If you use Facebook for your business, it’s important to get the most out of every post. With Facebook announcing that you may only reach 12% of the audience on your Page, posting highly engaging content that spreads is critical. One of the easiest ways to increase engagement is to use images on your Timeline.
The Anatomy Of An Engaging Facebook Image
A well-designed Facebook image:
- has dimensions of 403px by 403px
- is watermarked with your URL
- has a brief caption with a link to related content
- can stand alone without a status or link
The first three features are mechanical in nature. Alone, they will not make your image engaging. However, they are very important.
The dimensions are important because it’s the exact size that Facebook will display your photo on your Timeline, whether you create it with these dimensions size or not. If it’s bigger, Facebook with crop out what does not fit. If it’s smaller, the image will show up blurry.
The watermark is good practice regardless of where you post the photo. Though you create it for Facebook, someone can easily download the image and post it in a tweet or elsewhere. The watermark assures that your brand not only gets credit for the image but that social media users can find the source that created it.
Using a caption and a link is optional. However, if you create images that spread, then the caption and link will spread with it. This could provide a large number of visitors to your website.
The last feature, Can stand alone without a status or link, is the most important feature. We’ll explore why below.
An Example of an Engaging Facebook Image
Let’s take a look at a real-life example from a Facebook Page:
This image meets all of the criteria I stated above. But why is this approach so much better than simply sharing a a text update?
Why Images are Better Than Text Alone
First of all, an image takes up more space in the news feed than text alone, making it more noticeable to Facebook users.
Secondly, adding a visual element helps the user to understand what you are trying to communicate. The article I shared is titled “Conquer the clutter in your life.” The image clearly communicates that the content is about clutter.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the user has more reason to interact with it than if we posted a link by itself. In this scenario, the user may click through to the article and enjoy it, resulting in a ‘Share’ or ‘Like’. They may also appreciate the image and share or like it without reading the article. In the example above, there’s a question included in the image. This gives the audience a chance to engage with the post by commenting.
The image could be posted anywhere, with or without the link, and still make sense to the viewer. The user can also find the source that created the image. As marketers, we can meet our objectives (more unique visitors, page views and revenue), even when the image is taken from the original place it was uploaded!
How To Create Your Images
- Find free images on Flickr or paid images on iStockPhoto (or another stock photography site)
- Download a relevant image with plenty fo room for text
- Open the image in Adobe Photoshop or a free online tool such as Pixlr Express
- Crop the photo to 403px by 403px
- Add your creative and engaging copy on top of the image
- Add your watermark to the image (if you can’t add your logo, your URL is enough)
- Save the image
- Upload to Facebook with a caption and link to related content
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that you should experiment with images on your Facebook Page. Not every image will be a home run. Test, measure and refine over a long period of time. The more you experiment, the more you will understand what resonates with your audience.