How Better Visuals Can Enhance User Engagement

Are you looking for better user engagement on your social platforms? Visuals may offer one of the best ways to get to where you’re going. There is an incredible amount of information and content floating around on the internet. Many claim this is part of the reason why humans have adopted much shorter attention spans. There is simply too much information to sort through and decide to retain or discard. Text-loaded posts have had a notorious decline in user engagement, particularly on scrolling-based social platforms.

Thanks to Spectrum offers and other widely available internet services, more users than ever now use social media. So if you’re not getting the engagement you want, you may want to consider throwing more visuals into the mix. This blog explores several reasons why this helps boost engagement levels, particularly on social media. Read on to find out more.

The Human Brain Has Evolved To Rely On Sight

There is a very good reason that more users interact with visuals than with text-based content. It has very little to do with a person’s ability to understand or absorb the text. The bigger factor at play here is evolution. Early humans emerged in extremely different times, having to forage and hunt to survive. They also had to fight harsh landscapes and climates while watching out for dangerous predators who evolved for precisely those conditions. Over time, humans learned to rely heavily on visual input, and the brain evidenced this by devoting almost half of itself to the optical system.

Of course, we live in a much tamer world, and no longer have to watch out for animal predators. But the evolutionary reliance on visual input remains, which is what attracts users and makes them engage more with visual posts. And you can use this evolutionary trait to your advantage.

The Right Colors Can Trigger Subconscious Responses

The human eye can pick up a reasonably broad spectrum of colors. We have seen how visual reliance is one key trait that allowed early humans to survive the harsh conditions they inhabited. Recognizing colors is a very important component of the same trait, and is still firmly wired into our subconscious or more primal minds. Most humans still respond in approximately the same way to specific colors. Combining compelling visuals with the right colors can often elicit a subconscious response. Advertisers have been using this knowledge for some time, gently nudging consumers into buying products with strategically placed colors. And there is no reason you can’t do the same with visual posts on social media.

Visuals Can Concisely Convey Complex Ideas

Since we have short attention spans, it takes a lot to keep the human brain interested. The internet has also conditioned us to expect instant gratification, which means it is harder for us to be patient. Both of these factors mean it can be virtually impossible to convey complex ideas and concepts through text alone. Regardless of readability, content with text that is too dense will put off most social media users. However, a single, well-crafted image or video like an infographic can summarize the concept in a more digestible way i.e, through visuals. You can expect more people to receive and respond to the message contained in a visual.

Humans Respond To Familiar Faces

Humans evolved to be social animals, even in the nomadic days. We lived, foraged, hunted, and sheltered in groups. The need for social interaction continues to play a large part in our lives, and indeed most of our known history. Specific parts of the brain see increases in neuron activity when the eye sees or recognizes a human face. In other words, visuals with a human face are more likely to catch a user’s attention and keep them engaged. Recognizable faces, such as celebrities, athletes, or public figures are often used to endorse brands for exactly this reason. Because you “know” those faces, you are subconsciously inclined to absorb what they have to say.

Images Can Generate Strong Emotional Responses

Colors aren’t the only things that trigger responses. Ever since the camera was invented, there have been images that trigger strong emotional responses in humans. A deceased loved one elicits pain, grief, or nostalgia. An idyllic landscape stimulates a yearning for peace and tranquility. A high-powered aggressive sports car gives an adrenaline rush. Images of nuclear blasts trigger fear and anxiety.

Imagery has often acted as a catalyst triggering responses on an even larger social scale, such as the shrinking space for racism, antisemitism, and xenophobia. Powerful images generate powerful responses and can command action instead of just holding attention. This can be tricky, but the right image can often guide more users to convert into buyers.

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