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The importance of images in your social media campaign and how to use them

There have been a few comments from those within the older generation, who ask, “Why take so many pictures when it’s all there in your memory?”. To which, the modern man would answer, “If it’s not captured in a picture, it didn’t happen.”

We’re living in an age where people are curious about what everyone else is doing. And they don’t just want to be told, they want to be shown. If content was the King of modern media, visual would be its Queen and together they make for a powerful tool for engagement.

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram offer its users the opportunity to share and comment on images, not only with their friends but with favourite brands alike.

Studies show that 44% of people tend to connect with brands more if they post images. Images are the refreshing ‘pause’ within the never-ending stream of information.

The top visual sites show:

  • 4000% growth in 6 months – Pinterest
  • 2 million user increase in November 2012 – Instagram

Aside from its visual appeal, the search engines are also in favour of content based on social sharing, and users are 120-180% more likely to engage with a brand where visual images are used.

Detavio Samuals is the EVP and Director of Client Services at GlobalHue says, “Pictures have also become a short form way of communicating lots of information quickly and succinctly,” says Samuals. “The need for publishers to get to the point quicker than ever came about as humans became more pressed for time and content became more infinite. For publishers, it was evolve or risk losing their audience, and the only thing shorter than a tweet or post is a picture.”

Take the popular campaign, What’s In Your Bag?, for example, which got people sharing and talking about the contents of their bag. The campaign was hosted on Facebook, via a Facebook album, and generated over 1000 new likes and comments, as readers shared their photos.

So, what are some tips for using images in social media?

  • Visually appealing:
    You don’t have to be a professional, just ensure that your photo’s are colourful, interesting and easy to see. No one wants to ‘work it out’.
  • Tell them to share:
    Allow fans to share the image, through ‘Share’ or ‘Pin it’ buttons
  • Engage, Engage, Engage
    Further appeal to your fans by creating ways for them to share your product images, for instance, through a promotion
  • Inspire
    Try to be motivating with your images. People tend to respond to visual stimuli, so use images that will make people want to look at it, share it with friends and comment on it.
  • Watch The Format
    Use the standard .jpg, .gif and .png files, which can be interpreted on most devices.
  • Don’t Stick To One Social Platform
    As with every medium, use multi-platforms to share your visual content to increase the chances of it being seen.
    If brands can master the art of visual content, they’re well on their way to becoming marketing leaders in 2013.
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