Images is all you’ve got.
That sounds like a very categorical statement, but when it comes to Facebook posting and advertising it is absolutely valid.
Those of us who earn our chips and beer doing this sort of work know this to be true. Even though a few months ago Facebook announced some changes to their distribution algorithm, we have not seen any significant changes from the way things were up to then. Photos still reign supreme when it comes to post distribution on business pages.
Articles still come second, and last is good ole plain content. Even articles, if they do not contain an image preview of some sort, are relegated to end of the line. They become virtually invisible, and you waste precious time and money on something very few people will see.
It is worse when it comes to promoted posts/ads because here you run the risk of losing more tangible dough. No matter what your assigned budget is; in other words, how much money you throw at it, the system will limit the distribution of your post/ad per the established algorithm. I have yet to encounter an exception to this rule, but if you have examples, I’d love to see them and/or hear about them.
The best way to avoid this is by using images. However, there are certain things you need to consider when creating or selecting the images you are going to use:
– Don’t use images that can easily get you in trouble: someone’s images, for example. Create your own or use stock photos. There are online services, like Canva, that will allow you to craft images that you can use on social media. Some come even pre-cut, and by that, I mean, that their dimensions are already those accepted by social media platforms. If you can’t or don’t want to, hire people like us. We’ll be happy to do it for you.
– Don’t use images with too much text. Facebook allows only 20% or less of text on images, so get really good at dividing your images in fifths. They will limit the distribution of your post without regard for how much you are paying for it, and there goes your ROI. Remember that you can add as much relevant text as possible in the body of the post, and we also have some rules for this that I’ll discuss those in a separate post.
– The perennial advice: know yourself, and know your audience. Know what they will respond best to, and what reflects best what you or your client do, and who you or your client are. Also:
– Don’t try to trick them with cuteness (puppies, unicorns, Hello Kitty) unless it is relevant to what you are promoting.
– Don’t use low resolution images, they won’t like them.
– Don’t use images that create arcane references unless you know that your audience will “get it.”
– Simplicity is best*.
There is a lot more about this that I could cover, but as usual, I don’t want to bore you to tears. Give me some feedback too. I love it.
*I am ideating a post about our design philosophy, and why simple is better. Stay around!