If you’re using Facebook for your product, service, or organization: congratulations, you’ve found a great way to get your message to a targeted audience. Unfortunately, your content is also competing with Facebook posts from friends, pages, apps, notifications, etc.

What happens if the content you’re putting out on Facebook is just getting drowned out by all the noise? 

The single most important way to make people notice your Facebook content is Facebook image optimization. This is because:

  1. Facebook posts that contains photos get 39% more interaction compared to posts with just a link, video, or text.
  2. 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook are photo posts (source).
  3. Science has shown that human beings are visual creatures — our brains process visual stimuli 60,000 times faster than text.

Now that we know how important images are for attracting the attention of your audience, it’s pretty clear that Facebook marketers need to learn what kinds of images are statistically more likely to get noticed.

Images of Happy Women

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 2.19.17 PM

It may be cliché, but images of happy women on Facebook generally get the most engagement. As humans, when we see happy people, we feel happy. This effect, which happens at an unconscious level, is known as emotional contagion

This doesn’t just work on Facebook, it works everywhere. The Harvard behavioural economist Sendhil Mullainathan once showed that putting a picture of a smiling female on an envelope for a loan proposal made people willing to accept up to 4% higher interest rates!

Mirror Your Demographics with Your Images

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 2.25.05 PM

Using an image of a happy woman is great if you want a tested and true way to garner attention. However, often times it’s more effective to target a more specific audience, whether it’s male university students from Toronto between the age of 18 – 22, or retired females home owners from Alberta. Either way, this is must-know information, because the images in your Facebook posts could be making an immediate connection with people in your targetted demographic. 

Even though we just explained how images with smiling women tend to work best in general, if you want a post to be seen by middle aged yoga enthusiasts, then it may be better to use a picture that mirrors that demographic. You want people to be able to look at the image you’re using to promote your product or service and say “That could be me and I could be just as happy!”

Keep Colours in Mind!

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 2.27.54 PM

Believe it or not, colours have a strong effect on our subconscious! People can have a positive or negative reaction from colours within the first 90 seconds. Normally, the best colours to use for advertising on Facebook are those that make people comfortable and also stimulate them. 

Depending on what type of message you are trying to get across there are different branding colours you can test out. 

Blue: Honesty, security, productivity and authority. 

Black: Power, boldness, seriousness. 

Brown: Politeness, effectiveness and richness. 

Green: Health, fertility, freshness and tranquility. 

Orange: Pleasure, excitement, strength, and ambition. 

Pink: Femininity, well being, and innocence. 

Purple: Royalty, luxury, sophistication and wealth. 

Red: Excitement, passion, and aggressiveness.

White: Truthfulness, devotion and purity. 

Yellow: Warmth, happiness and appeals to intellectual types.

Obviously, not all images with these colours will provoke the same response, but they are important to keep in mind when thinking about the message you want to send. Careful use of colour sends a strong message — there is a reason many of the world’s biggest brands have stringent guidelines on the colours used in their branding.

 

Having (Some) Text is Good! 

Inspirational quote on image makes viral Facebook post

According to searchengineland.com, images with some text on them actually convert better than images without text. This is especially true with Facebook ads because they are almost always skimmed from a distance. To an average Facebook viewer, large sized text on an image can be seen, but the accompanying text within the post is often ignored.

Keep in mind that Facebook does not allow images for ads to have more than 20% text. This is a good guideline to follow even for normal posts because having too much text can decrease the visibility of your image. If you’re cramming too much text into an image, you’re doing it wrong. A beautiful image will do great on Facebook, but a beautiful image with a short inspirational quote will do even better!

3 Quick Rules for Facebook Image Optimization

Besides knowing what types of images work best, you should also be following some basic rules for optimizing your Facebook image uploads

  1. Use high resolution images and size your photos appropriately for Facebook. Here is a graphic with the correct dimensions for Facebook images.
  2. Text should almost always be less than 20% of the image. You can use this cool tool to check your image text.
  3. Use multiple images when possible. According to Wishpond, posts that include photo albums receive 180% more engagement than the average post. This is consistent with our own findings on Facebook albums as well.

If you want your posts to rise above the noise on Facebook, choosing your images is the single most important thing for you to optimize. We’ve tested the above methods (and many more) to see what works and what doesn’t. If you want advice on which images will capture your audience’s attention, message us or comment below and we’ll be happy to conduct a Facebook audit for your page. As well don’t forget to download our whitepaper to learn more about Inbound Marketing. 

Tagged with: Facebook, image optimization, marketing, Social Media, tips

About Karrin Huynh

Karrin Huynh is the Social Media Marketing Manager at Powered by Search. When she's not building online communities she likes to spend her time in the kitchen! Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.