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The Right Visual Content For Your Audience

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8.  7.  6.  5.  4.  3.  2.  1.  Eight seconds to make an impact.

From big brands to small startups, we all have one thing in common — an audience with short attention spans. Sadly, according to a Microsoft study, the attention span of humans has fallen from 12 seconds to eight seconds over the last 15 years (shorter than that of a goldfish). Don’t take it personally. It’s not you. It’s not your brand. It’s simply the world we live in. In my last post, I discussed how to use visual marketing to drive engagement. This post will focus on what people want from their social media networks, and what type of visual content will get you the most engagement on each.

You have eight seconds to make an impact — make the most that time.

  1. Get to know the culture of each social media platform before posting.
  2. Get to know your fans, and post content they can engage with, learn from or be inspired by.
  3. Get creative. Linking to your blog is awesome, but use interesting visuals/videos to get them there.

Get cultured – A quick guide to social platforms


How many people hit the Facebook icon with the intention of shopping for shoes? Nobody does. Most people scroll through their feed to see what friends are up to, check out the cat close-ups and take a quiz or two. As marketers, knowing this will help you post more of what people want. Behind the scenes shots, inspirational quotes, outcome-based quizzes, action shots or short-form video. Don’t be afraid to be silly, or to give your fans a peek behind the curtain of your business. Stay consistent with branding, and tell your story in a thoughtful, meaningful way. Let your fans get to know you. Visual posts will increase engagement. In fact, 93 percent of the most engaging Facebook posts are image posts, and if you consistently give your fans something they love, they will love (buy from) you.

Oreo has Facebook fans wrapped around their creamy center. They use humor, timely holiday posts, lifestyle images and videos to get fans sharing.

Dove Real Beauty uses Facebook to share tear-inducing videos with the goal of inspiring confidence and acceptance in women.


Why do people use Twitter? Twitter is a learning environment, and is the perfect place to show off your smarts by sharing content from your other platforms. Post with visuals and watch your engagement rise. Use Twitter to interact with your audience, as engagement with brand tweets is up by 83 percent since 2013. Don’t be afraid to jump right in. You can interact directly or use hashtags. Twitter makes it easy to share visual and video posts, which is important because photos make up 45 percent of sent Tweets, and account for 51 percent of all engagement. People follow brands on Twitter for promotions and news, so have some offers ready.

Dunkin’ Donuts uses Twitter to post authentic images of products, enticing followers to sign up for their incentive program.

Charmin embraces emojis on Twitter, showing that they are not afraid to poke fun at themselves. Make your followers laugh, and you have them in the palm of your hand.


There is no confusion as to why we love Instagram. It quite literally takes us on a visual journey. Instagram has topped 300 million users and now has more users than Twitter. Fans follow brands on Instagram for authentic images of the brand they will not see in commercials or magazines. They crave genuine, personal, creative looks at what goes on behind the scenes. 70 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram daily. Show your product or service being used in everyday situations or post images of your followers using your product. BUT, don’t be fooled by all of this fluffy talk, followers still expect high quality, well-shot photos from brands.

Applebee’s gets crazy and turns their Instagram over to fans to post pictures of their dining experience. Followers love feeling like they are part of the brand and that someone is listening.



Pinterest is aspirational. People pin their hopes, dreams and all the wonderful things they want to achieve in a visual format. The most pinned categories are food and drink, DIY and crafts, home décor, and holidays and events. People follow brands on Pinterest to learn new things. In fact, 83 percent of active users prefer to follow a brand than a notable celebrity, 73 percent of active users prefer to follow a beauty brand than a notable makeup artist and 70 percent of active users prefer to follow a hair care brand rather than a notable hair stylist. If you already have an interested audience, and you have quality content, Pinterest is a great way to connect with your followers (and remember the “Buy It” button, coming soon).

Dreyer’s Ice Cream takes advantage of one of the most pinned categories by sharing recipes.

Birchbox focuses on all of the top pinned categories, combining product shots, lifestyle shots and beauty tips.


LinkedIn is used by professionals to stay up-to-date on industry topics, and to receive fresh content. LinkedIn is widely used by both large and small brands to share case studies, innovative views on industry topics and relevant research. Your LinkedIn followers are not following you to see images filled with warmth and love; they want content that serves a purpose. Although, it is not thought of as a visual network, you can increase your LinkedIn views by 11 times when you include a photo.

Inc. Magazine uses LinkedIn to post timely news for their target audience – always with a visual. They also have a large number of employees actively engaging with their content.

Hewlett-Packard posts an average of 12.6 LinkedIn updates per week. They always use visuals with their posts, and they utilize sponsored posts.

Posting the right content on the right networks will boost engagement. Keep an eye on what content does well, and do more of it. Keep it strategic, interesting and VISUAL. Not sure what sizes work best on each platform? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Sizes, by Social Media Examiner. You have eight seconds. Make the most of it!


An image of PAN's Brand Experience Report on the Potentials and pitfalls of AI for marketers

In our annual Brand Experience Report, we asked marketers and customers how they are using and experiencing AI to better understand how the technology is changing that relationship.