Take a look at your Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn (etc, etc) streams and the likelihood is that they will be full of graphics, photos and videos.
Some you perhaps would prefer not to see (friends sunning themselves on holiday whilst you’re stuck in rainy Britain for example -
...but there is no doubting that you see these visual posts before any that are purely text-based.
In fact did you know that your brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text!?
Amazingly in 2014 over 1.8 billion photos were shared every day on social media; that’s over 1 million images per minute! That’s a lot of cat, dog and baby pics!
These stats certainly reinforces the phrase ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’. And the phrase hasn’t been around for over 150 years without good reason.
Just to give you a bit of history, the phrase has been attributed to various authors, but two of the earliest references are Russian writer Ivan Turgenev (below left) , who in his 1861 book Fathers & Sons wrote ‘the drawing shows me at one glance what might be spread over ten pages in a book’, and Napoleon Bonaparte (below right) who apparently said ‘a good sketch is better than a long speech’ (or for the multi-lingual amongst you ‘un bon croquis vaut mieux qu'un long discours’).
So how can your business turn this growing trend to your advantage?
By embracing and incorporating visual elements into your communication methods you can educate, inspire, reassure, ...yes all things that can be achieved through words, but when you only have a few seconds to make that first impression, to grab a potential customer’s attention as they scroll through their social media channels, a strong image can be the one thing that crucially makes them stop and click!
Visualase: To explain to potential customers how quick laser eye surgery is they used this image:
World of Wool: To target a very specific crafting audience, World of Wool highlighted their Woolly Wednesday offer with this image:
Conroy Brook: To showcase the location of a new homes development and potential lifestyle, Conroy Brook used a selection of images:
Komfi: To highlight the fact that all their products are hand finished, Komfi used this image:
More importantly you can also use image monitoring tools to see how customers are using your products, in ways that could either reinforce or potentially have a damaging effect on your brand. But, knowledge is power and either of the above outcomes could be turned into an opportunity and used to your advantage.
So the next time you’re announcing an event, launching a new product, sharing your expertise or welcoming a new member to your team, think about how you can visually represent the event... and remember to monitor the response it receives.