The Importance of Visual Content on Social Media


Social media plays a significant role in today’s digital marketing landscape. No matter what your marketing goals may be, social media has a way to support them. Right now, marketers across all verticals use social media to target audiences, deliver content, promote their businesses and offerings, and sell products and services. In fact, it is arguably one of the best ways to connect with consumers across the board. 

The downside of social media is that it is incredibly crowded. Today, there are more than 1.5 billion pieces of content on the internet. This sea of digital content can make it pretty hard to get noticed – unless you have an actionable strategy for doing so. This is why the importance of visual content on social media is so difficult to overestimate. 

More interactive and engaging them textual content, visual content allows you to communicate your brand message and a concise and compelling way. Here’s what you need to know about the importance of visual content on social media, and how you can up your visual game starting right now.

The Importance of Visual Content on Social Media by the Numbers

Still not convinced that visual content is your path to social media success? Here are a few statistics to chew on, courtesy of HubSpot:

  • 32% of marketing teams report that visual images are the single most important content asset their business creates
  • 80% of marketing professionals are currently using visual assets in their social media marketing
  • People only remember ten percent of what they hear three days later. However, if that information is paired with a relevant image, people retain 65% of the information three days later.
  •  Today, B2C marketers report that visual content is critical 11% more often than B2B marketers 
  •  51% of B2C marketers are prioritizing visual assets as part of their social media marketing strategy
  • In the last two years, mobile video usage has increased by 10 million daily viewing minutes
  • Simply using the word “video” in an email subject line can increase open rates by about 19% and skyrocket click-through rates by 65%
  • Infographics have enjoyed the largest increase in usage among marketers over the last four years –  now at 65% 
  • When it comes to following directions, people interacting with text and illustration do 323% better than people following directions without illustration 
  • Today, tweets with images are retweeted 150% more than tweets without images
  • Right now, articles with at least one image every 75-100 words earn double the social media shares as posts with fewer images
  • When a Facebook post has images, it earns about 2.3x more engagement than it would if it had no images
  • Every day, people watch the equivalent of 110 years of live video on Periscope

As you can see, visual content is a critical part of social media marketing. By incorporating high-quality visual content into your social media marketing strategy, you can earn more engagement, more shares, and more follows from your target audience. This is especially critical for companies that deal directly with consumers.

5 Tips to Use Visuals in Social Media Marketing

Now that we’ve talked about how critical visuals are to your social media marketing let’s break down how, specifically, you can incorporate them for better results. Here are a few top guidelines:

1.  Keep Your Color Palette Consistent

Take a look at a few of your favorite company social media accounts, and you’ll probably notice one thing right off the bat: they all use a consistent color scheme. With Coca-Cola, it’s red, with Apple, it’s crisp white. 

This is not an accident. These brands know that the colors associated with social media visuals should reflect the brand’s overall personality and visual identity. 

With this in mind, keep your brand’s color scheme consistent on your social media platforms. Those two to four palette options you previously selected should keep appearing.

Being consistent with the colors you use will help you build a more recognizable brand identity and take a lot of the guesswork out of creating visuals for social platforms. If you need an example, take a look at how luxury clothing brand Everlane does it on their Instagram profile:

importance of visual content on social media

importance of visual content on social media

importance of visual content on social media

2. Use Typography to Your Advantage

Although many people don’t see it as such, typography is a visual element. Just like the color and images that your brand chooses to work with, the typography you choose makes an impact on your consumers. 

That said, make sure you’re using the same typography throughout your social media visuals. Ideally, you should have three separate types of font that you work with:

  • One font for headers and titles. This should be the largest font of all of them and will be used in your headlines. 
  • One font for subtitles. This font should be easy-to-read, and smaller than the header font. 
  • One font for the body of the text. This font should also be easy to read, as it’ needs to allow users to absorb information quickly. 

Once you’ve chosen these fonts, use them in your infographics, memes, and anything else that includes text.

3. Consider Investing in Filters

One of the easiest ways to keep things consistent on your social media platforms is to purchase a few custom filters, or “presets” as the influencers call them. The concept behind these filters is pretty simple. 

Instead of manually adjusting each photo you post and changing saturation and lighting values to try and create a cohesive feel, presets allow you to apply a preset filter to each image, quickly creating a professional appearance. 

For an example of what per-sets do to an Instagram page, check out how a “mommy blogger” and influencer like Lauren Burnham Lyyendyk uses them:

importance of visual content on social media

As you can see, the presets aren’t obnoxious or overly obvious. Instead, they give the entire profile a pulled-together appearance. Why you can pay for presets, some are free and available for anybody to download. Find what works for you and run with it.

4. If You’re Going to use Stock Photos, use Good Ones

Low-quality stock images have destroyed many an excellent social media post. And this makes sense. Your post can only be good as the image that serves as its foundation. With this in mind, be sure you’re using high-quality stock photos in your social media visuals. 

Here at H Hub, we connect brands with professional freelance photographers to create high-quality content. Part creator forum, part marketplace, and part agency, we make it easy to find the visuals you need to create beautiful social media material. 

Check out our offerings now.

5. Mind Your Sizing

You’re probably using several social media platforms at once. Unfortunately, one size does not fit all with this approach. Instead, platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest all have different size requirements for their picture and banner images.

To make your brand recognizable, you want to use the same profile and banner images throughout, but you will have to adjust the sizing of each accordingly. 

For your reference, SproutSocial has a great guide on social media image sizes

Understand the importance of Visual Content on Social Media, Dominate Your Platforms

2020 will be the year of visual content on social. Even if you haven’t invested heavily in the pursuit up until now, this year is an excellent opportunity to step up your game. With platforms like The H Hub, you can find beautiful visuals and creators to help you improve your social presence. What are you waiting for? Your visual content is too valuable to sacrifice.