The Importance of Visual Content

Sep 2012

When social media sites like Facebook and Twitter first started, most of the updates were text based.  Lets face it, most of the sites themselves were text based.  However, as the years have gone by and as smart phones with the use of apps like instagram have grown in popularity, images have become the pinnacle of social media content.

Facebook has their cover photos, and even prioritizes content with photos in them higher than anything else.  Most plain text comments have been banished to the ‘ticker feed’.  Pinterest arrived with their photo-only social network consisting of pinboards.  Even Twitter recently added ‘header’ images to their users profiles, much similar to the Facebook cover photo.  And almost all social media sites are starting to weight content, giving priority to what they consider to be ‘higher quality’ content, making it ever more difficult to reach the fans you have, much less get in front of new people.


So what’s a business to do? 

Well, you’ve got to get start thinking visually and you need to start creating content that way too, especially on Facebook, which is what I am going to focus on.

It’s easy to post a picture to Facebook and write a status update related to that, but what about everything else?  If Facebook prioritizes pictures, is there a way to post my blog posts, news stories and videos without them being hidden because pictures are taking priority?

The answer is yes.  Here are a few different ways that pages are posting links to articles and blogs, while still capitalizing on the value of images.


Example Number One: Forbes


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I have been seeing a few magazines start to post like this.  The format is: title of article, link to article, first paragraph of article, picture relating to article.  I like this style, it captures people’s attention with the image and headline, then draws them in with a little bit more information without it being just a large block of words.


Example Number Two: Kate Spade New York


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They are not just using stock images for their posts, but are actually creating images that have a call to action on them: “read more on the blog”.  This format is a little less formal than Forbes, and is every bit effective.  They have an image related to the topic, a sentence trying to catch your attention, and a link to the blog post.  This is one of the most common ways pages are using images to drive traffic to their blog.  Kate Spade just took it a step further with the call to action on the actual image.


Example Number Three: GQ


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I like that the image they use is very representative of their brand.  All of their pictures have a similar quality and it looks like it is straight from the magazine.  They go for a catchy quote, followed by a simple yet effective headline about the article, then a link to the article.  The quote and the picture hooks you in, then the headline makes you want to click on the link.


These are three really excellent examples of how to use images to grab people’s attention as well as get it in front of more people.  By understanding how much weight Facebook puts on images and using these techniques, you can quickly get your content seen by more people.

Katie Wagner Social Media Blog, stephen wagner, social media




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