Images are an important way to engage with customers and fans on social media. While the average Internet user only remembers 10% of what they read, they can recall 65% of information conveyed visually. Even if you’re just sharing a photo of a 4th of July sale, the idea that your audience will remember it increases its value significantly.
This power of recollection is just one of the reasons why marketing professionals are adding visual aids and infographics to their social media strategy. If you’re not, follow these tips to start incorporating graphic content into your feed—even if you don’t think your budget will allow for it.
Use Visual Data to Break Down Complex Subjects
While it seems easy for a cupcake shop or pet store to brainstorm fun and cute infographic ideas, larger corporations and B2B companies are often left wondering how they can use visuals to attract clients and talk to customers. The good news is that you don’t have to be the next Chewbacca Mom to gain traction on social media.
Investment managers across Twitter have started using visual content to describe trends, explain complex subjects, and stay in federal compliance. For example, employees at Charles Schwab are often asked about the difference between traditional and Roth IRAs. Instead of creating long explanations with legal jargon, they made an infographic flowchart, where readers answer simple questions like “are you a younger worker who expects to make more in the future?” to base their recommendations on what kind of retirement plan they should sign up for. It’s a lot easier (and more engaging) to follow the the bubble questions instead trying to read finance-jargon in a long-form blog post.
Image via Charles Schwab
Tease Out Longform Content With Quick Snapshots
Your infographic doesn’t have to be the main event that gives away all of your information and keeps the discussion on social media. Instead of sharing all of your content on Twitter or Facebook, create smaller images of key data points and use them to introduce the full content that lives on your blog. Not only will this increase the traffic directed to your page, it will also make it easy for you to share your information despite stringent social media image guidelines.
CopyPress Pro tip: really long infographics rarely look good on Twitter or Facebook, and are incredibly hard to read. Uncluttered images with moderate or minimal text will perform much better.
These visual tidbits are also helpful when introducing a survey or whitepaper. Instead of launching a highly-detailed survey by pushing out facts and quotes from industry experts, select a few highlights and combine them into an infographic. This way the bulk of your audience can have a general overview, and then click to your full discussion to read the rest.
Keep Your Content Evergreen to Use It Year Round
If you’re working on a budget and don’t think you will have the resources to constantly create new content, then make sure the visuals you do create won’t go stale in a month or two. Your infographics can be shared for years after you make them if you use a modern design and an evergreen topics. This infographic about swimming pool safety can be used every summer, as kids will always want to play in the pool and parents will always worry about them.
Image via Water Safety Magazine
Just because your visuals are evergreen doesn’t mean they can’t be timely. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs created a graphic that explains the economic benefits in taxes to hiring foreign born grads that work on an F-1 Visa. The infographic was published in April 2016, but can easily be used for the next two or three years whenever politicians debate the topic of immigration. Even in the next six months, this image can be used to to counter anti-immigration rhetoric by various politicians.
Image via The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Your Infographics Don’t Have to Be Complex
You don’t have to have a team of graphic designers in your office basement to create shareable infographics for social media. In fact, all you have to do is check the Infographic hashtag on Instagram to see examples of simple visuals that attract likes, shares, and engagement. One of the most shared graphics on Instagram only has three suit jackets and a check mark drawn on it. It quickly addresses the problem (men don’t know the proper suit jacket length) and then provides a solution in an easy to understand manner.
You can also use the Instagram hashtag to see where brands and marketers go wrong when they share their inforgraphics. The ones that grab your eye have large visuals and a clear message. They stand out significantly more than those with lots of text that’s too small to read. Don’t make your readers to pinch and squint to understand your content. You’re making them work, and they’re more likely to give up than actually read everything you add to it.
Don’t Make One Infographic Fit Into All Social Media Channels
There’s a reason people are on multiple social networks: they all offer something different. Your customers that like you on Pinterest behave differently than your customers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Your content should canter to these audiences individually, with different size specifications and content strategies for each of them.
We just discussed the need for large images and minimal content for Instagram users, but that doesn’t apply across the board. It’s okay to share your full infographic on Pinterest, where the tile format makes it easier to see and share long images. Furthermore, all you really need is an engaging tidbit and image for Twitter and Facebook to drive traffic to your blog. Those two sites are more likely to be traffic drives, while your Instagram users are more likely to engage within the app.
There is no cut and dry formula for creating insanely shareable infographics for social media, and there’s bound to be a trial and error process on your part to learn what works within your audience and brand. However, if you follow our guidelines and best practices, you can identify your problem areas and capitalize on your successes.
Featured image by Bloomua / Shutterstock.com