Improve Social Media Engagement with Images

Engaging images - look at my finger!

Do you want to improve social media engagement? If you are using social media as part of your marketing strategy for your business, then you obviously want it to be as effective as possible. As these things can become time consuming, it is important to find ways to make the most of what you post on your social media channels. One of the easiest ways to improve social media engagement from your followers and others is to use images. Why might this be?

Improve social media engagement - eye-catching image

Images draw attention

When flicking through a magazine or newspaper it is the images that jump out at us first. It is the same online. Yes, headlines and key words are important, but an image will normally grab the reader first. We can make an image even more likely to catch someone’s eye by using targeted colour schemes or simply by having a bold, clear, well-executed image. If your images are a bit vague or poor quality then they won’t draw people in as efficiently. Good images stand out when people flick through their social media streams. You can make them stop and look at your post instead of scrolling on by.

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Images can communicate differently

It is often said that a picture can speak 1000 words. Photos and other images are able to convey more information more quickly than words alone. With photographs of people we can pick up on emotions and body language pretty much instantly. Photographs of celebrations or tragic events, for example, are far more powerful than a written description. This is useful and helpful for us to know as part of our social media marketing strategy. However, it also means that we need to be careful what images we do use. We mustn’t just grab any old image as it may not be saying what we want it to. Just as we would craft our words carefully to make the most of them, it is vital that an image is created in a targeted, deliberate way. If you are unsure how to achieve this then it would be wise to get advice.

Improve social media engagement - Christmas fun Lady in swimsuit

People like to share images

A large chunk of people’s posts on social media is made up of photos of something they want to share with others. Another large chunk of people’s activity is sharing, commenting on and liking other people’s images. In fact, the amount of shared content is normally greater than the amount of original content. So, if you can produce images that people like and share, you don’t necessarily need loads of fresh content. If you can improve social media engagement, then you don’t need to spend as much time on it yourself. Your readers do the hard work for you by sharing your content. According to an article by marketing experts Hubspot, “images and photos are the most important tactic in optimizing social media posts.” Yes, images are more important than hashtags, calls to action and other factors if you want to improve social media engagement. An article on Buffer blog reports some findings from research into how effective various types of tweets are. They claim that they saw 18% more clicks on tweets with images than those without. They claim to have received 89% more favourites on tweets with images than those without. Their number of re-tweets was 150% higher for tweets with images than tweets without. These statistics are worth investigating for our own social media accounts. Why not try running tests yourself? Or, perhaps you’d just like to get on with using images and gaining the benefits right away?!

Improve social media engagement with images

What kind of images should I use to improve social media engagement?

There are various types of images that you can use, depending on the results you are after. Clearly, the higher the quality, the better. It is also important to choose pictures that are in line with and enhance your brand. You may choose to post something you find amusing in the hope that others do to and that the content may go viral. But, be careful that it doesn’t undermine your brand or risk aligning you with values that you don’t hold. Use high quality photographs that show your products, staff, premises, events and more. Help people to feel a real connection with your brand by using photos of real people. You might also use infographics or other graphic based images. These are visual ways of representing ideas that can communicate rapidly. Instead of having to read lots of text, infographics can get the message across pictorially and quickly. Experiment with different options and perhaps consider mixing in some video clips as well. Keep an eye on your levels of engagement on our social media platforms to see what is working for your business.

© Joe Lenton, January 2016

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