Why Is It Important to Use Images with Twitter and Other Social Media Posts?

Image result for uncle sam wants you

One of the most powerful marketing strategies ever is represented by the Uncle Sam posters, where a striking old bearded man points his finger and demands: “I Want You!” You may have never really considered it before, but the image on the above poster is what catches your eye. I am a firm believer in the power of images–especially in use with social media posts–and to make my point, I have an experiment for you.

How impressed are you with the following comment:

“I Want You!”

I dare to say that the previous sentence is not very impressive,  and it won’t catch the eyes of many people who flash past social media posts, many thousands per second.

Let’s try it again. Let’s try it in bold:

“I Want You!”

That is still fairly unimpressive. Let’s try the words as a quote:

“I Want You!”

With every added action on the words, we make them more noticeable, but none of the actions so far will call attention to what we might have said on social media. The brutal reality is that social media is a dark hole, and unless we do things to make our posts really stand out, they will not even be seen.

Notice how we improve our visibility by merely adding a border around our words and by increasing the font size. The color also helps:



Now, we are getting closer to our goal of being noticed on social media, but nothing compares to the impact of adding the image of Uncle Sam himself.

Image result for uncle sam wants you

Dr. Lynell Burmark said the following about the importance of images:

“Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.” Dr. Lynell Burmark, a Ph.D. Associate at the Thornburg Center for Professional Development and writer of several books and papers on visual literacy, said, “…unless our words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear.”

Whoever controls the media—the images—controls the culture. – Alan Ginsberg

Considering that Alan  Ginsberg was a poet and an author and not a photographer or visual artist, this admission from him speaks volumes. 

The Uncle Sam poster was released in 1916, and its purpose was to motivate Americans to support the war effort. That poster is still powerful today–100 years later–and the power of attraction does not lie in the words on the page. The power lies within the image.

Certainly, a writer’s text is essential. Without solid text, the powerful attention-getter is nothing more than glitz.  But without proper marketing, many texts will never be seen. Use marketing to get your foot in the door, and then, deliver with the text–with the great writing.