If your business is like most businesses today, you’ve invested some time developing a social media marketing strategy. In fact, 77% of businesses use social media to conduct essential business functions such as sales, marketing, and customer service—a smart move since around 72% of American adults use some form of social media. Plus, social media can improve your SEO by encouraging customer engagement through reviews and likes, boosting your authority. It can be a great way to share your content, and mobilizing your followers can get that content shared with people who otherwise wouldn’t see it, increasing brand awareness and brand recognition.
However, if you’re mostly relying on text-based posts, it’s time to rethink your marketing. We’ve written about the importance of visual content before, but recent changes in the social media landscape corroborate what scientific studies have been saying about how society is becoming more visual. YouTube surpassed Facebook as the most popular social network in 2018 and is currently the most popular social network among three different generations. The fastest-growing social networks—Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest—are all image-heavy platforms. And Facebook, the second most popular social network, has been adding new visual media tools with the introduction of Facebook Live (a clear attempt to compete with YouTube) and the addition of Snapchat-like filters to Facebook Messenger. This shift to image-oriented content reflects social media adapting itself to the way the human brain works.
Humans Are Designed To Be Visual
While younger users are driving this shift to visual media, evidence suggests that users of all ages are more likely to respond to graphics than text, making visual content increasingly important for effective digital marketing. In fact, visual content is 80% more likely to be read and 40% more likely to be shared on social platforms than similar content without visuals.
The shift to visual content makes sense given that humans are wired for visual information. Whether directly or indirectly, approximately half of the brain is involved in processing visuals, and humans process visual content 60,000 times faster than text. Additionally, people tend to recall more information from seeing visuals than from hearing or reading the same information; the amount of information they recall when visuals are paired with either audio or text increases even further.
Besides being easier to digest, visual media can communicate information much faster than text and are more likely to grab a viewer’s attention. This is why so many blog posts (including this one) start out with a catchy graphic—that graphic is more likely to draw an audience in than the title or headers alone. Since some estimates suggest that the average human attention span has dropped to around 8 seconds, an effective social media marketing strategy has to draw in your audience fast and deliver the most important information as quickly as possible.
Quick Ways To Increase Visual Content
It’s important to be smart about how you introduce visuals to your social media marketing strategy. Visuals that feel forced or inauthentic can actually hurt your brand. On the flip side, you likely don’t want to pour tons of time into cultivating these visuals. Below are some simple steps for incorporating more visual content into your social media posts.
- Use interesting or colorful pictures in blog and social media posts. As HubSpot explains, tweets receive 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets when they include an image, and Facebook posts with pictures account for 87% of total interactions on brand pages. Just be sure you are using images that are fair use, such as images found at Pixabay or Unsplash, or your own original images.
- Depict statistics as colorful pie charts or bar graphs instead of listing out the numbers. Although oldies, these visual data representations are still goodies that can make those numbers easier to understand relative to one another.
- Include a short video. You can use videos to create short tutorials on topics your clients will find interesting. You can also use a video welcome message on your homepage as a way to quickly explain what your business is about. Some businesses even incorporate short interviews with clients to amplify case studies or provide more engaging testimonials.
- If you find the thought of recording and editing footage a little too daunting, websites like SlideShare allow you to create short slide presentations. These presentations can do many of the same things as video, but take less time and don’t require you to be in front of the camera.
Regardless of the type of visuals you decide to use, remember that visual media needs to connect to the products or services your business offers and fit with your business’ brand. Images that stand out too much or don’t have any connection to the content can cause confusion and detract from your message.
If your business is struggling with its social media marketing strategy or you need expert assistance incorporating visual media into your marketing, contact TracSoft today and find out how we can help your business succeed by managing your social media posts and developing custom branded to stimulate engagement with your followers.