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How to Create Memorable Visual Content on Social Media

Did you know that articles that contain images can get 94% more views than those that don’t? Better yet, were you aware that 93% of people surveyed say that visual imagery is the #1 factor impacting purchasing decisions?

If these stats took you by surprise, you’re not alone. However, it also shows the need for every digital marketer to pay attention not only to their text content, but also to the images they upload.

So, what’s the secret to creating catchy and memorable images?

Choose a harmonious color scheme

China’s “Twitter-esque” Weibo allows users to upload up to 9 images per post. However, the more pictures you upload doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your post will garner higher engagement. Take a look at this example below:


What’s the difference between these two posts? The first post’s pictures are much more color-organized. Sporting 69 total engagement, it’s clear that the black & gold theme throughout the picture compilation is more eye catching and appealing when compared to the second post’s inharmonious color scheme.

Moreover, it’s scientifically proven that the human brain remembers harmonious colors better than non-harmonious color combinations. This rule also applies to Instagram, where users usually upload multiple pictures combined into one collage pic. Here’s a chart to guide you when it’s time to decide which colors are harmonious and which aren’t.

(h/t Shuan Thing at Piktochart)

Create infographics

People who scroll through social media platforms are mostly in search of entertainment, not boring class lectures. It’s not surprising that visual information on the internet has increased by 9900% since the year 2007. It takes us only 150ms to process a symbol and an even quicker 100ms to attach a meaning to it. Resultantly, attaching pictures brings about a higher comprehension rate. A study on medicine label comprehension rate shows that 95% of correspondents correctly comprehend labels with text and symbols, a 25% higher comprehension rate of labels with text only.  

Another reason the brain craves for infographics is because infographics are summarized to the extent that they only contain the most important information. For the brain, infographics are easy to digest and are extremely appealing to the eye. Also, infographics will boost your post’s engagement as they are seen as super fun to share. So, if you’re trying to deliver informative messages on your social media platform, summarize it and package it beautifully. Add a little effort and translate boring graphs and text into more visually appealing infographics.

Include people and emotions in your pictures

Here’s another memorable snap:

And here’s why:

  • Focuses on a single person
  • The model is in the center of the frame
  • Emotionally relatable – who doesn’t take selfies?
  • That facial expression: half duck face…classic

By focusing on a single object, the above picture has through simple means increased its chance to be memorized, according to Aude Oliva, a principal research scientist in the field of computational perception and cognition. The same research done by Aude and her team also states that pictures with people and objects placed in the center of the frame are highly memorable compared to pictures with off-center objects.

On another note, James L. McGaugh of the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at the University of California has concluded that memorability of human images comes in different levels.

His research found that the more intense the emotion photographed, the more memorable the picture is. This is partly because the reaction of others triggers a reflexive response in us. And the above picture does just that. Viewers will be visually attracted to the model’s half duck face expression and to that pose, which we can clearly relate to taking our own selfies. Seriously, is there anyone out there who hasn’t done this at least once in their life?

The success and popularity of image-oriented social media platforms, such as Instagram, Pinterest, 17, and China’s Lofter, is another simple proof that people love to pamper their eyes with pictures, instead of words. Never underestimate the power of visual content. In fact, they might be more powerful than your text content. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

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