Seeing is Believing: Why Visuals are a Social Selling Staple
April 19, 2018
Whether on LinkedIn or any social media network, this fact is reliably true: posts containing visuals get more engagement, more shares, and more reach.
It’s natural for one’s eyes to be drawn to bold, striking imagery and videos. This type of content invariably sticks out on feeds full of plain text. The best social media marketers are already incorporating visual elements into their posts on a regular basis, and savvy social sellers should certainly be doing the same.
Benefits of Visuals for Social Selling
There are many reasons for adopting a social selling approach. It provides opportunities for listening, relationship-building, and thought leadership. But perhaps most importantly, it gives sales professionals greater visibility in highly competitive verticals.
Today’s B2B buyers are researching their own purchase decisions more than ever before. In the majority of cases, social media will be a component in that process. Maintaining a strategic, consistent social presence and serving up insights that are useful to people who fit your customer prototype can sharply increase your probability of inbound engagements.
Using the right visuals as part of this approach boosts your odds and magnifies the impact of your shared content.
As noted in the Secret Sauce eBook, LinkedIn updates featuring rich media achieve clickthrough rates up to four times higher than text alone.
Such posts are also far more likely to stick with a user after they encounter it. Our brains process pictures more quickly and effectively than words.
Beyond the data-driven rationales, using graphics or videos in a social selling approach intuitively makes sense. Graphs, charts, demonstrations, interviews, and other forms of visual content can make a stronger impression and convey key points more simply and succinctly.
The case for incorporating visuals into your LinkedIn updates is clear. However, most sales professionals aren’t graphic designers. So how can you add rich media to your social repertoire without such expertise? Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
How to Spice Up Your LinkedIn Posts with Visuals
Know Your Best Practices. For updates on your own LinkedIn page, recommended image specs are in the range of 700 x 400 pixels. Use crisp, high-resolution graphics. Avoid boring stock photos, and opt instead for visuals that are interesting, colorful, and unique. When recording video, make sure to use a horizontal rather than vertical orientation to make use of all your real estate on the feed.
Make it Relevant. It is crucial that the accompanying visuals be pertinent to what you’re posting about. Creativity and outside-the-box thinking are good; randomness is not. Don’t just add a picture of a cute cat to an update about the biggest challenges being faced in the financial services industry. Visual cues that are recognizable and relatable to your target audience tend to perform quite well.
Easy-to-Use Tools are Your Friend. There are a number of free (or almost free) tools available online that can help you create sleek-looking visual assets without major design skills. Check out free image repositories like Pexels and Pixabay. Try creating a custom graphic with Canva or Piktochart. Uncover more resources in our Let’s Get Visual infographic.
Feature Yourself. If you aren’t camera shy, putting yourself out there in images or videos can be an excellent way to build familiarity and trust with prospects or customers. Even in the digital space, people like to see the person (or people) they’re doing business with. Showing your face helps reduce the inherent anonymity of online interactions and engagements.
Highlight Stats and Insights. When you want to really drive home a particular statistic, quote, or revelation, featuring it on an image can often compel viewers to explore further. It’s important to keep text excerpts on graphics short and sweet, but when done right, the insights are much more likely to get noticed. Here are a couple of examples from our own social image library:
Collaborate with Marketing. This is a great opportunity to engage the marketing department and foster a culture of alignment. Ask them to help create customized infographics or other visual content that you can use on social media or in Point Drive packages. You could even work in tandem to make a killer SlideShare presentation.
See For Yourself
Don’t take our word for it. If you aren’t already doing so, try adding some visual elements to a few of your upcoming LinkedIn updates. The tools and tactics covered above will provide a good starting point.
For more advice on forming a daily routine conducive to social selling success, download the LinkedIn Selling Tactical Plan.
Photo: Matteo Ferraresso