Visuals in Social Media

In Marketing, Social Media by Dawn Iraci

Visuals, particularly video, are the most shared content on social media. Some form of relevant visual content must be attached to every message your brand posts on its social media networks. Otherwise, your brand is missing out on tremendous opportunities.

Here are just a few interesting statistics from 37 Visual Content Marketing Statistics You Should Know in 2016 by Jesse Mawhinney:

  • Researchers found that colorful visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by
  • Your content can generate up to 94% more views if you add compelling visual elements and graphics.
  • According to Hubspot, on Instagram, photos showing faces get 38% more likes than photos not showing faces.
  • Facebook posts with images see 2.3 times more engagement than those without images.
  • Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.
  • Visual content is more than 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than other types of content.
  • Buffer reported that in its user base, tweets with images received 150% more retweets than tweets without images.

Brands like Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks are doing images on social media right. Instead of using stock photographs, both brands use real photographs of their customers using their products. Even if you sell the most boring products, posting photographs of happy customers using them on social media, is going to substantially increase their engagement with your brand.

According to Krista Neher, author of Visual Social Media Marketing, “You really need to be spending just as much time on your image as the rest of your content because that’s going to impact your shareability and whether or not people are going to click when they see your (content).”

Video posts get even more engagement than image only posts. A few statistics from Mawhinney about video:

  1. Using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, clickthrough rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%.
  2. Midway through 2015, mobile video plays exceeded 44% — up 74% from 2014 and up a whopping 844% since 2012.
  3. Shoppers who view video are 1.81 times more likely to purchase than non-viewers.

In 6 Ways to Use Short Video for Social Marketing, Donna Moritz says, “Lowe’s has a whole series of helpful how-to videos on their Vine account. It’s amazing what you can show in just 6 seconds!” Latest statistics show that the average attention span is about 8 seconds. That’s half the 15-second maximum length on videos posted to Instagram. There’s a 10-second maximum on Snapchat. Get creative when making your videos. Lowe’s brilliantly speeds their footage up to show as much in that six seconds as possible. Suddenly the 15-second maximum becomes several minutes of information!

Graphical representations of information, or infographics, is another visual tool to enrich your content. Mawhinney had this to say:

  1. Infographics are liked and shared on social media 3X more than other any other type of content.
  2. People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations.

Tools like Canva and Piktochart can be used to create infographics. There are many free templates to work with and you can choose your own colors.

The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. In social media, a picture is still worth a thousand words and, the right video could be worth a million clicks.

About the Author

Dawn Iraci


Dawn Iraci is a senior in telecommunications at the University of Florida. She blogs and curates content about digital and social media for the College of Journalism Distance Education Program.