An interesting study on Americans’ use of social media was released last month. Some of the results are not surprising (“55 percent say they watch TV, movies or video on their computer at least once a week”) while some might merit a raised eyebrow (“Forty-two percent of people own a tablet and, of tablet owners, 19 percent have more than one”).
Keep in mind though, that this wasn’t a survey of average Americans, but of “nearly 2,000 Americans who visit a social network at least once a day”: in that context, the results are less surprising.
The most interesting finding of the study, to me, was this:
“Marketers should also take note: people are most likely to engage with branded content that contain pictures (44%), status updates (40%) and videos (37%).”
Photos get you the most engagement on Facebook. This confirms my own observations: posting a photo versus say, a text update or a link to a blog post usually gets more views, likes and comments.
This seems obvious when you think of how Facebook works. A text update will get you a tiny bit of space in your fans’ news feed. A photo on the other hand, will take up the breadth and, depending on its size, the length of the news feed. So it’s much easier to miss a text update than to miss a photo.
For contrast, think of Twitter: it’s primarily a text medium. You can share photos, sure, but unless you entice me with your words I won’t even click on the “view photo” link.
On Facebook, it’s the opposite: you can use visuals to entice people to read your words.
How can you do this? You won’t always have a photo for every status update, right?
But you can. I wouldn’t advise you to do this for every update, but you can definitely use photos to draw attention to many of them.
Take A Photo
Suppose you’re announcing your employee of the month on Facebook. You could write a note:
“Congratulations to Anna for being our employee of the month! Keep up the good work, Anna!”
But now you know photos get you more visibility and engagement, so why not add a picture of Anna to the update (with her permission, of course)? Better yet, ask Anna to pose for a picture (wearing a paper crown and grinning giddily at being appreciated) and post that. Not only are more of your fans likely to see it, but your customers might be more likely to see Anna’s smiling friendly face and associate it with your business, and customers who already know and like her would be happy to see her appreciated.
Use A Stock Photo
If you just can’t take a relevant photo, use a stock photo. This will work for a wider variety of situations (or if Anna refused to have her photo uploaded on Facebook). Choose your stock photo well: don’t just stick another picture of a guy in a suit (especially not if you’re congratulating Anna). Use something a little fun but can still work with your brand; use something that’s more likely to draw attention.
If you have any Photoshop skills at all, make a quick graphic. Can’t draw to save your life? Just write out your note on fancy font and save that as an image. Now instead of a couple of lines of text proclaiming Anna’s employee-of-the-month status, you have a picture on your fans’ feed that proclaims the same thing, but in larger, hard-to-miss font.
Write It Out And Take A Photo
None of these options working for you? Here’s the last and ridiculously easy one. Take a piece of notepaper and write out your note to Anna in your best handwriting. Take a picture of that (or scan it, if you still have a scanner) and post that on Facebook with a couple of words of comment (“Anna gets the award, and we all get cake”).
Easy, right? Try it out and let me know how you do!
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