28 Sep The Importance of Visual Content on Social Media
Images are important means of communication, ya’ll. It’s no wonder that Facebook posts generate around 53 per cent more reactions from pictures and videos than they do with text alone. And with the emergence of image-based sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat, and with photography being a capability of all smartphones, visual content marketing is something businesses can’t afford to do without.
Why images prompt engagement
Pictures are easy to swallow. No matter what mood you’re in or how tired you are, it’s practically effortless to scroll through photos on your computer or phone. Our brains interpret them at lightning speed, often without our conscious awareness of it. This renders them a powerful marketing tool. Indeed, because of how influential visual content marketing can be – especially on social media – companies need to be careful about what they post. Before whipping out a camera or opening Photoshop, think about what your audience wants to see. Missing the mark isn’t a grave error, but it won’t give you the results you’re looking for and could cause you to lose money.
Originality is “in”
To serve their purpose of attracting attention, images should be straightforward, unique, and instantly recognizable. Over 80 million photos are uploaded to Instagram each day and over 136,000 are put on Facebook every 60 seconds. This means it takes a certain something-something to separate you from the pack and we’re delighted to tell you it’s not as complicated as you might think. You just need to tell your story which, by nature, is different than everyone else’s (including people in your field). Use photos and graphics to help you tell your company’s tale and we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Showcasing a rigidly corporate face never got any business far on social media. What has worked time and time again is being human and using your page to connect with other humans in a personable way. You can still make your company the primary topic of discussion, though. We’re just saying that people far prefer following companies that treat them like a good friend than those that don’t seem to acknowledge them at all.
Here’s how your business can use images to be the pal your followers have always wanted:
- Share photos of your products. Don’t just talk about what you’ve got: show it! Your audience loves to see what you’re up to. It’s also a fantastic way to expand your market since you never know what people are looking for.
- Showcase your audience. Lots of people stop by your shop? Great, take photos of them! You’ll need to get their consent before doing that, of course, but this is a great way to get your fans involved with your business. You can even designate certain days of the week or month to posting photos of your clients to show them how much you care about them.
- Promote events. Your audience loves to see what your company does aside from office work. If you’re hosting or attending an event, go ahead and capture it with a camera. Everyone loves a company that gets involved in the community.
- Demonstrate your workplace culture. These can help make the office more fun, foster a sense of communion among staff members, and remind your followers that your biz has personality.
Slide in some videos every now and then
You can’t always capture what you want in a still photo. That’s why social media platforms of all sorts make it a breeze to post and share videos. Moving pictures are great ways to offer information (think “how-to” or “history-of”-like videos), exhibit your company’s personality in action, and deliver testimonials. Sometimes it’s more convincing to watch someone talk up your business on camera than it is reading a paragraph that might or might not have been written by the person in question.
Don’t forget about words, though!
Images and video, for all their strengths, can’t completely replace the written word. Sometimes it’s just easier and more sensible to type something than show it in a million photos. Your followers totally understand this. That’s why the posts that garner the most attention tend to combine images and words; the first attracts attention, the second holds it. Images without words lack context; words without images lack pizzazz. This is why info graphics are so popular (in fact, they’re liked and shared on social three times more often than other types of content!
But don’t take our word for it. We encourage all businesses to experiment with their social pages so they find what works for them. It’s an eternal path of discovery and one that’s always changing. However, based on what we know, visual content marketing is going to be an integral part of social for a long, long time.