By Linda Johannessen

By now you’ve read all the studies and perused all the blog posts telling you why you should be using images on social media, in your blog posts, and just about everywhere else. Better conversion! Higher click through rates! Exclamation points!

You know all this. You’re a wily, experienced businessperson (which is why you’re reading this blog). But did you know that there piles of interesting ways to be using images on social media? Ways you might not know about?

In fact, here are five traffic-driving, sales-making ways to use images.

1. Embed images directly into your Twitter stream

If you’re on Twitter, you’ve certainly scrolled past gorgeous, click-attracting images — right there in your Twitter feed. Did you know that tweets with images are 94% more likely to get retweeted? You’ll have to crop and edit your photos (440 x 220 is best), but all that click through and retweeting is worth it!

2. Create beautiful, quote-covered images.

The Internet loves few things more than a pleasant landscape photo with inspiring words on top of it. Choose a quote that applies to your site or business, create some elevating, aspirational images, size them correctly (perfectly square for Instagram, 440 x 220 for Twitter) and watch them get forwarded and favorited.

3. Make your blog post images Pinterest friendly

If you’re writing the sort of helpful, influential things that Pinterest likes (which I’m sure you are), let’s make sure you’re making the most of that potential traffic. Pinterest displays images vertically, so you and your traffic will benefit if you make the first image in your post tall and long. You can also increase click through by adding the title of the post to the image — that way pinners will know what your post is about with just a glance.

Bonus? These long, tall images are better for Google+, too!

4. Make customer testimonials into pretty images

Did your consultation turn someone’s career around? Did your dress change their life? Did your product save them thousands of dollars? If so, tell us about it! Again, create a pretty, appropriately sized image with your client’s glowing testimonial and — if possible — include their headshot. It’ll lend credibility.

5. Create Instagram-specific images to promote your blog posts

Though it’s usually used for sharing in-the-moment snapshots, you can also use Instagram to promote new offerings or blog posts. Use a platform like Gramblr to upload images directly from your computer (rather than your phone) and use this as an opportunity to create intriguing images that will entice your followers over to your blog. Resist the urge to just reuse the same image you’re using in the blog post — choose something photogenic and compelling and use the caption space to give your followers a teaser.

Is all this photo editing and uploading a bit of extra work? Yes. Will it pay in dividends with traffic, comments, and sales? Also yes. What are you waiting for, friends? Upload away!