It’s a fact. Images receive more “likes” on Facebook than text. And perhaps this isn’t even a highly contested point, but many contest the value in having people simply “like” a photo on Facebook. They don’t see the immediate return on their investment. So this article is twofold in explaining what the “Like” is really doing for you, and thus adding value to the use of photos, which have a tendency of receiving more likes than other content such as articles or simple text.
Defending the Use of Photos
It’s short sighted to expect every post on social media to have a direct impact on sales. Many users need to interact with a company 5-6 times before they actually make a purchase. So while blog articles are going to be relevant and more direct in transitioning highly involved consumers with the product/brand into a sale, new users simply are not engaged enough to read through all of that content. They need to dip their toes into the water first. It’s easier to “like” a photo, which takes significantly less effort to process, than it is to “like” a chunk of text.
The Power of the Like
“Liking” something on Facebook is still a behavior, no matter how simple it is. Inevitably, behaviors affect our attitudes. If a user gets into the habit of liking the photos posted by that brand, inevitably it will transition into liking the brand itself. It’s a step by step process.
1. I like the photos posted by this brand.
2. I like this brand.
3. I like the product being sold by this brand.
4. I have the intention to buy this product from this brand.
5. I’ve purchased the product from this brand.
Users aren’t buying from you when they “like” your post, but they are developing their attitudes about your brand. What you should keep in mind is that some of the users you are interacting with are at stage 1 and some of them are at stage 4. A large majority are somewhere in between. Different content is best used for different users. First bringing a consumer into stage 1 is best done using photos. Consumers in stage 3 and 4 are ripe for a sales pitch. This makes textual content such as blog posts more valuable because these consumers are more likely to take the time to read this content. At this stage, consumers are genuinely interested in what it is you have to say.
Don’t Make the Mistake of Only Using Meaty Content
The problem that many social media posters encounter is that they are too focused on stage 3, 4, and 5, and not enough on the content that first pulls them in in the first place. The viewership might be small because your content simply has too much time and effort put into it. You don’t have stage 3, 4 and 5 consumers, so why address them in that way?
…But Don’t Make the Mistake of Only Using Pictures
You can also make the same mistake the opposite way. Photos don’t directly connect to sales. So a poster who just puts photos up all day can receive a ton of likes, but now the veteran users will need more persuasive content than photos to create a transaction. These Facebook pages have empty likes. Social managers that are in this situation should feel fortunate however, because they simply need to put up different content to start engaging these consumers appropriately. At least these pages have users to engage with in the first place!
Applying this Knowledge to Real Estate Professionals:
This article has numerous implications on how Real Estate professionals should go about promoting their properties on social media. Take the extra time and effort to take video and photos of your property or at the very least take a snap shot from Google Maps. Have your face posted on there and often! This isn’t practiced very frequently, but you are part of the product that is being sold. People want to get to know who you are and to build trust before the sale can happen. That’s what social media is all about!
The brochure with the lengthy details about the property is probably best placed in an email blast to consumers that are already closely connected to you. It’s ok for a social post to have a property photo and a link to your site which has more info. That ensures that the post is beneficial to consumers at all stages. Everyone will find the picture appealing, but not everyone will find the text attractive.
Both simple photos and textual content are important because it engages the full spectrum of your consumer base. You should have an average of two posts per day. One post catches the eye and brings users in, and the other post engages them more directly.