We've talked in previous blogs about how Pinterest, an image-driven social media site, can help grow your business. And while sites like Pinterest have skyrocketed in popularity, Facebook is still king of the social media hill. Many business owners still don't take full advantage of posting images to help grow their Facebook business page.
People are visual creatures. We like things that attract our eye and most of us remember images far longer than we remember written text. That is why Pinterest is so popular and it's also why Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion. There are a lot of messages vying for Facebook users' attention on their news feed, and text-only status updates can get overlooked, especially when these posts are surrounded by striking images posted by other users.
It's easy to see why approximately 70% of the 'likes' and comments on Facebook revolve around pictures. If you want to engage more of your fan base, then you should make good use of images as well. We've all heard the phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words" and that is especially true on social media networks such as Facebook. Pictures attract attention, are easily consumed, require little or no reading, and take little effort to post.
Images will also serve to increase your Facebook EdgeRank. As explained in one of our previous blogs, EdgeRank is an:
...algorithm that decides what News Feed stories are displayed on the pages of your friends and fans. You may have not realized, but Facebook only displays a portion of the possible stories created by your friends and fan pages like yours. It’s just not possible to post every story created, there’s just too much content for everyone to view. So EdgeRank decides what posts are seen by whom.
Facebook ranks posts with images higher and will allow that post to have more impressions. And when your posts start to get more 'likes' and comments, your overall EdgeRank will go up - which means more impressions and more 'likes'. It's a gradual cycle that should earn you more chances to engage with your audience.
Virtually any business can benefit from increased imagery. Here are some tips for using effective images for your Facebook business page.
Use Compelling Images
If you sell blenders, a photo of your blender isn't going to make a striking image, unless your blender is some space-age marvel that no one has seen before. But posting a photo of a tropical drink that was made with your blender just might attract a lot of attention.
Use Protective Markings in Moderation
If you are sharing original content, you obviously want to ensure that your branding is being seen. And while stamping a huge watermark right across the entire picture may seem like a good idea, it probably isn't going to get many shares either.
There are ways to tastefully include your brand or website address so it's not intrusive. And yes, a few unscrupulous people may crop out your name, but the majority of people will share your photo as is.
Avoid Low-Resolution Images
Small, fuzzy pictures aren't going to get you a lot of 'likes' and they may lead to negative comments. For Facebook posts, make sure your images have decent resolution. Facebook has a reputation of changing image requirements (among other things) at a moment's notice, so always check to see what the latest resolution guidelines are. (Currently, the max. width and height is 403 pixels each for a post to fully appear on your page, which means a full size image is square.)
Use the Timeline Cover Photo to Your Advantage
The timeline cover photo is an excellent way for businesses to further brand themselves. Be creative. Be unique. This is your chance to stand out. You can check out some really creative timeline cover ideas here.
This larger image space does have its limitations though. Make sure you're not doing any of the following that violates Facebook restrictions. If you are, you run the risk of being reported and possibly deleted by Facebook.
- No type of price or purchase info is allowed. This includes coupons or sayings like "40% off".
- If your cover contains your website URL, email address, phone number or another type of contact information, you are in violation of Facebook's policy.
- Using interfaces, such as 'like' or 'share' is a no-no as well. It's a good idea not to use those two words in your cover photo, or arrows pointing to Facebook features.
- Your photo can be creative, but should not look like an advertisement. If it is deemed by Facebook as an ad in any way, you run the risk of your account being deleted.
Funny pictures are the most popular of all images on Facebook and are generally the most viral. A humorous photo can attract a lot of 'likes' and shares. And when photos are shared, more people are exposed to your business page.
If you've been blessed with wit, you might try your own hand at creating some funny pictures regarding your brand or industry. Just use your own judgment. You don't want an image to backfire and create a negative response towards your business.
Now is the time to get visual! With a little time and effort, you'll see your Facebook page (and your business) become more successful because of your attention towards imagery.
Do you always use imagery with your Facebook posts? If so, what tips can you share with our readers? Let us know, we want to hear from you!