“A picture speaks a thousand words” is indeed clichéd, but the essence of it is still as meaningful as ever. Time and again, an image proves its strength in influencing people, and its effect on the web, particularly in social media, gives weight to the above axiom. It is an undeniable fact that today, photos are most effective when it comes to a brand’s social media exposure.
To feel the power and influence of images and image-led visual updates (an update which uses an image just as a hook to disseminate the message in pure text or text written on top of the image) all you need to do is to look into your Facebook wall, and see the sharp growth trajectory of Pinterest, which has surpassed social sites like Tumbler and the image-sharing site Flickr.
Why images work best
Unlike texts which need a lot of processing time and active engagement before they yield any results, processing images is less resource consuming for the mind, and it established instant connection with the brain calling forth the emotions on surface. The nature and depth of emotion elicited and its effect on decision making will depend on the nature of image used.
When one reads text, one has to use one’s own past experience in context of texts being shared to make sense of the message encoded in the text, but in an image, as everything is right there, represented in pictures. So, the decoding process is shortened and relational aspect of it is highlighted, which helps people easily make sense of messages shared via an image. Color also plays an important role in bringing forth emotions and setting the mood and tone in which the message is received. All of this affects decision making.
Images also influence attention and retention, both of which add stickiness to any social media campaign.
How images affect your social media campaign
As per the study conducted by Dan Zarrella for Science of Inbound Marketing, updates which have images in it are liked and shared the most, and such updates are also among top two updates on which people post comments.
A relevant image makes a post share-worthy and it suits the time-starved audience who surfed web always in hurry, be it from PC at home or work, or on a SmartPhone. Images work on the tactical level as well. Updates that contain image gets more screen space on your fans Facebook wall (and other social media profiles, for that matter) than mere text updates, so each updates get more opportunity to grab attention.
How you can use images in social media
When planning you social media campaign, you must factor in the use of visual elements in all of your posts. This will improve the effectiveness of each of your status updates.
Image Source Auggie Tolosa