If you look at the most popular posts out there, you will see that nine times out of ten an image will be involved. It’s easy to see why: Images are easy to digest, immediately accessible, and don’t require effort on the part of the viewer. As a result, they have the highest chance of being shared across different networks so place a focus on having good imagery at the centre of all your posts.
Want more proof.
….[R]esearch from Social Bakers shows that photos are the most shared post types by brands on Facebook at 77% and made up 93% of the most shared brand posts across the site. The second closest is links at 9% which made up 3% of all shared content, proving that the type of content we consume has to be visual.
I have started using large photographs at the top of my posts for a number of reasons.
I consume virtually all of my content on a mobile device, an iPad or an iPhone. I use apps such as Flipboard, Zite, Feedly, and Mr. Reader. Each of the apps, especially the first three, provide an eloquent interface where I flip or scroll through content. I am drawn to posts with images because of the way such posts are vividly presented.
Here’s a screenshot of posts from Flipboard on an iPad. Do you see how posts with images attract your attention? Here’s how a post looks when you flip through Flipboard. Would a post without an image draw your attention as well when you’re ‘flipping through’ your feeds?
I have seen Mashable, perhaps the most popular social media news site in the world, using large imagery on the top of their posts. Their posts are widely shared and I’m of the belief that success leaves clues.
News and information moves ‘socially’ across the Internet today. People are not necessarily coming to a website or blog to read content. They are reading content that is shared by people they trust. People also discover new sources of information, maybe your blog, when others they trust share posts.
By using imagery, my posts are not only more likely to be seen and discovered on mobile apps (my posts jump out), they are more likely to be shared on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn where my images are re-displayed with the shared link and text.
And the more my posts are shared the more popular they become on certain apps such as Zite, Flipboard, Facebook and LinkedIn. The more popular they are the more more they are displayed — and the more they are shared.