Statistics have shown that when posting updates and content to social networks, use of an image will improve your engagement significantly. That’s partly due to the fact that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text. In fact, according to SimplyMeasured, just one month after the introduction of Facebook Timeline for brands, visual content — photos and videos — saw a 65% increase in engagement.
However, the images that you use, and how you use them, matter. Make sure that you choose interesting images that viewers can connect to and be interested in. Furthermore, you should make sure that the images you use are large enough to fill the display space for each of the networks. Don’t use tiny 100×100 thumbnails that look small even on smartphones.
A common technique is to include an image in your blog posts and then share those posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. While that’s a great way to share your new content, it may not be the most effective for a number of reasons. For starters, sharing a blog post to Twitter will not include an image – only the text of the title or whatever you choose to type into the tweet. And on Facebook and Google+, the images that are included are as thumbnails only.
There is a better way.
If you have HootSuite Pro and have set up your social networks, you can easily share full images to Facebook and Google+, and even attach an image to your Twitter update! Here’s how:
- Open HootSuite and start a new status update.
- Copy the URL for your post and paste it into the link box and click Shrink. This will insert a shortened link into the status update.
- Select one or more social networks. You will need to select at least one Twitter account. If you select a Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn account, HootSuite will generate a preview of your post.
- Type in text for your Twitter update – you can copy and paste the blog Title from the preview, or type in something different.
- Drag and drop an image into the status update field. This will add another shortened URL to the field and attach the image below for you to review.
- You can choose to post the update immediately, or take advantage of HootSuite’s auto scheduling which will attempt to post your update at the optimum time.
And that’s it! You’ve now posted a full image to your Facebook and Google+ streams, and attached the image to a Twitter update. I regularly use this technique for new blog posts to ensure maximum engagement levels. Try it a few times and let us know how it goes for you! If you’re not already using HootSuite, here’s a link for a free trial: Sign up for a 30-day FREE trial