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Imagine That, Inc

Social Media and the Visual Brain

Are you using social media channels to increase your company’s exposure or to get your message across? Most companies at this point are utilizing social media in their marketing mix, but are they getting the most exposure possible from those tweets, Facebook posts etc.…?

Well, if you are not using images in each and every post, then I can almost guarantee that you are not getting the most exposure out of your messages. As humans, it’s in our nature to communicate visually, as images process quickly and people are naturally drawn to them. In fact, with Instagram and Pinterest, you can communicate purely with images to tell your story or share your message …. No words necessary. Did you know that 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and that we process images 60,000 times faster than plain text? When your brand shares a picture or video, your fans decide in a split second whether they want to see more. That’s the serious power of the image in today’s society.

Well, with approximately 8 seconds of a human attention span to deal with, including images in your posts can be the difference in user engagement and ROI for your Social Media Marketing (SMM) campaign. In fact, on Facebook, photos are “Liked” more than twice as often as text updates, and over 700 videos are shared on Twitter every minute. So, why must you use visual content in your social media marketing?

Why Visual Content?

Visual content in your social media posts will help you to tell stories that capture attention, create engagement, build communities and ultimately help nurture brand loyalty and long-term relationships with customers. Images are critical in digital media today. In both social media as well as blogs/websites, visual imagery has moved to the forefront and is something that every digital marketer must master. To make your efforts on social media sites as valuable as possible, you need to post content that will maximize engagement with other users … what you post has to be interesting enough that others will want to interact with you to like, +1, retweet, favorite, repin, comment on and share your posts. As you may or may not know, social media sites favor content that inspires interactions by working on the theory that people interact and engage with content that has the most value. Then, the best content will be featured more prominently for longer periods of time at the top of users’ news feeds.

If you write great content, you should share it with an image. As Head of Social Strategy for Canva, Peg Fitzpatrick writes, “Help people help you by providing an image that they can share. If people can look like a rock star sharing your content, it’s a win!”

The following is a brief list of more fodder on why you must use imagery in your social media marketing mix:

· People only remember 20% of what they read.

· 40% of people respond better to visual information.

· 94% more total views on average are attracted by content containing compelling images than content without images.

· 67% of consumers consider clear, detailed images to be very important and carry even more weight than the product information, description and customer ratings.

· 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business whose images appear in local search results.

· 37% increase in engagement, 53% more likes and 104% more comments on Facebook when posts include photographs. This is important, as these types of interaction will increase future views.

· Tweets containing photos get retweeted as much as 150% more often than text-only tweets.

Remember, we as humans, connect emotionally to images more than text and make decisions and take action much quicker when prompted by images. But, be creative with what types of graphics that you share on social media. Lists, quotes, Infographics, charts and screenshots are all valuable resources to share with your audience. But, don’t just grab someone’s copyrighted image and insert it into your posts without taking the time to strategically think about what message you are trying to get across with said image. There are a multitude of online resources out there to create compelling graphics, but Canva and PicMonkey seem to be two of the most popular.

Another important thing to remember is to use the proper size imagery so people can see your images correctly on both desktop and mobile devices. Mobile search is definitely the wave of the future, and you don’t want to lose more than half of you audience by not optimizing for all devices. Here are the preferential sizes by platform:

The whole point of using social media for business is to increase the exposure of your product, service or brand, right? So, if you are not utilizing images in your posted content then you are definitely missing the boat. If the above statistics don’t compel you to rethink your strategy, then take a step back and think of how you personally engage with content on social media sites. I’d be willing to bet that you (consciously or unconsciously) click, comment and share more often when a picture is part of the mix!

In keeping with the theme of this post, check out the infographic from B2B Infographics for a closer look at why you must use visual content in your social media marketing.