By now, you probably know how important it is to use images in your email and social media marketing. Images can help your emails stand out in a crowded inbox and boost engagement socially.

The problem with using images in your marketing efforts is that it’s easy to feel unsure about best practices.

When it comes to using images successfully, you have to find your balance. And this will vary depending on your audience, your products and services, and the message you’re trying to convey.

Here are 5 common mistakes you won’t want to make when it comes to using images in your email and social media marketing.

1.) Overloading emails with too many images.

Yes, beautiful, colorful images make your emails stand out in the inbox, but too many images will create a sensory overload. Find a balance that works for you and stay consistent.

Using one or two images for an email is all you’ll need to catch your readers’ attention and bring your emails to life.

2.) Uploading high-resolution images.

When it comes to email marketing, you want to keep your images lean so they’ll load quickly. High-resolution images are often times slow to load, if they load at all. To avoid frustrating your customers, reduce the size and resolution of your images before you upload them.

3.) Choosing inappropriate or off-topic images.

That cute photo of a chubby bulldog might make your readers say “awwww,” but what does it have to do with your marketing message? While you shouldn’t be afraid to show some personality, you do want to make sure your images are relevant to your brand and more importantly, to the message you are trying to convey.

Use relevant images that support your content and are focused on how you want your audience to feel or the action you want your readers to take.

4.) Using the wrong size image.

Before you upload a Facebook profile photo or photos to any of your other social media networks, verify the correct image size. According to Social Media Today, if you want your display picture on Facebook to show up exactly as you see it on your computer, you have to upload a 180 pixel by 180 pixel copy of it to Facebook.

Each social media network has image dimensions you should be aware of to avoid the “chopped-off-forehead look.” It’s not a good look.

To avoid awkward cropping, know the dimensions before you upload your photo. When it comes to your emails, preview images to confirm that you’re showing everything you want to show.

5.) Selecting cheesy stock images.

Not all stock images are created equal. When you can, try to avoid those cheesy stock photos of people smiling directly into the camera. No one actually believes the person in the photo is your employee or devoted customer. When in doubt, use high-quality, real photos. You can always snazz them up with Instagram.

As you start using images in more of your email and social media marketing, keep these 5 image mistakes in mind.

In the visually explosive world that we live in, small businesses have to find a way to not only deliver meaningful content but also beautiful, relevant images. So go ahead and get started!

Any image mistakes I missed? Share them with me below.