Although it is a cliché, it is nonetheless true: A picture speaks 1000 words. Especially for DMOs, pictures are critical to drive engagement with their audiences on social media channels. Kissmetrics underpinned this truth recently with numbers: Photos receive 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more click-throughs. But it is not only pictures that drive engagement. At the same time users seem to be more engaged when posts are rather short. That is, posts with 80 characters or less receive 66% more engagement. Thus, less is sometimes more. Lastly, it is no surprise that questions receive considerably more engagement than statements (100%).
THE SAME HOLDS FOR TWITTER
Following research conducted by the marketing platform Shift, tweets with images drive substantially higher engagement across all metrics. Even compared to the engagement rates on Facebook, tweets with pictures have much higher interaction: Users engaged at a rate 5X higher when a photo was included. Drilling down further, Shift found that users retweeted and replied to tweets two time more when images were included. And not only that, but photo tweets delivered this high interaction rate at a cost-per-engagement less than half that of text-only tweets.
IMPLICATIONS FOR MARKETING
This raises the question, how image driven posts on social media networks should influence your marketing. To really engage your audiences, posting images with a question is not sufficient. Consumers do not want to always see photos of your main attractions. Post unique, quirky and fun picture that really capture the essence of your destination. This can be windows, unique doors, falling leaves in autumn or a really quirky house. These pictures are surprising and therefore have higher chances to spark a comment, a share or a like.
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