Combine Your Text and Visual Content for Social Engagement

How Can You Improve Your Social Media Engagement?


Do you keep text and image updates separate in your content?  Have you considered how text and visual content complement each other and actually work well to get your message across?

Pairing visual content with clever, descriptive text can create a true marketing force that leads to a better user experience and more customer engagement.  In this article I’ll demonstrate seven ways companies are using visual content to get better overall user engagement.  


Make Your Brand Personable


You don’t want to be hidden behind your logo and your business image when you are trying to engage visitors using social media.  No matter what industry you are involved in, you can always add a human perspective to your business.

H & R Block is in a niche, tax preparation, that tends to be pretty serious.  In most cases a serious niche can lead to very boring content.  But H&R Block decided not to be ‘most cases.’


With 380,000 Facebook fans, H&R Block averages over 500 engagements per post

H & R Block decided to inject a little humor and it creates big engagement opportunities for them.  The tax preparation company uses their Facebook page to share a sense of humor with fun illustrations and jokes.

With almost 380,000 fans on Facebook, H & R Block sees an average of over 500 engagements per post and nearly 30% of fans engaged.  That’s pretty good for a niche most people aren’t usually excited to talk about.


Show What You’re Selling


Let’s be honest. At the end of the day, we marketers are using social media to sell something. Don’t underestimate the simple tactic of showing pictures and describing what you’re selling.

A new outlet at the Riverwalk in New Orleans was the first of its kind, offering upscale local fashion and cuisine. The outlet decided to use Instagram to do a little show and tell.


Riverwalk, New Orleans combined pictures and descriptions for more interaction

Combine pictures and descriptions and increase interaction

The Riverwalk New OrleansInstagram account teemed with images and descriptions of distinctive items and food, and drew quick response—they doubled their number of followers and quickly increased their online presence.


Make Your Brand’s Tagline Visual


Most brands have text-based taglines, but how many are getting the most out of them?  Every social media update you write is an opportunity to show, as well as tell, the meaning of your tagline.

Red Bull’s tagline—Gives You Wings—is descriptive and gives you a pretty good idea of what they’re going for. But when the company uses photos to reinforce the written tagline, it becomes real and exciting. That excitement helps them maintain their market share lead.  


That excitement helps Red Bull maintain their market share lead.

We’re all familiar with Red Bull’s brand tagline.  It wouldn’t be the same without visual content.  Simply Measured analyzed Red Bull’s social media updates and found that photos accounted for only 5% of their posts, but delivered 90% of their engagement on Twitter and Facebook.


Text Overlays Over Images are Creative


It’s no secret that consumer connections drive business and sales success.  Just think what excites your customers about your product.  Then think about short phrases that convey that feeling.

It’s easy to pair those phrases with an image that reinforces both your product and your customers’ sentiment for a winning engagement combination.

Green Mountain Coffee connects with their audience through clever catch-phrases.  Their consumers relate to sayings such as “Coffee helps me become the morning person I am not.”  Additional meaning and connection are added to the phrase when it’s placed over a blank page and pen on a desk.  This strongly suggesting that not much work gets done before having coffee.


Green Mountain Coffee combined a fun photo with text overlay can get a big reaction

Text overlaid on fun photos can get a big reaction.  Green Mountain Coffee fans relate to needing a little help to get their day started.  After commenting on and liking the update, they are eager to share the sentiment with others.

The response on most of Green Mountain Coffee’s insights and photos is hundreds and even a thousand likes and shares, and an impressive number of comments.


Solicit Stories From Your Fans


What’s not to love about user-generated content? It’s an easy way to encourage audience participation while pointing the spotlight at those fans.  It highlights your products being used by happy customers.

REI launched their 1440 campaign to document their fans’ love of the outdoors.  The campaign’s goal was  to post a picture of fans enjoying the outdoors for every minute of one day (1,440 minutes).

They invited fans to share their own photos with descriptions that included the time of day they snapped the photo.  For example, “06:37am—Joanna H. was in Mount Creighton.  A photo from the #REI1440Project, celebrating every minute spent outside.”


Consumers’ photos of their outdoor adventures becomes branded content for REI

Consumers’ photos of their outdoor adventures became branded content for REI.  The consumer response to the project was enormous.  Their user-generated content created a strong sense of community.  While doing this it showcased brand evangelists and people kept returning to see the progress of the campaign.


Keep Your Infographics Current


Infographics deliver up to 120-180% more engagement than text-only posts.  The problem is that so many marketers are posting the same kinds of infographics that yours can easily be overlooked.  Especially if it’s a variation on the same theme.

Intel launched an educational campaign using infographics to bring attention to and reduce online oversharing.


Intel launched an educational campaign using infographics to garner attention

Intel uses relatable images to educate the public and words to keep them safe.  You can see how the Intel infographic uses photos from the consumer’s perspective?  There are no graphs to be seen.   Their text overlays name information most people have considered sharing online.

Rather than creating an infographic with cartoon icons, statistics or graphs, Intel used well-done pictures and concise text to communicate what consumers should and shouldn’t share online.

Putting oversharing in the context of the reader’s point of view helps make the infographic personal and relatable.


Tell the Bigger Story


With so many virtual experiences available these days, some businesses face the challenge of even getting people in the door.

Brooklyn Museum experienced that problem and rose to the occasion by amassing an impressive social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and Instagram.

The museum features photos and videos that bring its collections to life and each account is written to include captions that provide context.  The result is thousands of likes and shares.


Brooklyn Museum paired photos and videos with text to get people excited

Pair photos and videos with text to get people excited.

The combination of beautiful images, facts, background and additional information creates an enormous social response.  The museum also uses geotagging to subtly encourage fans and followers to visit the museum in person.


Wrapping Up


Text and image updates don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  Used together they’re a force to be reckoned with and may be the difference between a passing look and true engagement.

What do you think?  How do you integrate text with your visual content?  Have you had more success with imagery alone or a text and image combination?  Leave your comments below.



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