The Visual Social Media Era
Businesses are learning to show, not tell, and visual content sites are fueling our desire for beautiful photography and sensational design. Two years ago, marketers were spreading the maxim that “content is king,” but now, it seems, “a picture really is worth a thousand words.”
When it comes to grabbing attention online images play as an important role as headlines. The right image can have a massive impact on getting your content read and shared. Even choosing the right profile photo for Twitter or Facebook can impact the number of followers you have.
Is an image just an image?
It’s easy just to say that people like pictures and leave it at that, but it’s just as important to understand why images draw us in so much more than text. You always need to understand the why of anything you do, or you will forever be stuck following endless advice rather than making your own decisions. There are two primary reasons that image marketing has become the dominant force online.
The first is as old as humankind: images have a strong emotional factor, and emotions have a powerful pull on us. The right picture can bring out strong emotions of compassion, joy, disgust, or even hate, a fact long known by sociologists, psychiatrists, marketers and politicians alike. 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 handily as well. It just needs to be the right image.
Studies show that the average person who frequents Facebook has about a 1 second attention span, meaning if something they see doesn’t catch their attention in 1 second or less they have already moved on scanning through their feed.
The second reason is much less emotional but just as human, and that is that we get bored quickly these days. Perhaps it’s not as much boredom as it is content overload, however. What is perceived by many to be shorter attention spans can also be attributed to trying to get the information we want out of the massive flood of options. Images solve that problem.
Using an image is so much more than attaching any old picture, it is about evoking a message that will captivate onlookers and reel them in. Search engines now rank content based on social conversations and sharing, not just websites alone. People can use visual content on their social media to increase engagement and inspire sharing and viral marketing.
Whatever type of image you use, it’s a fact that posts with images get more responses — more likes, comments and shares. In addition to their visual impact, images take up more space in viewers’ news feeds. This increases the odds of a post getting noticed, especially on mobile phones with their smaller screens. What’s more, studies show that people are more likely to remember the content of a post when it’s accompanied by a striking image. And sometimes images convey concepts and messages better than any text can.
Expand your reach and get more eyes on YOU by using visually stimulating images to connect with your followers. Content may be king, but images are the crown that signify that what you are about to see or read are definitely worth your while.
Brandon Comstock, SOC Marketing Brandon grew up in Murray, Utah and has been SendOutCards since 2008. Brandon started his SOC career in Customer Support and then quickly moved to Quality Assurance. Brandon has been apart of the Marketing Team for the last 3 years and loves the ability he has to be creative and work with a fantastic team. Brandon is currently studying to achieve his degree in Business Administration. He has a strong passion for the sport of hockey and has a beautiful wife and two adorable dogs, Broozer and Onyx he enjoys spending his time with.
Credits: SocialExaminer, MIT, Buffer