Social Media Without Images: A Roadmap to Failure

Lance Hemenway Blog, Content and Creative

OK, you’ve gone into social media big-time. You’ve hired a Social Media Manager you hope will become a Director some day. You’ve allocated what you consider megabucks to make your social media experience successful.

One of the questions your new hire asked is still resonating with you: “What kind of images are we using to support our text messages?” For the first time in how many knows interviews, you were left speechless.

Because you knew the answer was “images?” We rely on text to get our POV across on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr.

You can track the posts. But images?

Well, keep in mind that today the social web is all about images. In fact, people upload over 300 million photos just to Facebook every day!

You may not know this, but 50% of all Facebook posts are now photos – prompting Facebook to recently highlight images over text posts. That means your text posts are taking a back seat to brand messaging with images.

So, how much money do you think you’ve thrown away by not including images? Further,

  • 45% of Internet users create and share images,
  • 18% of Internet users share videos, and
  • 22% of social network users upload photos from their smartphones regularly

Today the world has shifted from a text-based means of communication via social networking to one filled with text AND images. If your product or logo is uploaded, often your targeted consumer won’t download text tags.

Bottom line: you don’t know whether people are posting your product / logo in either a positive or a negative light. You can’t track brand images that may have been altered; and you can’t locate images of that may be counterfeit versions of your products.

When you can’t find, or monitor, or protect the visual portion of your brand online, you lose out on opportunities to promote your brands…you lose out on potential ROI and the creation of a long-term customer relationship.

Researchers have told marketers time and time again that about 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. What’s more, images are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. So, without images, you’re losing out on perhaps the best way to reinforce your product message and connect your brand with prospects or existing customers.

Now the cost for image-based social media marketing is prohibitive.

However, soon that will be yet another tool in the quiver of marketers and advertisers, because brands want to leverage their visual assets to build brand reach and influence sales.

For the big budgeted marketers, it may be worth spending the money now to gain a competitive edge. For example, imagine if a famous company with a ‘swoosh’ logo could scan the millions of golf photos posted on Facebook to find images of golfers sporting that familiar logo?

You could track those who are happy … when you mirror your software with visual recognition software, and you can track how many times those photos are shared (and with whom).

Social media analytics is about to get image capability. And if you don’t get on the bandwagon now and begin your ‘image plan,’ very likely your ROI will see a negative trend as your competitors begin developing all kinds of methods to cross-market its use.

Better start looking now.

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About the Author
Lance Hemenway

Lance Hemenway

Lance is the AdStation Director of Marketing. He's an internet veteran who was a founding member of Intermix Media, the parent company of Lance serves on the boards of the Bureau of Internet Accessibility and Think Big Kansas City. He's based at the Kansas City headquarters.