“A picture paints a thousand words” may be a hackneyed quote but the impact of using ‘visuals’ in Social Media cannot be understated. The attention span of people on social media is quite short and visual stimuli and rich media are much better at catching people’s attention. As a result, social media marketing has shifted towards a more visual approach and social media platforms have adjusted accordingly. Facebook and Twitter have become a lot more visual with the rise of native image and video capabilities.
What makes visuals so powerful in social media and how can you use them to promote your business?We process visuals faster than words.
Research has shown that visual stimuli (images & video) are processed thousands of times faster in the brain than text. You only have a split second to capture the audience’s attention. Therefore, visuals can help you stand from the crowd.
Images trigger certain reactions
either emotional (visuals can inspire, motivate, surprise or shock) and mental (they can pose questions, provoke thoughts, ask for input, inform, trigger certain thoughts and of course capture the attention). Either way you engage with your audience and get their attention.
Visuals tell a story.
A video or an image is “snackable” form of content that not only is easier to digest but also has the ability to convey a story in a more direct and effective way. Visual storytelling is probably the secret to a successful social media marketing.
Visuals add credibility.
We are more likely to believe what is being said.
Types of visuals you can use in your content strategy
Images — Tweets with images are retweeted 35% more, for Facebook, 87% of the most shared posts in 2014 included an image.
Videos — Video posts increase engagement rates by 28%.video marketing is the next big thing on social for marketers.
GIFs and Vines — somewhere in between videos and images and are a great way to diversify your visual content strategy. Engagement enhancements will be somewhere between 28–35%
Infographics — May take effort to compose but get one right and they are a great source of traffic and may contribute to brand recognition and better SEO.
Presentations — from services such as Slideshare. ’Powerpoint’s’ for Social Media. I’ve never been a fan but it probably improves engagement a little.
All ‘visuals’ increases engagement in Social Media. If you are posting without visuals you are, without doubt, missing out some of your potential audience. The time and effort it takes for you to locate appropriate images to include in your posts will be reflected in your reach, engagement rate and bottom line so do it, do it do it!
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