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5 Ways to Create Custom Images for Your Status Updates

James Parsons • Updated on January 24, 2024
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Facebook Status Update Images

When it comes time to post a Facebook status update, you almost definitely need an image to go along with it. Typically, this image will be the preview picture for your link, specified by your open graph attributes. In other cases, it might be an uploaded picture you add to your update.

Mechanically, making such a picture is easy. You can create it yourself, using a tool like, Photoshop or Gimp. You can hire a graphic designer, if you don’t already have one on staff, and have them use their tools and expertise. You can hire a freelancer, either though a high-tier site like oDesk or through a cheaper site like Fiverr. You can even use a service like Canva, where you use web tools and a database of stock images, paying for the rights to use the images when you’re done.

All of this is the easy part. The hard part is determining what the image should be. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can take to go from point A – the blog post – to point B, the finished link. Inspiration is just a brainstorm session away.

1. Illustrate the Title

A compelling title is checklist entry number one when you’re creating a blog post. A good headline is evocative, perhaps emotional, packed with imagery and so on. This should all give you ideas and images in your mind when you think about it. See if you can create or locate those sorts of images on stock photo sites, and compile them into a resource folder for inspiration.

Chances are you don’t want to go for the first images you see; these will be images others have gone for as well. Instead, look for more out of the way images, pictures with exotic attributes that don’t fit with the most general articles. Try looking at image websites that others don’t often use.

2. Mash up Interesting Information

If your post includes some interesting statistics, you can compile some of those statistics into colorful or interesting graphics. When you do, you can mash up those graphics in a contextless way, but in a way that looks compelling. To learn more about those graphics, the user would have to click through to see them in context, giving you additional traffic.

This ties in well with creating infographic articles. If you have an infographic, using part of that graphic as your preview image is probably a good idea.

If you don’t have direct statistics in your piece, you can either find some, or you can come up with images that sort of represent the types of statistics or information you want to display. For example, if you’re talking about how the stock market is crashing, you might include pictures of a crash test dummy, a car crash or a meteor falling to earth.

3. Use an Emotional Appeal Image

People, in general, have empathy with their fellow human beings. Those that don’t are typically called sociopaths. Why is this important? Well, if you want to attract people with the emotional appeal, you need to know what kinds of emotions you’re conveying with your piece.

Again, with the stock market crashing option, you might be writing a piece about how bankers are scrambling and frantic. You could include a picture of a crowd hurrying to a nebulous destination, or a person screaming angrily at a chart. If you’re writing a piece about the stock market on the rise, on the other hand, you might include images of happy, smiling people, people making new large purchases or other tonally appropriate images.

The key with these is the subject; people. If you’re including animals, you need to be aware of their connotations in a larger context. You might think a ferocious-looking bear is good for your stock market article, but bulls and bears have specific meanings in the financial sector that you need to recognize.

4. Use Symbols to Represent Your Topic

Symbols overlap with many of these other bits of advice. Using bulls and bears is a symbol of stock market trends. Using a car crash is a symbol for abrupt ends, for danger or harm, for broken lives or for a whole host of other meanings.

Everything is a symbol; all words, after all, are just symbols for images, for concepts, for people, for objects and so forth. Even names are just shorthand symbols for the people they represent.

Everything has symbolic meaning, and many things mean different things in different contexts. Again, a bear might mean a restrained, downturned market in the financial sector, or it might mean a sports team, or it might mean danger in a forestry setting, or it might just mean “bear crossing” on the side of the road.

The trick with using symbols is to determine what symbols work best for your concepts. You can analyze every point you make and determine the symbols at work behind it, and see if any of them convert well into compelling images.

5. Riff on Existing Popular Images

Sometimes, when you write a post, you’re writing it in response to something someone else has already written. You may be riffing on a viral article, or you may be responding to a specific industry authority. In these cases, look at the images they’re using on Facebook.

For example, if a business publishes a top ten list of resources you don’t agree with, you can take their preview image and edit it. Scratch out the top 10 and replace it with your number. Scratch out “best” and write “better.” Essentially make a vandal of yourself; it’s fair use, after all.

You can’t do this with every post you write, unless that’s the corporate image you’re trying to set. If you’re a site with the atmosphere of “doing it better” in a way that tears down your competition before you build up your own content, this might work. If you’re less combative, you’d be better served to use one of the other tips first.


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