Our social media feeds are more crowded than ever before. As a result, the average person’s online attention span has shrunk from 15 seconds in 2002 to 8 seconds, nearly 20 years later. Grabbing your target audience’s eye is key for communications professionals, putting a premium on visual content.
This is more than an industry trend, it’s biology. Humans are hard wired to respond to images rather than text. Our brains can recognize familiar objects in milliseconds. Social media content paired with a photo is ten times more likely to trigger engagement than the same content without visual accompaniment, according to Social Media Examiner.
That’s right, when images are involved, engagement soars. Pictures outpace nearly every other type of content, including video, in Facebook popularity. Similarly, adding a photo to tweets can boost retweets by 35%, according to Media Blog and platform analytics. New audiences are more likely to share and see visual content because of the simplicity it offers.
Not only do we tend to notice visual content ahead of all other types, but we remember them too. In fact, according to New York Times best-selling author John Medina, when someone hears a piece of information and three days pass, they’ll remember 10% of it. If they see the same information, they’ll remember 65% of it after three days.
Visual content gets you in the door and helps you stay there. Here are some other strategies and tips to consider before using images on social media.
- Figure out what your audience wants to see from you. The visual content you share should help them relate to your brand.
- Graphics with data and figures communicate impartiality and authority.
- Trendy aesthetics can help reach a younger crowd.
- Simply presented information is best for social media content meant to be shared repeatedly.
- Think about the colors in your images. Red conveys passion and energy while yellow implies creativity and hope.
A cutting-edge social media strategy tries to increase engagement, grow your audience, and improve your identity. Visual content checks all of these boxes.