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10 Types of Visuals to Boost Your Social Media Engagement

  |  April 22, 2014   |  Comments

Photos and videos have been proven to boost engagement with social media posts, so here are 10 different ways you can incorporate them into your brand's next post.

As a writer by trade, it's not easy for me to utter these words, but I'm not going to lie: On social media, a picture is worth a thousand words.

It's true. Content may be king, but visuals rule. All the latest studies and statistics suggest that images on social media command more attention than text alone.

If you want more likes, comments, shares, retweets, and clicks, you want to include pictures with your social media posts. You want to be more visual.

As Carla Gates says here on her 3 to 5 Marketing Blog...

"Images used in your social media (and by definition, your blog content) are far more attention-grabbing than text or plain old links, more likely to be shared, evoke emotional reactions in viewers (and emotion SELLS), and can portray a lot of information quickly and more efficiently than text." 

Not to mention the fact that both Facebook and Twitter have redesigned their platforms recently to place much more emphasis on images. So you really have no excuse whatsoever not to be going picture crazy on social media right about now. 

Chalk it up to the Pinterest effect.

In the process of optimizing your social media presence with visuals, of course, you need to be mindful of choosing the right sizes and dimensions. Other than those specifications, though, you actually have a lot of great options. For example...

1. The Product Shot. Every business and brand has a product to display. Whether you're selling ice cream or insurance, software or footwear, you have something tangible to exhibit in your social media stream. Don't just talk about what it is you have to offer your audience. Show it off in pictures. The more, the better.

Example: Best Buy on Facebook

2. The Team Picture. Did you play organized sports growing up? How many team pictures do you have from back in the day? That's the idea here. Only, don't feel you have to wait for a special occasion. Take pictures of your colleagues on a regular basis and share them with your audience. People do business with people, so do everything you can to humanize your brand.


Example: American Idol on Twitter

3. The Spotlight on Your Fans. Everybody likes attention, especially from someone they look up to and admire. Shine the spotlight on your followers and fans. Give their photos a much bigger stage by repurposing them on your own social channels. Retweet them. Tag them. Make it all about them, not you. Give them their 15 minutes of fame and they'll give you more loyalty in return.

red-sox-twitter-1Example: Boston Red Sox on Twitter

4. The Peek Behind the Scenes. Provide your constituents with something they can't get anywhere else, whether it's exclusive photos, a big reveal, or something they wouldn't see otherwise. Take them backstage. Invite them into your inner sanctum. Show them how your products are built. Give them a look at what goes on behind closed doors. You get the picture.

downton-abbey-pinterest-1Example: Downton Abbey on Pinterest

5. The Action Shot. While a team picture may be posed, your action shots are of you and your fellow team members actually doing what you do best. It's doesn't matter whether you're speaking at a podium, swinging a baseball bat, or sitting in front of a computer writing the great American novel, it's still a performance. Capture your people in the act of doing their jobs and share it with your audience.

u2-instagram-1Example: U2 on Instagram


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Bob Cargill

Bob Cargill, who was named "Direct Marketer of the Year" for 2009 by the New England Direct Marketing Association (NEDMA), is director of social media at Overdrive Interactive. During the course of his career, his work has been recognized with more than 40 awards from NEDMA, including Gold for his blog, Gold for Best Tweets, and Silver for Best Copywriting. Bob likes to keep his fingers on the pulse of the industry in which he earns his livelihood. Not only has he presented many times about social media, copywriting, and direct marketing, he has been published or quoted on his areas of expertise in numerous media outlets. He is a past president of NEDMA and a graduate of Leadership MetroWest's Leadership Academy.

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