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Research shows that images improve your social media success and engagement.
- Quick Sprout reveals that tweets with images receive 200 percent more engagement.
- BuzzSumo reports that Facebook posts with images generate 2.3 times more engagement than posts without images.
- Research published in the Journal of Marketing Research shows that including an image in tweets about air travel increases the number of retweets by 119%.
Here are three types of custom images you can create that support your book marketing messages while they increase social media engagement.
1. Image quotes/picture quotes/quote cards
No matter what you call them, these social media graphics that place words on images are versatile and powerful.
For the text, use inspirational quotes, a pithy message from your book with attribution to your book (not yourself), or a snippet of text from your blog post (that’s what I’ve done with the example below). There are so many ways to approach this — my suggestions are just a start.
Please don’t quote yourself saying something you feel is wise or profound, though. I know that so-called gurus do this, but it isn’t going to position you as a thought leader. You earn that title when others believe that what you say is so worthwhile that they have to share it.
Rather than quoting yourself on your road to social media success, quote others you admire — and tag them when you post the image online.
Create these types of images with any of the many web-based and/or smartphone tools available for this. I used Canva to create the three images above. The kitten photo came from Depositphotos; I’ve got links to free photo sites here.Rather than quoting yourself on your road to social media success, quote others you admire -- and tag them when you post the image online.Click to tweet
Tipographics — also known as tip-o-graphics — are tip lists. I’ve got a collection of them I created from blog post content on a Pinterest board. Each Pinterest image links back to my original blog post on the topic. While I share them on Pinterest, they can be shared on any social media platform you use.
Here’s one example:
During the first two months I started sharing these on Pinterest, traffic to my site from that social network increased more than 300 percent. I’ve recently added a few more and will watch the numbers to see if traffic jumps again.
If you’ve got design skills, you can make yours look a whole lot nicer than mine. I opted for simplicity, as you can see.
Infographics incorporate images and text to walk you through a process or simplify complicated data.
Of the three image types we’re discussing, infographics are the hardest to create. First, they need to tell a story. Second, they’re graphics-intense — they’re the opposite of my tipographics above.
And yet, I love them. They get my attention — and when they do, they nearly always have information I can use. They give me an opportunity to share helpful information with others, as I did in my recent blog post about world reading habits in 2021. I was happy to build an article around that infographic when the creator offered it to me.
Here’s an example of an infographic that’s designed to inform and influence authors.
To create your own, look for templates online.
HubSpot offers 15 free PowerPoint infographic templates that can simplify the design process. Canva has infographic templates, too. Australian designer Donna Moritz also offers links to infographic templates in her article, “4 Easy Infographic Template Tools for Stunning Infographics” on her Socially Sorted site.
If you don’t have design skills or don’t have the time for this, it might be easier to search Fiverr for a designer who can do it.
Increase social media success
Increase engagement and improve reader connections by creating and sharing social media images, whether it’s any of these three or other types. You’ll indulge your creative side while making your time on social networks more productive and meaningful.Increase engagement and improve reader connections by creating and sharing social media images.Click to tweet
Have you incorporated images in your social media plan? Are you seeing more, less, or the same engagement among your followers and connections? Please tell us in a comment.
(Editor’s note: This article was first published in August 2015. It has been updated and expanded.)
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