolate it from background clutter to make it the center of attention.


Tip #5 : Patterns

The human eye is naturally attracted to shapes and patterns. If your brand allows it, incorporate bright patterns into your images.

You can also create a pattern in the way you frame your photo. Consider the foreground and background of objects in view. Consider how various objects are balanced in your image.

Sometimes it even takes looking at a particular situation from different angles. Take a few pictures from different angles and distances and see what works best.


Tip #6 : Go Black & White

Switch up the colour options.

Without a doubt, there’s a ton of colour on social media. Right? Switch it up. Try using black and white images. Scrolling through tons of colour in a feed and then seeing black and white will for sure have your followers stop their scroll!

Creating thumb-stopping images takes visualization, personalization and experimentation. If you post something and it doesn’t get a ton of engagement, look at the analytics; ask yourself “Why?” and re-read this blog!


Above all, one of the biggest takeaways from this blog post should also be empathy. Upon creating images for social media, put yourself in other people’s shoes and be authentic.

Do your images follow a consistent and recognizable structure?
Have you included text, where beneficial?
Is your image clear or have a unique balance or pattern?
Does your image stand out in some way?

Follow these tips consistently and see if you have been able to help your posts get more attention and engagement. Check your analytics, poll your audience. Let us know in the comments if you have other ideas and suggestions.


We also wanted to include a bonus to help you make amazing graphics with a free tool called Canva. Check out this video tour of the basic tools and features of

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