Why Images Are So Important To Social Media

With nearly 1.4 billion people signing on to Facebook every day, the importance of social media graphics in your business’ marketing plan has never been greater. But while you may feel like everyone is chomping at the bit to read that brand new, 3000-word article that you spent two weeks writing, the key to social media is not in the text but in images.

Whether it’s memes, infographics, or just a simple visual to illustrate a quote, there is no shortage of options when it comes to choosing your next social media images. Using social media design templates can be a quick way to boost your production of social media graphics, while others choose to simply rip them off of websites and share them to all their channels. The former is a smart, efficient way to create original content, and the latter could get your accounts suspended.

So why do people like social media images so much?


They Communicate More

Despite what you may think, people will only retain about 10-20% of what you write. Give them an image, however, and that ratio jumps to nearly 65%. As a matter of fact, 40% of users prefer images to text, and tweets that included a picture received over 150% more retweets than those without. For Facebook, the numbers were similar: posts with images received 2.3 times more engagement than posts without images.

Think about what you would prefer reading more. All things remaining equal, would you rather read a 20-page academic paper on a subject or a three-frame comic strip that touches on the same topic? We tend to retain more of what we enjoy reading, which explains why you can recall that line from ‘The Office’ more than you can your 8th-grade science project.

They Can Engage With Visuals

A post’s engagement is measured by the number of likes, shares, comments, or retweets that that post receives, and the higher the engagement, the more social media rewards the poster with eyeballs. Articles that have a compelling image attached to them receive a massive uptick in engagement: up to 37% by some measurements. In short, create a highly engaging piece of content and you’ll start to see visibility skyrocket.

Facebook, like Google, wants to connect their users with content they feel is worthwhile, and every social media channel has a unique algorithm to accomplish this task. One of the best ways to send a signal to the social media gods that your content is worth seeing is by others engaging with it through likes and comments. Visual images accomplish this task easier and quicker than simple text-based items because it allows people to feel and react, rather than think and reason.

They Can Share It

Images that make a person feel a certain way are more liable to be reactively shared, whereas articles require someone to click, open, and read. Infographics, one of the best types of social media images that you can create, deliver a ton of relevant information in a highly readable format. By communicating information succinctly, you can encourage people to share your images with others, creating more inbound links and traffic in the process.

When an image is shared multiple times over, it creates an exponential effect that is called “going viral.” When this happens, you are able to reach more people outside of your immediate network, bringing in new customers and fans to your page than you would have through a less-engaging piece of content. Best of all, you can use social media design templates to create several images relatively quickly, using the same format but switching up the information, quote, or caption that goes along with it. This way, you can test and retest all the different images until you find one that resonates with people.

People Love Video Even More

There’s a reason why marketers will pay millions of dollars for a 30-second spot during the Superbowl: in the hands of an expert storyteller, you can use those 30 seconds to tell a complete and compelling story that sucks people in and makes them trust your brand.

The same goes for video in social media marketing. If images are great, a video is even better, giving you the ability to communicate your brand message through sights and sounds. One report states that people tend to engage with video much better than with text, and the competition isn’t even close: Livestream’s research shows that 78% of users watch video on Facebook live and 80% would rather watch a video than read a blog post. The numbers from Youtube are even more staggering. Every day, nearly five billion videos are watched on the internet giant every day.

Creating a video isn’t as hard as it sounds. By using either animation or whiteboard software (or even just you talking over a keynote), you can implement a video to your blog post and then use the video on social media to drive traffic. With any luck, you’ll have a viral hit on your hands that will reap loads of viewers to your page for months down the road.

About the Author

Kushal is a content strategist for CyberChimps and a passionate blogger. He has a keen interest in analytics and always likes to keep himself updated with the latest news and trends in technology. Loves coffee, listening to music, and playing soccer.

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