We live in a fast-paced world and people using social media sites are more likely than ever to be skimming content, waiting for something interesting to leap out at them. Writing great content certainly helps, but it’s a challenge to write a persuasive argument in 140 characters, which is all Twitter allows!
How important are original images in articles or in social media posts?
Here are some statistics that answer this question:
- Pages with at least one image appear significantly higher in the search results (Source: Backlinko)
- Articles with relevant images receive 94% more views than those without (Source: Jeff Bullas)
- Images on Facebook generate 53% more Likes than the average text post (Source: Hubspot)
- People following instructions with text and images do 323% better than those following instructions with no images (Source: Springer)
These days images are easy to come-by; people snap hundreds of photos on their holidays and there are plenty of free image libraries out there. The challenge then is how to create images that are effective for your social media marketing campaign.
Perhaps because images are so easy to come by, people have become somewhat immune to them and to truly get noticed, you need to use images that makes you stand out from the crowd. For a social media campaign to be effective, you’re also relying on other people to do your marketing for you, by sharing your images with their friends, family and co-workers.
People don’t want to share images that are simply adverts for your business, nor are they likely to share images that are product shots or that don’t fire their imagination.
The secret is to create images that fire their imagination and that they think other people would enjoy seeing. Some examples of images that fit the bill are:
Quotagraphics (like those pictured on the right, or our marketing quotagraphics for our clients) show a quote (usually by someone famous) and either a beautiful or intriguing image that goes with it, or a photo of the person being quoted.
For a social marketing campaign, the image or quote obviously needs to be connected to your business, and they normally include a logo or web address in the image itself. To avoid putting people off, these are normally fairly subtle.
Quotagraphics are great for branding and are the kind of image that people love to share.
Infographics (like these printing, car and tourism infographics) combine data with visuals. The data can be in the form of statistics, flow charts, how to guides, ideas for how to use something, etc. There are lots of ways of making infographics more unique and as well as sharing these on the main social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, there are also dedicated infographic sites like visual.ly, allowing you to reach a wider audience.
SEO on Images
When adding images to social media profiles, it helps to use good SEO by including keywords or phrases in the titles and descriptions that people actually search for. If you add images to a lot of different image sharing sites, then it also helps if you use a different title and description on different sites, so that it will appear when people search for a range of different keywords.
Twitter and several other social media sites let you Hash Tags – adding the # symbol to a word or phrase, e.g. #socialmediaimages, which helps your image appear with other images on a related subject.
While using good SEO on images can help the image spread more quickly at the start, in the long run it’s less important than one might imagine, as truly inspirational images, particularly images that move people or make them laugh, will be shared, liked and bookmarked far more often, regardless of what they’re called!