As a busy entrepreneur, you need your marketing efforts to result in more sales, which is why using visual content in social media is a simple method to attract, engage, and acquire leads and customers.

Sure, everyone is talking about how important visual content is in your strategy. But did you know that including images in your posts make your content (and your business) more:

1) Attractive,
2) Engaging,
3) Understandable,
4) Memorable, and,
5) Relatable.

meme visual content in social media

And businesses need more of all of these five factors to help stand out in an overcrowded market with much competition! Images are a budget-friendly, simple but powerful tool to help you differentiate your business while communicating your message clearly and quickly.

In this article, you’ll discover how and why images help you attract, engage, and acquire customers. Let’s get to the good stuff!

5 Reasons to Use Visual Content in Social Media

1) Visual Content Attracts Followers

You’re competing against others for space and visibility across social media platforms. Textual posts simply don’t get noticed because they lack the wow factor that separates your post from everyone else’s.

Images make a big difference in an overcrowded social media feed. Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.

Including visuals in your social media posts can help attract new followers as well as keep the attention of your existing fans. Visual content is a quick way to:

  • express your brand;
  • convey an emotion;
  • highlight important data;
  • differentiate your business;
  • showcase your product and offers; and,
  • increase traffic to your site.

Which of these two posts would grab your attention? Which would you be more likely to read?

The tweet without an image?

Visual content in social media

Or the tweet with an image that uses humor to tie into the headline and get users to click on the link?

Visual content in social media

2) Visual Content Engages Followers

Simply put, your content with images has more chance of being read, liked/favorited, commented on, and shared than your text-only content.

Look at these statistics:

Posts with images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts.

Visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.

Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images.

Visuals in color increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.

Tweets with embedded images get 18% more clicks, 150% more retweets, and 89% more favorites.

You might as well take advantage of images to create more engaging content. Social media platforms interpret content with more engagment as more popular. Each social media platform has its own algorithm that determines the frequency and priority of content. However, it’s safe to say that the more popular the content, the more likely platforms show it to users.

Here’s a real-life example. This Facebook image post from Post Planner’s business page received over 64 million views, 150,000 likes, 2,300 comments and 787,000 shares—ORGANICALLY. (Let that sink in for a minute…)

Post Planner example - visual content in social media

They used only two textual words, but the image’s impact helped make the post go viral. For a business built on helping customers find shareable and engaging content, Post Planner did a great job of showing how effective their product is!

Can you see the benefits of using visuals to boost your engagement, brand awareness, and potentially your profit?

3) Visual Content Is Easily Understood

When it comes to comprehension, our minds prefer visuals because they communicate more information, more effectively.

In fact, 90% of the information sent to the brain is visual, and images are processed 600,000 times faster than text.

According to an infographic by Column Five Media, humans are biologically wired to process the world visually. Human brains process visual cues in 1/4 second! With your brain pre-wired to interpret relationships between objects, visuals allow for almost instant comprehension with minimal effort. Also, your brain interprets visuals faster than it can process language.

Take a look at a snippet of the infographic. You’ll likely find how quickly your mind interprets relationships visually.

Visual content in social media Why Our Brains Love Visual Content by Column Five

Excerpt from Infographic “Why Our Brains Love Visual Content” by Column Five

 

With the average consumer’s attention span at eight seconds, visuals make a big difference in helping your customers understand your message.

4) Visual Content is Memorable

Visual content is memorable for similar reasons why it’s easily understandable. Thank you, science!

Back to the infographic reference again. Your brain quickly makes connections to already-stored information in your memories, which helps with retention. If you add emotional and aesthetic appeal into the design, your brain further deepens the encoding and retention of information.

In other words, including images that are pleasing or evoke emotion will make your social media posts more memorable for your audience. Then, when it’s time to make a purchase or donation, your audience will remember your business.

Use images that evoke emotion to be memorable - visual content in social media

People remember 80% of what they see but only 20% of what they read and only 10% of what they hear. So use your images strategically. You’ll help your audience remember you and your message when they need you in the future.

5) Visual Content is Relatable

My favorite part of visual content is that it can make your social media posts highly relatable. People buy from those they know, like, and trust—which is where that “relatable” factor really makes a difference.

When people relate to your content on an emotional level, they form a bond or relationship with your brand that is perceived as “likeability.” Let’s face it, followers are attracted to those they like!  Humor, data, quotes, and even personal photos in your posts can really help people to get to know you and build relationships online.

Don’t underestimate the value of being a business or person to whom others can relate. According to Psychology Today, emotion has an influential role in consumers’ purchase decisions:

  • fMRI neuro-imagery shows that consumers primarily use emotions rather than information when evaluating brands.
  • Research reveals that the emotional response to an ad has a greater influence on a consumer’s intent to buy a product than does the ad’s content.
  • The Advertising Research Foundation’s research concluded that the emotion of “likeability” is the most predictive measure of whether an advertisement will increase a brand’s sales.
  • Studies show that positive emotions toward a brand have more influence on consumer loyalty than trust and other judgments which are based on a brand’s attributes.

visual content in social media infographic - emotional role in buying decisions

 

If you take what we’ve learned so far, it’s not a stretch to see the correlation between relatable visual social media content and purchase decisions.

Let’s Wrap It Up

Now know why adding an image to EVERY post makes your social media content more effective. These are convincing factors for using visual content in your social media marketing. If social media hasn’t been working for you lately, try adding images to improve your results! It may take time to see results, so be patient.

Do you need ideas for your social media images? We’ve got you covered! Be sure to download your FREE list, 25 Visual Content Ideas for Social Media.

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Meghan Monaghan
Meghan Monaghan
CEO/Co-founder at Smart Bird Social
Meghan is a digital marketer with expertise and certifications in visual content, social media, web design, email marketing, blogging/content marketing, landing pages, and sales funnels. She helps entrepreneurs and very small businesses get found in search and social via custom content and do-it-yourself marketing tactics, systems, and strategies that she teaches online.

In an effort to empower business owners with knowledge and confidence, she creates content that informs, educates, inspires, and entertains. She contributes to blogs, including Social Quant and AccessWP, and can be found wherever there are rescued greyhounds afoot.

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