Social media has shown to be a critical part of a company’s marketing strategy. Being active is important, but identifying the right channels for your brand is just as consequential. Depending on your objective and target audience, certain social channels may not be worth the investment. No matter the channel you choose, creating memorable and meaningful posts, with the help of visual content, is key to boosting engagement.
Visuals Are Not Just Aesthetic
Pictures have long been used to captivate audiences in marketing and advertising. Aside from being viscerally appealing, they’re also an important part of cognitive development. In fact, there are a number of psychology studies that attribute pictures to increased retention and memory recall—as it relates to social media— pictures, infographics, videos, and memes are all pieces of visual content that not only intrigue viewers, but also encourage recollection by distilling messages and sentiments into simple, memorable assets.
The Proof is in the Numbers
Pictures are much more effective than just words alone. Molecular Biologist and author of The Brain Rules, John Medina, notes that three days after a person is presented with a piece of information, it’s likely to be recalled 10% of the time. On the other hand, when that same piece of information is accompanied by a relevant image, that piece of information is recalled 65% of the time. It’s a concept in psychology circles called the “picture superiority effect”, attributing pictures to stronger viewer recall.
The picture superiority effect can also be aptly applied to social media marketing. In such a hyper-visual medium with thousands of posts vying for attention, those with compelling visuals truly standout. According to Buffer, tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images. In the same article, it’s reported that tweets with images earned up to 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more tweets. Additionally, eMarketer notes that Facebook posts from brands that included images earned 87% of all engagements. The main takeaway…if you’re not currently leveraging visual content in your social media posts, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to attract new customers.
Infographic designed by me
Choosing the Right Visual Content
Say you’re using visual content, but only one type, like photos. You could also be missing out on acquiring new customers. According to Buffer Social, viewers are 40X more likely to share visual content than non-visual content. So switch it up and diversify. Unsure of which is right for your posts? Here are some visual content types to consider:
Images: Images don’t require much effort to create and are quite versatile. They can be used on their own, as a meme, or integrated into a .GIF.
Quotes: Quotes are pointed, brief, and easy to consume. They are often persuasive and tend to elicit an emotional response that will hopefully lead to the viewer taking a desired action.
Infographics: Longer in form, infographics are a way to distill and visualize large amounts of data points, while weaving together a compelling story. If done right, they’re informative too.
Video: Videos drive high engagement and are more digestible means to consume information. While they require more resources to create than other visual content, the reward may be worth the investment.
Start Creating Today
It doesn't take a ton of time and effort to have professional looking visual content. And if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, there are online resources out there with templates to leverage like Canva, Wix, or Creative Market to help you get started. With so many easy to use tools, there’s no reason to wait to improve your social engagement. Get started today!