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By now, social media has become second nature to many of us. Tweeting, posting, and updating comes as naturally as breathing, and we've come to understand—through trial and error—what works and what doesn't.

For social engagement, especially in the case of businesses, it's no secret that visual posts receive more user attention and better feedback than blocks of text.

In fact, a 2014 study we conducted at Pagemodo of nearly 5,000 user profiles showed that posts with photos received the most retweets on Twitter and likes on Facebook.

But with a secret that big out in the open, it's becoming more difficult for marketers and social media managers to cut through the visual clutter and get noticed in a sea of social images.

That leaves us asking, What can social media professionals and marketers do to set their images apart from the rest?

Here are a few design tips that every social guru should keep handy.

Make it colorful

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image of Sarah Matista

Sarah Matista is the marketing communications manager for Webs and Pagemodo, the online identity creation and social media marketing brands of Vistaprint.

Twitter: @SarahMatista

LinkedIn: Sarah Matista