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Social Media: If content is king then images are the crowning glory

Richard Bell

Pictures paint a thousand words and, accompanying the right content, can also account for thousands of likes on Facebook and other social platforms.

Aristotle would often declare that “it is impossible to think without images”, and the evidence in support of this is staggering. Firstly, our brains are  hardwired to read and decipher an image. Verbal language, relatively speaking, is a new part of our evolution, but images are an instinctive part of our make-up.

Secondly, reading an image is quicker than understanding the content. According to research conducted by the 3M Corporation in 2001, we can process an image 60,000 times faster. In fact, over 90% of the information we receive in our brains is visual, so it makes sense to harness this power when creating content that we want people to engage with.

In studies undertaken by social media analytics company Social Bakers, it was found that 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook contained images, with the same applying for 47% on Twitter. These figures are made all the more startling when you consider that only 10% of tweets actually contain photos, but still account for almost half of the most favourited, retweeted and commented on activities.

With the use of social media tripling since 2007 and 72% of internet users over the age of 16 having some form of social media account, interactive content has a massive audience. In a recent Ofcom study, over 80% of people who have a social media account log on at least once a day, and the average time spent online has doubled in a decade to over twenty hours per week.

With an ever increasing audience and overwhelming evidence pointing to images being influential, the time is now to incorporate great visuals into your online content. The key is to create original images that support your text, while it doesn’t hurt to include a ‘call to action’.

Richard has a First in English Literature and Creative Writing, and has experience writing fiction and short stories (which he has published both online and in magazines).

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