Design + Social Media: Visual Content Improves Engagement

Content Strategy, Social Media

Social Media apps

Social media (for all of its pros and cons) continues to be a critical component of a brand’s overall marketing strategy. And while identifying the right social media channels for your brand depends largely on the type of business and your intended audience; a common goal that is shared across all businesses, is to create sharable posts that boost engagement–the use of visuals are quite effective in doing just that.

Images don’t just make things look pretty

Visuals are not only used to captivate audiences, but they are also used as tools in cognitive development.  In fact, there are a number of psychology studies that attribute visuals to increased retention and memory recall.  In social media, infographics, photos, videos and memes are all pieces of visual content that aim to do both.  Not only do they intrigue viewers, but they also encourage recollection by distilling weighty messages and complex sentiments into a single, uncomplicated asset.

So if you’re not currently leveraging visual content in your social media posts, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to attract new customers.  And if you are using visual content, but only one type, you may want to consider diversifying to make your posts even more engaging–and here’s why:

The proof is in the numbers

Images 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 content rich, visually driven platform with thousands of posts vying for attention, it’s those with compelling images that really standout.

87% of all engagements from brands on Facebook are posts with images.1

150% of tweets with images are more likely to be retweeted than those without images.2

Infographics above are designed by Stephanie

Choosing the right visual content for your posts

Viewers are more inclined to share visual content than non-visual content.  According to Buffer Social, they’re 40X more likely to do so. So as you’re compiling your social media editorial calendar, consider incorporating one (or all) of the following visual content types:

Brief and easy to consume, quotes are pointed and tend to elicit an emotional response that will hopefully lead to the viewer taking a desired action.

Longer in form, infographics are way to visualize data while telling a narrative behind a particular topic. If done right, they are not only well-designed but informative too.

While providing an even more digestible means to consume information, videos require more resources and investment than the other visual content types.
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Whether it be an ad, product shot, GIF, meme or a single evocative photo; images are quite versatile and don’t require as much effort to create.

Need help with your brand’s visual content?

I doesn’t take a ton of time and effort to have professional looking social media creative and there are many resources out there to leverage if you’re a do-it-yourselfer. But if you’re looking for help, contact me for a quote.

Whether you’d like someone to help you do the heavy-lifting or if you’re comfortable on your own, the point is, there’s no reason to wait to improve your social media engagement. Just go for it and get started today!

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