In 2015, Instagram continued to see their user count, uploads and engagement rate skyrocket. As of today Dec 30, 2015 over 80 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram daily! A whopping 80 Billion lifetime! Given the fact they have over 400 Million active monthly members this is no surprise!
What does that tell you about creative images for 2016 considering 63 percent of social media is made up of images!?
That it is critical to keep up with the optimal photo dimensions for all the social media channels you use. Instagram absolutely blew all the other networks away when it came to delivering engagement:
The top brands’ Instagram posts generated a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21%. That means Instagram delivered 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.
Check out other amazing engagement stats across the main social media networks regarding posts with images!
Numerous reports and personal experience shows that more then 75% of brand engagement on Facebook happens on photos.
What makes this number even more impressive is that only 62% percent of the posts shared by brands are photos!
Photos receive 53 percent more likes on Facebook than the average post and 84 percent more link clicks.
It’s not just a matter of cutting through the text clutter –
it’s science! Visual content is actually transmitted to the brain faster than text – some 60,000 times faster, in fact –
and the vast majority of what our brains process is visual stimuli.
This is not really news to most of us as there is a ton of research reports and statistics showing the value of visual content.
Now it comes down to the exact image being used and what creativeness went into it. I have seen 2 posts both with the same headline posted at the same time and to the same audience but with slightly different images perform wildy different. Where 1 post ended up with 143 likes, 30 shares with 20 comments the other had a total of 5 likes. To help increase engagement with your Facebook page and to use the right type of image that creates engagement check out these tips when creating and posting images.
Share Real People when possible.
Images of real people in legitimate situations perform better than stock photos and staged models.
As a brand, who are these real people that you should include in your images? Sure, it could be staff members, depending on the situation (maybe at an event or getting their hands dirty with one of your products), but more often it should be your customers and influencers, the true voice of your brand.
Focus on Faces
This ability of humans to recognize other human faces is so ingrained that it causes us to see faces in places that they do not really exist, such as rock formations,architecture and other places, a psychological phenomenon is known as “pareidolia.”So perhaps a company could arrange products in such a way that people may identify it with a smiling face.Just food for thought!
Why does this matter for social media?
It proves how powerful the human face is. Rather than posting large group shots far out try to use close-ups to leverage the users natural inclination toward faces.
Be Brief Encourage Short Responses
Most people don’t have time or desire to leave lengthy responses.
If you make it to where they can in a few short seconds, there’s a higher likelihood that they will. Just ask simple questions and you will increase engagement.
Create Image Galleries
One of my personal favorites when you upload many photos in one Facebook post it creates an image gallery with smaller thumbnails.
Fans just can't help clicking these to enlarge them which creates multiple engagement points on a single Facebook post. Play with the crop of the images to make the click even more enticing – by framing out a key piece of the image, users have to click to see what has been cropped out.
Maximizing Engagement on Google Plus
The Power of Photos
Photos get high engagement on google plus!
Images have a powerful effect on Google+ engagement in that they create mentions which carry a lot of weight!
For those of you new to Google+ or all together don't use it, Plus mentions are the way of referencing other users on Google+,
by putting a plus sign (+) in front of their user name. The mention is turned into a link to that user’s profile, and the user gets a notification that you mentioned him or her.
It turns out that plus mentions also proved to be a very powerful way to increase your engagement.Mentions increase engagement on Google+ Posts with a plus mention are more likely to be reshared than posts with photos. But to get the mention in the 1st place your best chance is to use a photo!!
Google+ posts with hashtags get twice as many +1's and more reshares but does not seem to increase mentions. Also did you know Google+ posts between 500-1000 characters get the most engagement. A post is .73 times as likely to get a +1 if it’s an event than if it’s not an event (i.e., it’s less likely). A post with a link placed in the text of the post is 1.97 times as likely to get reshared than if it does not have a link in the text of the post. A post with a photo is 2.38 times as likely to get replies as a post without a photo.
So here is a perfect example of the same article posted to google plus with a very similar caption but a different image.
The post below has over 23 Google +1's, 11 shares and 7 comments compared tothe other recieving just one Google+1.
WHY?? Well my thinking was to use an image that invokes an emotional response and with the post that performed the best that was a photo of the current leaderboard of the top .CEO influencers.
You can view that here: Top CEO Influencer Leaderboard
The Other image used was simply the 1st one offered after pasting the link in the caption box. This proves how important it is to not just take your 1st option or to make sure you use many images or a pre chosen image in your blog article.
Keep Tweets Under 110 Characters
Shorter tweets with around 110 characters get 17% higher engagement, If you are using all 140 characters in your tweet, your followers will need to edit your tweets before they can add in theirs and retweet. People are lazy and simply won't do it. Try to limit your tweets to between 80–110 characters.
Tweet During Daytime Hours
Twitter is most generally active during the 11-12 hours of daytime for your audience’s time zone. Between 8am and 7pm, your tweets will have 30% higher interaction. Use twitter analytics to find when your audience is most active Be sure you know where your audience lives is it the USA? United Kingdom or Australia? Obviously that is critical!
Tweet on Saturday and Sunday
If you want engagement, schedule tweets for Saturday and Sunday. Engagement is 17% higher on the weekends than it is on weekdays.
IMAGES IMAGES IMAGES
Twitter’s rich Tweets give you higher levels of engagement for images and videos (e.g., Vine videos). You can get a 150% increase in retweets just by including images.
Check out this example here with a nice image through the use of a website twitter card and 1 hashtag.
Conversion rates at rock-bottom? Then learn from expert marketers to turn things around! @businessdotcom #iboommedia https://t.co/QSkIuZNkWW— JMHHACKER (@JMHHACKER) December 16, 2015
Buffer conducted an A/B test of tweets with pictures (A) and tweets without pictures (B). In each test, tweets with pictures won by a huge margin. I like to use the ratio 70/30 70% of tweets with images 30% of tweets without.
In-stream images are not anything new but many do not take full advantage. It’s a lot easier to pop a few words into a tweet than to use images. However, if it’s engagement you want USE IMAGES!
Ask for Retweets
Less than 1% of brands ask for a retweet. This is a huge missed opportunity. When you ask your followers for a retweet you get 12 times more retweets.
Spell out the word retweet in its entirety, don't use the abbreviation RT. The retweet rate for “retweet” requests is 23 times higher than the engagement rate for “RT” requests.
Hashtags double your engagement rate and create higher visibility on Twitter. Only 24% of tweets contain hashtags. Also use only two hashtags per tweet as anymore will cause a drop in engagement.
92% of all Twitter interaction (retweeting, replying, etc.) happens when readers click links. Tweets with links get 86% more retweets! Links and hashtags make it easy for others to interact with your tweets. Since tweets with links have higher engagement metrics, you’d think marketers would be using links a lot more. Include links in 60-80% of your tweets
Use Strong Calls to Action
Words like please, retweet, help, follow and how to are focused on the reader rather than on the sender of the tweet.
People are more likley to focus on your tweet at the same time you are asking for an action. Send Three to Four Tweets a Day & get more quality engagement by tweeting less.
So bottom line the clear winner is Photos average a 35% boost in Retweets. Then Videos get a 28% boost in Retweets with Quotes getting a 19% boost. Adding a number receives a 17% bump in Retweets and Hashtags receive a 16% boost
Don't try to be a hero in 2016. Simply get as creative as you can with images and let them fly! I personally have found the following resources for creating visual content perfect for any situation!
More so then ever before I found that 20% of my time or more was devoted to nothing but testing new tools and research.
The problem is not finding a tool for whatever you may need the issue is finding the best and if possible FREE!
I of course have my premium tools but I have found if you spend a little more time testing you can find nearly anything free of charge or get a few friends to sign up and that will pay for your premium service lifetime!
Tools for visual content creation can be tough as there are a ton of programs, but not all of them are easy enough for some of my staff to pick up and go with. Most can do simple layouts and graphics work in Photoshop but still have to create visuals all the time for the content program.
Check out the following tools that were a lifesaver in 2015
PicMonkey makes it easy to create customized, on-brand images for social media and your blog. No design experience in Photoshop or Illustrator required. A simple editing panel is intuitive and easy to use. For quick fixes, more complex projects or anything in between, there’s a PicMonkey plan to meet your need.
Use all basic features for free. Core editing tools.
Crop, resize, and all the essential color adjustments.
Basic touch up features. Freshen up your magically blemish-free selfies.
Effects. Filters and transformations. All ready to be mixed and matched. Textures, frames and overlays. Who knew one click could do so much for your photos?
Advanced touch up tools Say goodbye to wrinkles and hello to amazing new looks. 1,100+ graphic overlays. Infinitely magnifiable overlays and stickers for any occasion. 2x more effects and filters From lens flare and brush effects to mood-altering filters.
Premium fonts. Designer-curated selection of fonts—classic and brand new. Edit from Collage. Access to unlimited editing tools in the collage maker. No ads. No distractions, no interruptions, just unlimited creative focus. Try PicMonkey Free for 30 days!
Canva is incredibly popular right now. It’s easy to use, affordable, and has a huge library of photo options available so you can curate, customize, and export all from one platform. Import and image if you like and drag it ito any design for any platform you may need1 Twitter post, Pinterest graphic, Facebook post, Tumblr, Instagram, even documents and facebook ads!
Pablo, the free social media image creation tool from Buffer, is very easy to use. Just pick a photo (or upload your own), apply a few effects, choose which networks you’re creating content for, and add some text. Use a quote from Pablo’s quote generator without having to research your own.
Check out the Youtube Video!
Flixel is an awesome tool for creating cinemagraphs (e.g., images with one animated portion). It’s easy to isolate still
frames and apply effects to create the exact subtly-animated GIF you had in mind! Also known as a Living photo (also known as cinemagraph) is a still photograph in which a minor and repeated movement occurs.
Living Photos are commonly produced by taking a video recording, and using image editing software to freeze most of the frame and preserving motion in part of the subject as a repeating or continued motion.
Flixel is free (limited version) or payed app (about 10 USD) in the AppStore. If you need FullHD output, you have to purchase HD output via in app purchase. Flixel app can be used to capture the source video, or you can import external video (pro version).
GifMaker is one of my favorite tools for creating a GIF out of still images.
Just upload your files, put them in order, select your animation
speed and output preferences, and export.
It’s great for blogs, email, social media, and other use cases where you don’t need a super high quality final file.
GIFMaker.me allows you to create animated gifs, slideshows, and video animations with music online freely and easily, no registration required. Create animated icons and avatars of yourself on Internet forums and discussion boards, share multiple screenshots in one URL, play a gif online with sound, or share your life moments with your friends on Facebook.
You can reduce the file size of a gif, resize a gif, reverse a gif, merge / join two or more gifs into one gif online, or split a gif into separate frames. Regardless of whether you are a professional designer, photographer or simply an amateur, GIFMaker.me is simple, just take photos with your digital camera or mobile phone such as iPhone, touch up them with Adobe Photoshop or other photo editing software, apply filters and effects to your photos with Instagram or other similar programs, then combine them into funny animations with GIFMaker.me!
After you created a gif, you can crop, resize, rotate and compress this animated gif file( or any other JPEG, PNG and BMP images ) at ResizeImage.net, you can even remove the background from an image to make it transparent!
Start your free trial
With Rapt Media, creating interactive videos has never been easier. Increase your content’s engagement, tell more personalized stories, and deepen engagement by turning viewers into active participants. Marketers can provide a truly personalized viewing experience that keeps people engaged.
I love Rapt Media because interactive Content is where all the action is going! Today content marketing owns the online space which means actions! Shares, clicks, even views. Engagement is the KEY to it all. Starts the relationship which then grows into a lead and ultimately into a client. Right?!
Interactive content and using it to engaging a target audience should b the goal of any good marketer yet the toughest. A great marketing firm can stand tall when their audience not only views the content but interacts and shares it.
So what would be some good ways to get your audience involved? Perhaps making them make a choice or answer a question. getting them to think and respond so they don't just forget about it 5 seconds later. The issue creating interactive content is it involves more work but a much larger reward!
In this photo you have the choice to view which trick he does next!
Interactive blows away passive content for educating the buyer.
What types of content are interactive?
Personality test can be meaningful marketing tools often used to help people identify a need, compare their company to benchmarks, or some other type of self-diagnosis. Polls and surveys
Calculators are about money, which for some reason appears to interest most people. Given the right strategy can say something meaningful about your company’s mission.
Contests as some things simply never get old!
The potential to get creative with contests is infinite.
Cool contests can literally get the attention of thousands to our brand. A simply form fill to gather customer data.
I personally have run Contests that generated 100's of thousands of authentic reach and created engaging user-generated content.
Infographics with embedded questions
Ion interactive showcases its own software for creating interactive infographics. A menu bar invites readers to navigate the content marketing stats as they wish.
Check out live interactive content marketing examples!
From interactive infographics to contests and calculators, get hands-on with just a few of the thousands of fully-customizable interactive content marketing experiences created, launched, tested and measured using our software platform.
Interactive content offers an opportunity to differentiate your brand and engage your audience.
There are a ton of marketing tools out there for visual content creation. These are the ones I’ve used without any design training. So try them out you will be blown away at what this can do for your business!
Check out these amazing tricks and tips!
Facebook introduced a new auto-enhancing feature for iOS in 2014. Now, when a Facebook user posts an image using the iOS app, it is automatically “enhanced” for clarity, lighting and shadow.
Twitter: Use a 2:1 ratio
You can tweet an image of any size, Twitter’s in-stream preview is always 440 pixels wide and 220 pixels tall (a 2:1 ratio).
This means that any horizontal image will be cut off at the top and bottom but not at the sides in the Twitter stream.
Creating and calculating the dimensions of an image that will perfectly show off the center of the photo in the in-stream preview is very tricky. We recommend creating 880×440 images to tweet.
When using the Facebook dimension (1200×627) it will work on Twitter as well. The images are not exactly a 2:1 image ratio but they still look great in Twitter’s in-stream preview and save you time!
Google+: Use “longer” images to increase engagement
For Google+ images, many recommend uploading images that are square; I have found that uploading longer images, similar to an image you’d see on Pinterest works very well for increasing engagement.
Longer images take up more space in the feed and are more likely to grab the attention of a Google+ user.
Because Google+ displays shared photos as 497px wide and scales the height of the image, your image will also look great as long it is at least 497px wide. Check out this example on an image we shared that was an 854×1350 image.
LinkedIn: Add a photo to link posts
You can increase your LinkedIn views by 11 times when you include a photo. Including a photo with the content I share on LinkedIn from the iBoom Media page typically doubles the engagement rate.
For the images we’re sharing on LinkedIn, we’ve found that using square images works the best for increasing engagement, so use the 1200×1200 images you’ve created for LinkedIn.
Pinterest: Use content that stands out in the feed
Of all the social networks, Pinterest could be considered the most competitive when it comes to visuals.
Pins in the feed will have a width of 238 pixels and the length will be adjusted depending on the height of the image. Have had HUGE success with the pin size 736px wide by 1128px high.
Instagram: Take photos on your phone; enhance them with Instagram
The images you upload on Instagram will be square and 510×510 pixels in your image feed. Your profile picture will be square as well, but a bit smaller at 161×161.
To make the images you take with your smartphone easier to use on Instagram simply change the size of your photo in the camera app. Before you take a picture, select the square orientation.
By taking square photos, you won’t have to worry about cropping out any aspect of your image for Instagram.
Now Here Is The
2016 Social Media Image Size
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Also check out JMHHACKER.com For even more incrdible methods to get ahead on social media!