Do you use images in your Facebook marketing?
Are your image posts performing as well as you’d like?
While targeting, relevancy and timing play significant roles in the success of Facebook campaigns, the right image is key to improving engagement.
In this article, you’ll discover how to improve the performance of your Facebook image posts.
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#1: Start With Quality Images
People respond to outstanding images. These are pictures that inspire likes, comments and shares, and encourage people to engage. The importance of images (as well as video) has skyrocketed in recent years, so images that were good enough in the past may not be anymore.
While most brands think they share captivating images, unfortunately most are missing the mark. You not only need to use pictures that are high-quality and unique, you need to make sure those pictures relate to your brand and stimulate engagement.
For example, even though TripAdvisor has access to some of the most captivating imagery in the world, some of their images work better than others.
After reviewing their 20 most recent posts on Facebook, I discovered that TripAdvisor receives an average 251 likes and 30 shares per post.
Many of those posts display user-generated content like this beautiful landscape above with the text, “Caption this …”
An image like this used to be “enough” for fans to get excited about and engage with. (And 376 likes would make many fan pages stand up and cheer.) However, the text is very basic and it's just one view of a setting.
Alternatively, but still in line with their brand, TripAdvisor recently posted 12 beautiful images of natural pools in an album with a clever title (“Natural Swimming Pools You Wish Were in Your Backyard”) and a caption (“We like our pools au naturel.”), designed for a reaction. The result? Nearly 2,700 likes and almost 300 shares.
In this case quantity and quality paid off. There's no question about it. It's harder to compose Facebook posts like this. However, if you want to increase engagement on your images in a big way, it may be worth the time to put in the extra work.
#2: Test for Performance
To find what will inspire your audience to engage, you need an image that makes them stop in their tracks, followed by irresistible content. Trial and error with split testing is a surefire way to determine what your fans do and do not respond to. It just takes time.
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Study your image performance to see which ones fall flat, and which images trigger a response, whether it's in the form of a like, share, click, sign-up, purchase, etc. When you find what works, replicate and scale it.
You should also review images that don't lead to a response, so you can try to understand why they weren't successful.
Keep in mind that the image itself is not the only thing that makes a post successful. Pay attention to the title, body content, call to action and any additional text (such as percentage off in an ad or expiration date for a deal) as well.
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After testing images to see what resonates with your audience, gather images that are in alignment with your brand. Then, write out your messaging in the form of titles, text and calls to action. Don't go with just the first few things that come to mind. Get creative and take the time to do this right.
Now, mix and match to create a massive library of image and text combinations. Some of the combinations should be completely different and others just slightly different. The goal is to make sure that every post people see for your brand is different than the one before.
#3: Pay for Visibility
Facebook has changed quite a bit in recent years. Organic reach is not what it used to be. So unless you already have thousands of highly engaged fans, the odds of an organic photo post performing well are slim. The answer? Facebook advertising.
If you're going to put in the time to develop amazing photo posts, then you want to get them in front of a large, qualified audience. Allocate part of your marketing budget to Facebook ad campaigns. Even companies with a large audience struggle to get their posts seen.
For example, Salesforce has more than 475,000 Facebook fans, $5 billion plus in annual revenue and a company valuation of nearly $50 billion. Even when they post organically, their stats falter. The image below only received 31 likes and 7 shares.
A recently published promoted post did much better. It received 153 likes and 29 shares, which is a 393% increase in likes and a 314% increase in shares so far. Although we don't know how much money Salesforce spent on the ad, they were clearly able to amplify their message in a very short amount of time.
A little bit of money spent on a Facebook ad can make a huge difference in the reach of your visual posts. Sure, you can just do things organically, and you will have friends, family and passionate customers who support you. You may even get lucky and have a post hit it big.
However, if you want to consistently grow your brand in a predictable way, then consider using Facebook ads to get your images in front of a large and targeted audience.
There are several ways to improve the performance of your Facebook image posts. Use quality images, test the elements and promote posts to increase visibility. Every visual marketing strategy is different, just as every brand is different.
If you have enough patience to try different things to see what works for your company, your visual posts and your levels of engagement will benefit.
What do you think? What visual content works best for your brand? What types of images get the most engagement? Which calls to action get the best response? Please share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments.
Split test photo from Shutterstock.
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