Photos receive 53 percent more likes on Facebook than the average post and 84 percent more link clicks. It’s not just a matter of cutting through the text clutter – it’s science! Visual content is actually transmitted to the brain faster than text – some 60,000 times faster, in fact – and the vast majority of what our brains process is visual stimuli.
To many, this isn’t news. There is an abundance of research reports and statistics showing the value of visual content. But not all images are created equal, and not all images perform equally well, either. To increase engagement with your Facebook page, follow these seven tips when creating and posting images.
1. Share Real People
Facebook is the ultimate photo album – a living, breathing, interactive portfolio that can be shared instantly with all of your friends and family. It makes sense, then, that images of real people in legitimate situations perform better than stock photos and staged models.
As a brand, who are these real people that you should include in your images? Sure, it could be staff members, depending on the situation (maybe at an event or getting their hands dirty with one of your products), but more often it should be your customers and influencers, the true voice of your brand.
Chinese Laundry is a prime example. They frequently share images of fans wearing their shoes, and recently captured shots of people sporting Chinese Laundry at Coachella.
2. Focus on Faces
We, as humans, are hardwired to recognize faces. This ability has helped keep us safe by allowing us to identify humans from a distance and determine if they are friend or foe. This ability is so ingrained that it causes us to see faces in places that they do not really exist, such as fruit, vegetables, rock formations, architecture and other places, a psychological phenomenon is known as “pareidolia.”
Pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon whereby we see human faces in inanimate objects, like this smiling handbag.
Why does this matter for social media? It proves just how powerful the human face is. We recognize it immediately and are inherently drawn to it. Rather than posting large group shots where you can barely make out each person’s facial features, use close-ups to leverage your human consumers’ natural inclination toward faces.
3. Use Lifestyle Imagery
Lifestyle imagery works well for the same reasons using real people does – it’s more genuine and overall more interesting! A close-up of a product on a plain white background is out of place on Facebook, not to mention dull. Think of Facebook as a lookbook or lifestyle catalog, and use it tell your brand story and share ideas of how to use your products through compelling photos.
Take cues from furniture stores like Ikea, who use photographs of products in realistic settings.
4. Be Brief
Accompanying copy should be short and sweet. (See what I did there?!)
Pure Barre frequently pairs brief copy with inspirational images.
5. Encourage Short Responses
Most people don’t have the time, energy, or desire to provide lengthy responses to complicated questions. But if they can comment in just a few short seconds, there’s a higher likelihood that they will. By asking simple questions that require just one- or two-word responses, you are sure to increase engagement.
This can be done through the image itself, or in the (also brief) accompanying copy, as 1-800-Flowers did in this post.
6. Create Image Galleries
Uploading several photos in one Facebook post creates an image gallery with smaller thumbnails. These smaller thumbnails beg fans to click to see the images enlarged, thus creating multiple engagement points on a single Facebook post. You can play with the crop of the images to make the click even more irresistible – by framing out a key piece of the image, users have to click to see what has been cropped out.
ModCloth is a great example. Whether they’re intentionally cropping the full outfits or not, I must click to see what shoes pair well with these adorable mixed patterns.
7. Wax Nostalgic
We love reminiscing about the past. The popularity and longevity of #tbt is proof perfect. But this isn’t just good for high school reunions and family photo albums. Thinking about the past makes customers pay more now, according to research by CogLode. The reasoning is that nostalgia fosters social connections, and when people feel socially connected, they don’t value money as much and are more willing to spend it.
Use this nostalgia effect to your advantage by posting your own #tbt images about your brand, or by finding images from the past that are related to your brand, products, or audience.
Paula Deen leverages nostalgia and real people to increase engagement on her Facebook page images.
Test these seven simple ways to increase engagement using images on your Facebook pages. Naturally, every vertical, brand, and audience is different, so you’ll want to experiment with different types of image posts to find what works best for you. Fortunately, Facebook Insights provides a great deal of data allowing you to evaluate the best mix of image format, subject matter, accompanying text, accompanying links, and captions.
What types of images have you used to increase engagement on Facebook?
This month saw the release of the handbook: Going global with Facebook. It’s a useful body of research for budding social media marketers ... read more
Video consumption keeps increasing and Facebook is serious about a video-first world, encouraging us all to explore its full potential. Ian Crocombe, ... read more
National Geographic is known for its impressive visual content. How did it use it though to create a highly successful social presence? ... read more