What if I told you that, according to data summarized at Social Media Examiner, the presence of a photo makes your social media post almost 22 times more likely to generate engagement?
Okay, now be honest and admit what you read first: the intro sentence text or the text on the photo?
If you’re like the vast majority of people, you read the text on the photo. This is a prime example of how humans’ natural attraction to visual content makes including images for social media the best way to capture attention.
In this post, you will learn a few key tips on how to use images on social to help you grow your online audience and business.
1. Keep your audience top of mind
Focusing on your target audience should go without saying for any marketing initiative. And it’s especially important for creating and publishing images that will seize targeted attention without any unintended negative effects.
For any image you create, you should be able to provide a detailed explanation of who the image is intended to reach. And those details will help to inform the details of the image.
For example, if your target audience is baby boomers in the U.S., then using a meme of the mega-popular Korean band BTS is probably not going to work. There would be a disconnect between the target audience and the content of the visual.
On the other hand, an image playing off of the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” advertisements may be effective because it captures a fear of the target audience and references a pop culture phenomenon that most baby boomers will recognize.
Ultimately, all online content must be created with your audience top of mind.
2. Select images intentionally
Next, consider how each image you choose will reflect on your brand. Sticking with the previous example, say that you do decide to target your baby boomer audience with an image of a woman who has fallen, overlaid with the familiar exclamation:
What does this choice say about your brand? Just because it will connect with your target audience doesn’t mean it will connect in the right way. Are you identifying with the fears of the elderly, or are you unintentionally making light of them? Because if you use an image like this one, as eye-catching as it might be, you could run the risk of the latter.
Being attention-grabbing isn’t the only factor to consider when selecting images. You have to win the right kind of attention — attention that strengthens your brand and doesn’t damage it. So, choose images wisely and strategically.
3. Try to maintain a consistent visual style
Brands that use images well have a consistent visual style. As an example, take these two tweets promoting blog posts by Seth Godin. The images have a consistent style that is distinctly Seth’s:
The benefit here is that these images for social media grab the attention of potential readers scrolling by, achieving instant recognition and association with the brand. The consistency also appears professional and sophisticated.
If you are using social media to attract attention and drive traffic, images need to be an integral part of your strategy. It’s that simple. Follow these three tips, and you’ll make your images work for you.
What is one way you can improve your image strategy moving forward?
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