2014-15-August-Oven-Roast.jpgFacebook may generate a lot of hate. But it generates even more interest — especially from marketers who struggle daily to keep up with its ever changing guidelines on how and what to do everything from encourage page "likes" to keep customers engaged.

So it was with great interest that I stumbled upon a blog by Emily Goodrich. She's a technical writer at Heyo, a Blacksburg, Va.-based startup that wants to help small-business owners gain followers on sites like Facebook and Twitter and convert those followers into email captures and sales. 

Goodrich shared a marketing essential: a Facebook image size cheatsheet.

Just Show Me

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Say what you want about words. But they're just so ... well, they just take so much effort to read. But a picture? That's a cat of a different color. As Christopher Riegger, Chief Operating Officer at Heyo explained, images on social networks like Facebook can make the difference between customer engagement and apathy.

"Why? So many reasons," he said. "For one, it's proven that people can mentally process an image much faster than text. Consumer attention spans are getting shorter and people seem to engage more with visual content (photos/videos) than they will take the time to read something and respond to it."

In addition, he said, Facebook just plain prefers visual content in its Newsfeed. "For instance, post an algorithm change in January, text updates by businesses on Facebook are less visible, while linkshare posts (that include an image) are more visible," he said.

Most marketers seem to have a general understanding of what they should do. But Riegger said few of them get it "spot on."

"A great image for a business or brand in the Facebook Newsfeed will do a few things," he continued. 

  • Be bright and grab attention. Lots of competition in the Newsfeed. You need to be bold to cut through all the funny videos and baby pics.
  • Communicate a clear call-to-action. What are you trying to communicate? What do you want the consumer to do/think?
  • Be on brand. Here's a favorite example.2014-15-August-mad-miniMimi is an email marketing company that endeavors to make email marketing really, really simple. Their brand is part simplicity, part fun, part hip. That Facebook Promoted Post is spot on for their brand.
  • Use images of people. Research shows that images of people get more clicks, especially on Facebook. (Ed. note: Like the main image in this story, a photo Asa Aarons Smith took of George Poniros, co-owner of the Roast Grill Hot Weiners in Raleigh, N.C. 

Canned Images Don't Make It

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