Published on June 7th, 2012 | by Derek Overbey1
Using Photos to Maximize Facebook Engagement
Today’s social media platforms allow you to communicate like never before. We can connect with old high school friends and family members all over the world. But as we see mega social platform Facebook nearing one billion users, the attention window is getting smaller and smaller.
This is especially true if you are implementing social marketing into your overall business strategy. Just like ads in a magazine trying to capture your attention through great visuals, social is also seeing huge spikes in interaction with Facebook posts that use engaging photos by themselves.
Here at VerticalResponse, we started using photos on Facebook more aggressively this past April and were blown away by the results. One of the first photos we shared on our Facebook Page was the famous “Space Shuttle Stack” shot taken from the freeway by an unidentified photographer. The morning it was released on Facebook, I posted it on our Facebook Page. The reaction was more than positive. If you can’t make out the interaction, let me share it with you: 188 Likes, 35 Comments and 107 Shares. This was by far the most interaction we’ve ever received on any of our Facebook posts. You can check out the original post.
Now to be completely transparent, we did have an existing “Like” base on our page of approximately 4,000 people. But I believe the 107 Shares of this photo really contributed to the overall popularity.
Since we tested this first photo, we’ve had similar success using other incredible photos on our Page. This is especially helpful to the other “non-photo” content we’re trying to get interaction on, such as links and posts. Because we’re building engagement through these great photos, it allows our other content to show up on our followers’ news feeds on a more consistent basis.
But we’re not the only ones seeing success from using photos as an integral part of our social marketing strategy. One of our clients, Mother Earth Farm of Waynesburg, PA, has dramatically increased likes, shares, comments and follows since they began using Instagram* to edit their pictures.
Mother Earth Farm is a greenhouse operation, hence their product is pretty photogenic. They began using Instagram to enhance their photos this spring and saw a big jump in interactions. Just looking at the cover photo on their Facebook Page below, we can see why the interactions went way up.
Leveraging the interaction they’re receiving from the wonderful photos they’re sharing, Mother Earth Farms is also inserting special offers into the equation. Dawn Phillips of Mother Earth Farm states, “I receive trial product from my largest supplier. I grow it, sell it and promote it. Occasionally I’ll make a special offer to fans that share our page or as a device to get folks back to our store. I might post for them to stop by and say they’re a Facebook fan to get a free trial product. The only thing I ask is for them to let us know how it performs on our Facebook Page.”
Phillips believes that using the photo enhancements and free trial promotions has led to an active Facebook Page for a small greenhouse operation. “I’m proud of the fan base I’ve cultivated on Facebook,” she says. And by viewing the photos on their Facebook Page, we have to believe photos played a huge role in that cultivation process.
* For those of you not familiar, Instagram is the mobile photo sharing application for iPhone and Android that was recently purchased by Facebook for $1 billion.
© 2012, Derek Overbey. All rights reserved.