Posted April 21, 2014 3:59 pm by with 3 comments

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photo updates socialbakersAs much as it pains this writer to say it, the public’s love affair with photos is going strong. New numbers from SocialBakers shows that photos have no equal when it comes to engagement.

In March, they examined the Facebook posts made by 30,000 brands including both smaller fan pages and blockbusters with more than 1,000,000 followers.

Of those posts, 75% included a photo. This doesn’t surprise me. A branded Facebook post just looks unfinished if it doesn’t have a photo. Plus, Facebook has made it so easy to add multiple photos and to replace bad photos that come over with a link. (I have this issue all the time and I don’t know why!)

What did surprise me was the fact that only 10% of posts had a link. Even fewer, only 4% had a video. Given that this is business and most brands can’t sell anything on Facebook – I expected to see a lot more linking out to the brand’s webpage.

I also expected to see more videos because. . . well. . . videos are hot. Simple as that.

But just because brands are posting photos doesn’t mean they’re working. So we move on to engagement numbers. SocialBakers then calculated the average number of interactions per type of update and segmented those results out by fan page size.

Here’s what they got:

Socialbakers interactionsPhotos and video both come out on top for engagement at every level but you really see the difference when you look at the big brands. Photos far out perform even videos at that level.

What we don’t see here is how a photo affects click-through rates. We can see that a link alone isn’t very effective but what if it’s a link with a preview? Honestly, I don’t think we need a chart to tell us that more people will click a link when there’s an image and text preview.

While we’re talking photos, SocialBaker also posted growth numbers for Instagram. The big winners? Forever 21, Nike, Gap and Guess. Each one picked up more than 300,000 new followers in March. What do you make of the fact that they’re all clothing brands? Before you answer think about this; when talking engagement the clothing brands fall away in favor of Addias Football (Soccer), LEGO, Nike Football and Xbox.

I hate to sound sexist – but when I look at those two lists I see girls following and boys engaging. Interesting.

Are you making the most of photos on your social media accounts? How’s that working out for you?


  • Meagan Sanders

    Our accounts are still new so they’re not returning consistent numbers yet, but your conclusion that girls are followers and boys are engagers assumes that clothes are for girls and sports/toys are for boys. Each of those clothing stores sell products for men and women, and women make up 48% of the gaming community, so concluding that girls are followers and boys are engagers based on the topic is misleading at best. You would need information about the demographics of each brand’s page to make any kind of conclusion about the relationship between gender and engagement type.

  • That pie chart says it all! Photos outperform all other modes of content that a user can share via Facebook.

    Brands are well aware of this fact. And it’s quite evident from the article that they are leaving no stones un-turned to use images in their updates!

    Fact learnt- Pictures outperforms everything else when it comes to engagement and reach on Facebook! Time to make good use of this fact! 🙂

    I found the link to this post on Kingged.


  • The chart definitely shows that photos are a great tool! I will say, though, that using photos will be less effective for certain businesses. For example, as a content marketing company, Prose Media focuses on words, so we look through stock photos or clip art for our posts, but not much beyond that. But if your business has a lot of physical merchandise, or if you’re involved with events, it’s crucial to bring a camera along and use it!