When I attended Digtial Summit last week I heard both Jordan Franklin (@jordanfranklin) from Clickable (@clickable) and Matt Peters (@fracked) of Pandemic Labs (@pandemiclabs) speak about how you can use the quirks of the human mind to craft Facebook status updates that are more appealing and may encourage more comments, clicks, Likes, and shares. I knew you’d want the scoop.
Both Jordan and Matt mentioned the algorithmic theory of the aesthetic, but discussed it in different ways. It was fascinating. Here’s the gist: People distinguish between what’s beautiful and what’s interesting, and interestingness (a word which I may or may not have just made up) corresponds to perceived beauty. In many instances (if not all), simplicity is perceived as the most beautiful. When you accomplish simplicity in beauty, you create something interesting. When you’re learning something or viewing something, you are drawn to the simplest form. The less explanation (i.e., learning about the object) involved, the more interesting it is. In other words, the shorter the learning the process, the longer the user is interested. In Facebook terms this translates into using photos that convey a lot of information and letting them stand on their own.
The Human Brain Takes Shortcuts
As you consider what to share on your Facebook business page, keep in mind that your audience is drawn to things that require minimal attention and cognitive resources, but that have high emotional value. If you share an image that has complimentary colors, implied motion, or simply conveys a feeling, our eyes are drawn to it because our brains have made an association with it using minimal attention.We tend to focus on things that we can emotionally attach to, even if that attachment is fleeting. We don’t get that same reaction to large blocks of text. Yet, how often do you see pages that have paragraphs of text as their social media updates?
It’s especially useful to use pictures and video on Facebook, where users are scanning the News Feed quickly and usually skip most text-based updates. Our brains aren’t good at perceiving and understanding images and text at the same time. We have to look at one, then the other, then maybe back again. If you can, try to play to our brains’ natural predilection for using minimal cognitive resources by using pictures that can stand alone. It’s best if the pictures don’t need a text explanation to accompany them, but if you can’t resist, try to keep the caption to 14 words or less and let the image speak for itself as much as possible.
Tips for Using Pictures to Get More Facebook Interaction
Your key takeaways from this article should be
- Use simple pictures that can speak for themselves and invoke an emotional response.
- If you have to use a caption, keep it to 14 words or less.
- Since Facebook is blue, use pictures that have red or orange in them (the complimentary colors to blue).
- Don’t use large blocks of text as your status updates.
What have you had the most success with? Look at your Facebook Insights (analytics) for the last few weeks or month and let me know in the comments which of your status updates have had the most impact with your community. Have you had more success one way or the other with your personal profile?