Want to know what can get you more social media followers and connections, shares and likes, media exposure and even improve your search engine rankings?
The answer: images.
Not just any image or visual, but something attractive, relevant, compelling and, of course, properly optimized.
We’ll show you how to do that in this post.
I became a “visual evangelist” after experiencing first-hand the power of images on the PR in Your Pajamas Facebook page. We usually get a handful of likes and shares on our status updates. But guess what happened when I posted an image with a quote: It got 121 likes, 3 comments, and 63 shares!
This wasn’t a fluke, either. According to Hubspot, Facebook photos get 53% more likes than regular, text-based posts*.
It makes sense. Pictures are more eye-grabbing and interesting than words on a screen. We can grasp the meaning from an image faster than we can read sentences, so visuals can be a shortcut to communication. Perhaps most important of all, images stimulate emotions much more effectively and quickly than words. Which probably explains why pictures compel us to take action more readily than text.
Consider these other statistics that show the increasing importance of images in social media*:
- Pinterest is now the fourth biggest referrer of website traffic (Are you using it yet? Read this to get started).
- According to eye tracking research of Google news, items with images are seen first before plain text articles.
- In a research by PwR New Media, 79% of journalists who responded say news releases accompanied by a good image are more likely to be picked up than those without photos.
And if that’s not enough, images can help with search engine optimization (SEO), too. Search engines can’t “read” images — yet — but they do crawl metadata that accompany images (more on that below).