How To Leverage Social Images and Graphic Calls-To Action
We all realize that the Internet provides expanding opportunities to extend your reach and connect with more qualified prospects. Consumers of all ages and lifestyles who have a need and interest in your services are spending more time and doing more things on the Web with each passing month.
And practices are spending more money than ever to try and compete for them.
Unfortunately, most practice owners spend little time after their website is built focusing on images they incorporate into their marketing (website, social media, blogs, etc.), not realizing what a big difference it can make to their overall return on investment.
I will provide you with some insights on why and how to invest in the right photos and images to complement your content and make it more attention-grabbing on social media. When your content looks great and is more easily and readily shareable, it can go a long way in helping to grow your practice.
A Case for Using High-Quality Images on Blogs and Socials Posts
Humans are inherently visual creatures—our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster compared to text! Visuals tell stories, clarify concepts, and promote new ideas much better and more quickly than text ever could. Did you know that blog posts with images get 94% more views compared to those without?
On social media, posts with images get more clicks. Studies show that engagement skyrockets when an image is included with a social media post. Check out these impressive statistics from SearchEngineJournal:
- Social media posts with visuals deliver 180% greater engagement
- Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets
- Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video
- Images make up 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook (up from 83% in 2012)
- Articles with images get 94% more views than those without
- Users clicking on photos of real people are 200% as likely to convert to sales
- Blogs that integrate attract 300% more inbound links
- Video is 53 times more likely to generate a first page Google ranking
In the noisy, fast-paced environment of social networks, including strong visuals in your content is crucial for grabbing the attention of online users. 81% of of people merely skim the content they read online, and the average person gets distracted in just 8 seconds! Within a fraction of a second, a user has already decided whether you are worthy of their attention.
Overall, the effective use of images makes your brand stand out more, and makes your message more powerful and memorable. And after all, our overarching goal is to improve all aspects of our clients' marketing efforts and do everything in our power to improve the success of their practice.
Choosing and Sizing the Right Images
There are a few things to consider when selecting images and preparing them to be used for blog posts and social media sharing. There are a number of different image types that can equally fit the bill for social media effectiveness, depending on the content type.
Examples include relevant, eye-catching stock photos, illustrations, graphs and other data visualizations, and even gifs on certain platforms.
Carefully cropped screenshots or thumbnails of select portions of infographics, quizzes, and Slideshare decks are another great option for these particular content types.
There are a few additional specifications for image sizing, as well as best practices to follow when using images on each social media platform.
Facebook uses the Open Graph protocol for recognizing images and metadata associated with anything shared on the platform. Open Graph images for content shared on Facebook should ideally be 1200 x 630p (1.91:1 aspect ratio), with the absolute minimum size being 600 x 315p, to achieve the larger thumbnail appearance in the News Feed. Keep in mind that when you deviate from this aspect ratio, Facebook will automatically crop the image to fit. This may not matter when using stock photos, but if you are trying to use an image with specific dimensions (say, for an infographic title) make sure you adhere to the 1.91:1 aspect ratio.
Twitter uses its own system to parse metadata and display images, in what are known as 'Twitter Cards'. Images for content shared on Twitter should ideally be 1024p x 512p (2:1 aspect ratio), with an absolute minimum of 506 x 253p. The same aspect ratio considerations mentioned in the Facebook section apply.
Unlike other platforms, Google+ can support large-dimension images such as full-size infographics. This isn't necessarily applicable for images included in the metadata of shared links, but only when you post anything as a photo (i.e. not a shared URL). This is a unique feature to be aware of. Images shared on G+ have a maximum size of 2048 x 2048p, with an absolute minimum size of 497 x 373p. Google+ is capable of parsing differently sized images and displaying them in the feed accordingly. You can typically upload the same image you use for the Facebook Open Graph.
The Main Takeaway:
With images shared on social, the general rule of thumb is “the bigger the better, to an extent”. Similarly, higher resolution photos are preferred. The exact image dimensions aren't really that important, in most cases. You will need to pay closer attention to the aspect ratio for each platform when you have an image that needs to be cropped just right, such as an infographic title thumbnail. Also keep in mind—uploading too many images that are excessively large in file size or dimensions can have negative conseuqnces on server space and site load times. The main objective is to find the perfect balance of image size and quality, which takes up the least amount of server space. Most photo editing tools and programs have features that allow you to crop or re-size and image to the perfect dimensions, to prepare your image to your exact specifications before uploading to the server.
Additional information about social media image sizing:
Hope you find this information helpful. Free feel to call us if you have other questions about maximizing imagery in your online marketing – 800-913-3886.
~ Daniel Brophy, Social Media Specialist