You will hear over and over about the importance of good content. Whether you are sharing it on your website or your blog, it needs to be quality content that is full of relevant information. The same rings true when you are sharing content on social media. Content is always king. The catch, however, is that it’s not as simple as posting the content on your social media sites and expecting people to read it. You need something eye-catching, something captivating that draws interest before ever seeing a word of what you’ve written. You need graphics to improve engagement on your social media posts.
Today’s social media world is all about images. People want to see images that give them a feel of what they are going to be reading. If the image isn’t enticing enough, it doesn’t matter how great the content is, it will be harder to get your audience to read it.
Why graphics and photos are so important
If you want to understand how to use pictures in your social media posts, then you must fully understand why they are so important. It’s more than just to dress up your post. It’s even more than just enticing someone to open up to the rest of the content.
Images bring out emotions. They help us tie concepts together. Looking at a simple picture can cause moments of happiness, sadness, laughter or tears. They pull on our heartstrings more than any amount of words ever could. We can connect with a picture instantly, whereas it may take us 200 words to start to feel a connection to a blog post. Graphics tell their own story. There is no need to explain what is going on, the reader can see it for themselves. It can give them the whole picture before even reading a word.
The example below is a Facebook post from Cleaning for a Reason, a non-profit foundation that provides free home cleaning for women undergoing cancer treatment. They link to an article about how not to say the wrong thing to someone with cancer. The added graphic makes the viewer curious enough to want to see what it’s about. This particular post had 92 shares.
Let’s face it, people are bored easily these days and many are lazy as well. If they are faced with an article of nothing but words in front of them, chances are they are not going to read it. There is nothing that is interesting to them about a page of words. But if a picture accompanies these words, it creates interest and makes them want to find out more. It is the gateway to reading the great content you’ve created.
Pictures Can Be the Whole Post
While content is still king, there is nothing wrong with an entire post being a graphic. This is popular enough that there is a trend across all social media channels referred to as “Wordless Wednesday” where people and businesses post no words with a picture that tells enough of a story to stand on its own. And sometimes, as in the post below, we just need a little pick me up to make us smile.
While pretty pictures may grab your readers’ attention, there is an important graphic that is used across the board in businesses. The infographic. The Oxford Dictionary describes infographics as “a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data.” Basically, it’s all the content your post needs in the form of a graphic. No words beyond the ones in the image are necessary.
So what makes the infographic special? For one, it’s fun. It’s engaging to the readers and shows them something different. It stands out among a sea of wordy content. Infographics shouldn’t be used in every post. They are unique and should be used when necessary so they do stand out. If you are overusing them, they end up being the same as regular words on a page.
A major advantage of infographics is that they make it easy to understand what is otherwise complex information. Because they only allow for so many words, they take these complex situations and break them down into only what is necessary and is accompanied by a graphic. It is the equivalent to a step-by-step blog post, only in few words and more pictures. A good infographic greatly boosts your credibility about the topic you choose. It shows you are an expert and someone who they should follow to get all of the information on whatever your business promotes.
It is a common belief that people often forget what they’ve read, but almost always remember what they’ve seen. You could have written the most amazing article on a very important topic to your business, and although it may have had a good amount of page views, you may not have gotten outside of your followers. An infographic can take it to the next level. It is much more likely that an infographic will go viral than a regular post.
We are visual beings who want information right now. We don’t want to take 15 minutes to read a blog post. We don’t want to weed through the information to find the important points. We want someone else to do the work for us. We want it handed to us on a silver platter. An infographic does just that.
Don’t Publish Without Graphics or Photos
If you haven’t caught on yet, the point of this entire post is that graphics are essential and posting without them can be detrimental – or at the very least, cause your followers to simply skip over your wordy post. For every blog post or website article you create and share on social media, you must have an outstanding visual to accompany it to catch your reader’s eye.
The same suggestion goes for sharing content as well. Don’t share someone else’s work that does not have something to grab your customer’s attention. You want to share with them the best, and the best includes something they can relate to – a good visual.
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