Why do images work so well for social media?
People connect emotionally to images more than video, audio or text. They make decisions and take action quicker when prompted by images, rather than by reading a lot of text. The right picture can bring out emotions of compassion, joy, disgust, or even hate. An image can convey a wide range of information or it can focus in on a single thought or emotion, and it can cover all of the ground in between as well.
The second key reason images work so well for social media is that we are inundated with content. Without even realising we filter out a huge amount of what we see online by scanning over things super quickly. So how does a marketer get your attention? Images! Photos in Facebook posts get more than 150% of the likes on average than posts without images.
From the marketer’s outlook images are also fantastic because they double the chances of exposure. Your image has separate metadata from your post, and when that metadata is set properly you have another, separate search result generated from the same location, which helps your search optimization.
When you merge the power of imagery with original content, it gets shared a lot. If you can create some of your own original content, you’ve got more even more chance of it being shared, versus having to share everybody else’s.
1. Researchers found that coloured visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 82%. (Source)
2. When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. (Source)
3. Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. (Source)
4. Eye-tracking studies show internet readers pay close attention to information-carrying images. In fact, when the images are relevant, readers spend more time looking at the images than they do reading text on the page. (Source)
5. Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. (Source)
6. Articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images. (Source)
7. Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images. (Source)
8. On Instagram, photos showing faces get 38% more Likes than photos not showing faces. (Source)
Adding visual content to your social media strategy is a must, but it’s also really important that you use visual content which connects with your followers emotions and catches their eye.
Whether you’re creating original content, sourcing photographs or shooting your own always consider how it will impact your audience – will it make them happy, sad or feel like laughing?
Try to make sure you stand out from your competitors and always track what works best for you – if certain types of visual posts work better for you than others then use them!
If you’re looking for a detailed guide to social media photo sizes including recommended dimensions, minimum and maximum dimensions, image scale, and more read my post on social media images sizes.