by Mitt Ray
Are you using images to build your social media presence? Would you like to create highly shareable Facebook images?
It’s true Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest are the fastest growing social networks. But the number of active users on Facebook (1.4 Billion) still dwarfs the number of active users on any of these other networks. Facebook is the only network that has surpassed a billion users. So yes, it’s important to build your presence on other social media networks, but you can’t afford to ignore Facebook if you want to connect with a massive audience.
One of the best ways to make a memorable impression on your Facebook audience is by creating highly shareable images and photos. Images are the most popular type of content on Facebook. In fact, 75% of all posts on Facebook contain an image.
Images also drive the most engagement. Nearly all interactions (87%) on Facebook are with images/photos.
Clearly if you want to be successful on Facebook, you must become skilled at creating quality images. That’s why I’m happy to share some of my secrets for how to create highly shareable Facebook images.
1. Share photos.
The simplest image to create to drive the best engagement are, of course, photos. All you need is a camera. A simple cell phone camera would do, but having a professional camera and some photo editing skills will give you an edge in creating quality shareable Facebook images.
Personal and behind-the-scenes style photos work especially well on Facebook. For example, you could share photos of what you are doing, what your staff is doing, or something interesting you noticed recently. Just make sure it is relevant to your brand or something your audience can relate to and will want to engage with.
An example of someone who regularly shares photos of his work is Kerby Rosanes of Sketchy Stories. Kerby Rosanes is an illustrator. On his Facebook page he shares photos of projects he is working on and other illustrations he has completed. Photos of his illustrations on his Facebook page have helped him drive high levels of engagement, which in turn have helped him build a massive following of over 1.4 million fans.
This doesn’t mean that you can only share photos of your work if it is as picturesque as Sketchy Stories. Any business that’s on Facebook should be able to take pictures that will perform well. You can share something as simple as a photo of your staff going about their everyday work, like Heyo does on a regular basis.
The above is a photo of Heyo staff at work which was shared on their Facebook page. As you can see it has driven a fair bit of engagement.
So have a good think about what types of photos your audience would like to interact with on Facebook, take good quality pictures, and share them.
2. Use humour.
Humour is the most shareable emotion. If you can make people laugh on Facebook they will thank you by liking, sharing and commenting on your post. Try and post a funny image on your Facebook page today. You will be greeted by high levels of interactions.
Funny images can be of various types, ranging from comics to quotes. You can even edit the photos you take of your staff and make them into memes. Just make sure that the person in the photo is okay with some public teasing.
One company that publishes funny images is innocent. They sell fruit juices and smoothies and regularly come up with clever ways to drive engagement on their Facebook page.
An example is the above post which features the photo of a greeting card they created for Mother’s Day. The combination of humour and a trending topic made the image highly shareable. Encouraging people to print the message and share it with their mothers must have played a role, too. They also branded the greeting card by adding their logo and name.
Take inspiration from this example and create images that will bring a chuckle out of your audience and don’t forget to brand it with your company name and logo. You can also add your website url.
Accompany these funny images with a little funny text when you post a status to make the updates more humorous.
3. Share bits of information.
Funny images aren’t the only ones that can boost engagement; images with a bit of informative or entertaining text like facts or tips can help, too. Here the images can be completely filled with text or a design or they can be a photo accompanied by a little text. If you want to use a photo then it has to be relevant to the text you plan to place on it.
Uber Facts does this extremely well on Facebook where they share entertaining facts placed on a relevant photo. The above post shared on their Facebook page contains a very interesting fact placed on a photo that complements it.
In a similar manner you can also share quick tips and messages on your images. For maximum engagement only share information that is relevant to your niche or brand. For example, if you were in the food industry you could share a photo of a bowl of couscous and a quick tip on how to cook it better.
4. Use less text.
You can follow the above tips and use as much text as you like on your images as long as you don’t plan to boost your post as an advertisement. But if you plan to boost the post right away or in the future you must take steps to limit the amount of text to less than 20%. If the amount of text exceeds this, Facebook won’t let you promote it. This has been done to prevent people from spamming users.
You can check if your Facebook image has more than 20% text by using the Grid Tool.
It’s extremely easy to use. All you need to do is visit the Grid Tool page, click on ‘Choose File’ and upload the image you want to promote. Then begin clicking on the boxes on the grid (filled with text) covering your image. If text is present in 6 boxes or more, it indicates that the images has more than 20% text. If the text is present in 5 boxes or less, then your image has the right amount.
5. Add images with the right dimensions to web pages and blog posts.
What types of images do you usually see along with the link posts shared on Facebook?
My guess is that most of the posts you see have the big attractive images and a few of them have thumbnails. Even more rarely you might see the ones with no image at all.
And do you know why you see the posts with the big attractive images the most?
This is because link posts with the big attractive images get the most engagement. Hence they appear high up in the newsfeed. The ones with the thumbnail and the ones without images get very little engagement. This is why you rarely see them.
Therefore if you want your link posts to receive the highest amount of engagement, you must ensure that they have the big image view attached. This can be achieved by adding an image that has the minimum dimensions of 560 X 292 pixels to your web page or blog post. The image can be bigger than this. For best results keep the ratio of the dimensions 1.91:1. If the image is smaller than these dimensions it will appear as a tiny thumbnail.
Social Media Examiner does this really well; the images placed on their blog posts have the perfect dimensions. This ensures that a big attractive image appears along with the link posts that other people shared on Facebook. They also add the name of the blog post and a few illustrations to these images to make them very attractive.
So every time you publish a web page or blog posts you must take steps to create a unique cover image with the minimum dimensions of 560 X 292 pixels.
You can manually add a separate image to the link post instead of the one pulled from the page. This can be done by clicking on the ‘Upload’ option that appears on the pulled image and then choosing the image you want to add. There are so many benefits of this option. One of them being that you can create a separate image with less text which can be used for advertising the link post.
These are 5 ways to create highly shareable Facebook images. Keep them in mind every time you design an image for Facebook or are thinking about ways to increase engagement in this Facebook reach starved era.
What steps do you take to create highly shareable Facebook images? Please leave your comments below.
Mitt Ray is the founder of Social Marketing Writing where he shares social media tips.