Why Visual Contents are the Key Success Factor on Social Media?

visual storytelling on social media


Why your old formula has become less effective on social media? Oh! Probably you missed interpreting the shift.

Ok ! Here I am going to explain all the things….

Social Media has become the content serving and consumption platform and in 2017 it is dominated by visual contents. Visual contents bring higher engagement hence higher growth opportunities.

Why are visuals more important on social?

There are multiple reasons behind the growth of visual contents on social platforms, but it is not the fact that people have suddenly started loving visuals.

I just like to break this myth. Visuals are important since the origin of humans. If we specifically talk about the visual content trend on the web then some year earlier, due to limited infra and internet speed, it was tough to convey your message always in visual form, so you were doing that through text form.

As soon as mobile proliferation grew and Internet speed took up. You started consuming and sharing your message in visual form. Simple !

In actual human brain is more comfortable in processing visuals.

The Importance of Visuals Contents

Graphic Source: thomsonreuters.com

  • In a normal conversation, the importance of words is 7%, voice tonality is 38% and of body language is 55%
  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
  • The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text.
  • 40% of people respond better to an image than 1,000 words.

Clearly visualising directly is easier for brain than converting verbal text into visual imaginations.

Why are Visuals Most Critical Social Media Asset?

As I mentioned earlier that social media is being dominated by visual contents. If we go by the data then 63% of social media made up of images.

An image post on Facebook generates 53% more likes than a text post. As per last data published by Facebook, its users watch 8 Billion videos per day.

Tweets with image receive 150% more retweet than tweets without the image. There are tons of data available in web space which suggests that visuals are leading content on the social web.

More that data you and I are experiencing it on daily basis. You want to reconfirm it, just open your Facebook News feed and scroll down ten updated, then after note down how many posts had Image, Video or any other kind of visual graphics or animation.

You will get your answer.

So, Now it seems you must be agreed that without visual marketing plan for social media, you won’t going to conquer the social web.

I am assuming that you are with me in driving down deep.

Ok.. Let’s classify the visual forms which work on social.

1. Static Image

Using Image can increase your engagement up to 5X. Image attracts eyeballs in two ways……

a) Humans love to see Images

b) Image occupies more screen real estate (In mobile phone Image post capture more than half screen)

You can add text on image for its best expression. The size of the image is also critical for getting best results. here I am sharing you ‘Buffer’ recommendations.

Facebook – 1,200 x 628

Twitter – 1,024 x 512

LinkedIn – 700 x 400

Google+ – 800 x 1,200

Pinterest – 735 x 1,102

Instagram – 1,080 x 1,080

By the way, aforementioned sizes are not mandatory to use but it is observations of experts that those work best.

2. GIF

GIF has been emerging like new digital language. People using it to express themselves.

According to Twitter, people shared more than 100 million GIFs in 2015 through tweets and direct messages and we are not expecting this number to reduce this year.

GIFs are better than Image but cheaper than video. Big brands are using it for higher engagement. eg;


GIF Source: http://nikewomen.tumblr.com/

Another advantage of using GIF is, it is mobile friendly. You don’t require to optimise it for the smaller screen.

3. Infographic

I am a huge fan of infographics as you are able to see my blog has many infographic posts. Infographics are “liked” and shared on social media 3X more than other any other type of content.

Infographic enables users to easy and quick understanding deep topics through Icon, Image, and texts. People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations.

Here sharing you why your brain craves for Infographics.

Visual contents: why-your-brain-craves-infographics

Infographics are particularly very effective in B2B marketing, between 2015 to 2016 infographics usage has been increased by 8%.

4. Graph & Chart

You are sharing a plain data on the web or you are presenting it through Graph and Chart makes big difference. It is always easy to interpret the data if that presented in Chart or Graph forms.

6. Videos

Facebook users alone watch 100 million hours of video every single day. And 82% of Twitter users watch video on that network.

Hubspot puts it all together in compelling insights about video marketing for this year and beyond for all businesses:

  • Cisco projects that global Internet traffic from videos will make up 80% of all Internet traffic by 2019.
  • 76.5% of marketers and small business owners in an Animoto survey who have used video marketing say it had a direct impact on their business.
  • 400 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

I would love to mention Facebook live separately. Live format on social media is an epitome of video content.  Facebook has already seen 400 percent growth in live streaming since opening it up to all of its users in May.

How to optimise your Social media with Visuals?


1. Write Less, Visualise More

visual content on social media

Visual storytelling is very powerful. It is time to get rid your dependency from a text. Though it is not possible completely but you can try to reduce it. Visuals stick in mind for a longer time.

2. Don’t Shy away from using humorous visuals

visual content on social media

The best way to engage is to entertain and humor is the best entertainment. Humorous content has always a chance to become viral. People follow the brand more on social media which has some entertainment values.

3. Optimise Visuals for different platforms

Visual contents Size for each social media channel

As I mentioned earlier too that all social platforms have different image dimensions preferences. So you must optimise the image specifically for a channel.

4. Stand for social cause through visual expression

Social Cause Social Media Visual contents

Your visual expression will be more shareable, so you’ll be able to contribute better to social causes.

5. Before populating the content, visualize it on Mobile First

video growth on mobile device

Source: Ooyala

You are into a mobile-first world, you can not afford to not keeping mobile in mind while creating a content. As you are seeing in the graph that how video consumption is growing on the mobile phone.

What are the tools available to prepare visual contents?

For Image and Infographics

I recommend Canva, Piktochart and Visually . You can prepare your day to day graphic requirement faster by these cloud impowereded tools. The basic version of  all are free.

For GIF visuals

Making GIF is not tough, there are many tools available eg: GIFs.com, GIPHY, Recode IT (Downloadable Software)

For Video

Traditional video recording and editing tools are all fine but for fulfilling day to day social media requirement, I recommend these

All aforementioned video making tools have some similar and some unique capabilities.


Communication will do no good if it is not retained by your audience. When we are talking about the importance of visuals on social media then let’s go one step forward. “Communication will do no good if it is not retained and reshared by your audience.

For capturing the imagination of your audience in 2017 & beyond, You should prepare a strategic visual marketing plan for your organization.

Bonus Point in three words

Social + Mobile + Visuals = Success


  1. Zada April 2, 2017
    • Anand April 2, 2017
  2. Morgana Chang April 3, 2017
    • Anand April 3, 2017
  3. sonali April 6, 2017
    • Anand April 7, 2017
  4. Ind Groups November 9, 2020

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