For being legal blog writers, we sure seem to talk about images a lot. But while images can score some SEO points and engage readers, one of their fundamental roles in legal blog writing comes from social media. There, posts with images are far more likely to get clicked on than posts that do not have an image.
The rest is straightforward: More clicks mean more traffic, and more traffic can mean more business for your law firm.
Posts With Images Get Further on Social Media
It’s pretty simple, really. Whether on Facebook, Twitter, or another social media platform, content like this:
Live music, great food, and a good cause! – https://t.co/fzoLizED6s
— Pine Tree Legal (@PineTreeLegal) September 3, 2019
Does not get shared or viewed as much as content like this:
“I felt so helpless. My friend and colleague dying, children and women screaming outside… We were all paralyzed,” said one survivor of the anti-rebel airstrikes committed by Russia-backed Syrian authorities. These attacks are war crimes. https://t.co/1RhtCq7V3h
— Amnesty International USA (@amnestyusa) May 17, 2020
We could conjecture on the psychology of this phenomenon for hours. Posts with images take up more room in the social media feed, and maybe that forces the reader to linger on it just that much longer. Maybe the eyes are attracted more to images in the feed than to mere words.
Whatever the reason, there are strong statistics that back up the idea that images make content pop on social media.
Study: Images on Facebook Posts Net 2.3 Times the Engagement
Back in 2015, BuzzSumo conducted a study that analyzed over 100 million Facebook updates to see if their engagement rates were better if they used images.
For every engagement (likes, comments, shares, or link visits) that a post without an image received on Facebook, a post with an image got an average of 2.3 engagements.
Other professional marketers vary in the details, but agree in principle. For example, one social media marketer claims that Facebook articles with images get 94% more views than those sans image.
The BuzzSumo study covered Twitter, as well. However, we think that the Twitter posting platform has changed too much since 2015 to take the results seriously.
Different Studies: Tweets With Images Get Twice the Engagement
While Twitter is a different social media platform, studies have suggested that the results of using images in posts are similar to using them on Facebook.
One study looked at branded, corporate tweets and found that their engagement rate (including likes, retweets, and link clicks) doubled if there was an image in the tweet. Another study found that retweets increased by 150% if there was an image in the post.
The Takeaway: Legal Blog Images Aren’t Just for the Blog
It’s easy to disregard images as just “bells and whistles” for your legal blog post. Images can also seem like a poor investment of time, effort, and potentially even money (if you’re paying for images) when you’re only thinking of the aesthetic appeal it gives a blog post to the people reading it.
But those on-page positives that images bring to your legal blog post are not the whole story. They are not limited to appeasing people who are already reading you post. They can also do some important, but often overlooked, legwork in getting more readers to your legal blog through social media.
(This post was updated on September 3, 2019. One of the tweets we had embedded had been taken down, so we replaced them both. It was updated again on May 17, 2020 to replace the image-bearing tweet after the thumbnail expired.)