Photos vs Graphics – Which is Better for Social Media Marketing?

Photos vs Graphics - Which is Better for Social Media Marketing?

The use of social media images today is increasing as more businesses and entrepreneurs are entering the virtual world.

Statistics in 2017 said that ninety-three percent of marketers say that visual content largely contributes to the success of their marketing approach.

Social media marketing involves using graphics and photos. They are primarily the most consumed content on the internet. Recent years show that more people are willing to buy online.

Anyone can now buy and sell through Facebook and Instagram. If you are a social media marketer, you probably know that these things are true and you use a lot of graphics and photos to engage with your audience. You also use a photo editor before posting them, and it makes your visuals more attractive.

Importance of Visuals in Social Media Marketing

An effective way to sell online is by using visuals such as photos and graphics. These social media platforms have tools to help you reach your target market, and achieve your target sales.

If your business is shifting to social media platforms, here are the points why visuals in social media marketing are important.

1.    Visuals get more attention

Anything with photos and graphics is eye-catching.

People remember 65% of what they see after three days rather than what they have heard in which they will only remember 10%. The use of colors also helps in attracting users than with just plain text. For example, graphics with red bold letters will be read first, then the text with black color. Your audience will react to every color you use so learn how each color affects people’s emotions.

Homestead has created an infographic that shows how people are influenced by colors. They state that 93% of the customers buy based on the appearance of visuals. It is much better if you create a post accompanied by an image rather than plain text. Plain text is much likely to be ignored.

2.    Increase of followers

Some social media platforms have their algorithm. For example, with Instagram, its algorithm is simple. The more likes and views your post gets, the more people will see them. To do this, you have to share photos and interesting captions that will capture people’s attention. If you are not a designer, you can easily make these graphics by using online graphic editor tools.

3.    Increase credibility on the platform

Using visuals increases your credibility on the platform. Any business can be on social media, and people have a lot of choices where to buy. The question is, which business or brand will they choose and what products do they want?

Using visuals increases your brand’s visibility on social media. When you launch your business on social media, you use visuals to send a message, to show your products, or to gain an audience. You build trust with them. Over time, your brand will become so visible and recognizable that people will prefer buying from you to other competitors. If people see that you have a lot of visuals when they visit your page or account, they feel that the business is legit.

4.    Provides value to your audience

Using visuals provides value to your audience. Posting visuals is not just for the products. You do not see your customers. Like the traditional way of business, you build relationships with people. They should feel that you care for them and not just for the sales.

You can also use visuals to inform, entertain, and show compassion. You may use a photo editor in making visuals, and it can be hassle-free and efficient. You can also post relatable graphics or photos to a recent event, but do not go too far from the niche of your brand.

5.    Increase Sales

In social media marketing, this is the goal: increase sales and hit the target. Visuals help you reach that goal.

With the right image, you can get more engagement and increased visibility. With increased visibility, you are more likely to get more followers. And more people tuning in to your social media pages can increase the probability of conversion or sale.

Most businesses use attractive visuals of their products. When customers buy your product and what they see is what they get,  there is a higher chance of repeat orders. Customers, if they are happy and satisfied with the products, recommend or refer products or services to other people. That is free marketing. But even if you do paid ads, you cannot have effective campaigns without an attractive visual.

Photos vs Graphics – Which is Better for Social Media Marketing?

Photos and graphics are the most used visuals in social media marketing. So, which is better?

Why use a photo

  1. A test by Agorapulse, shows that photos in Instagram have more engagement than graphics. It shows that likes are 156.24% higher. They stated that showing people about the company, the people, and who they interact with are some of the points to have more engagement.
  1. Photos are more relatable to see than graphics. You see people, buildings, products, celebrations, and different emotions can be seen. Photos are personal and real. You can see different faces and different places. They put a personal touch on your brand.
  1. Photos are more likely used in a specific industry. For example, a photo of food would make you call and order. Food is something that you see online, and you feel the urge, the craving of wanting to taste what you have seen.
  1. Photos convey different messages. There could be different angles that show a story in a photo.
  1. Photos are more credible. A celebrity may wear jewelry for a brand. Customers may find it convincing because they are worn by a famous person. Seeing an actual person try it adds credibility.
  1. Photos are more searched than graphics. People, places, food, clothes are just some of the searches. People want to see emotions and experiences. They want to see an experience in a photo. A model posing under the sun with a tank top and trousers. A man wearing a watch talking to a friend. A teenager holding a camera in a zip line. A smiling old man taking a bite of a burger. These situations are experiences captured in a photo.
  1. Photos are practical to make. With the rise of phones with high resolutions in the market, you don’t need a professional camera. Just your phone and the subject. This can save money. If you are just starting an online business, this is cost-effective because you can do it at home. Lighting can be set or just natural lighting. You may use a photo editor to enhance your captured photo. You can use it especially if you have bad lighting, but don’t overdo it.

Why use a graphic

  1. Graphics send a direct message to the audience. Yes, the psychology of colors can be used in graphics. If you want them to buy during a sale, you make a graphic with a predominantly red theme. If your brand’s niche is health, you can use more green in your graphics.
  1. Graphics help build your brand awareness. A certain brand has a color palette that they use, and using the same colors will create a memorable image for your customers.
  1. Graphics can be used in informative posts rather than photos. For example, it can show the steps creatively than having a photo with steps as the caption. It is more likely that the graphic will be shared than the one with the caption.
  1. Graphic is an effective way to share a short and clear message. Photos may have different messages but a graphic is specific to what message. When a user likes the message, the graphic is more likely shared. You can also experiment with the colors you use or you use specific colors and stick using them.
  1. One infographic can summarize long text. People share infographics more than long plain texts with photos.
  1. Graphics can be easier to make. You can make graphics with apps like Pixellied. It is a user-friendly app that is fast and conducive for social media managers. There are ready-made templates you can use. Using apps this is cost-efficient can save you time.

Which is better for Social Media Marketing?

Photos are needed to market your products and show the personal side of your business. On the other hand, graphics are needed to send clear messages to your audience.

Photos and graphics are visuals you need in social media marketing. You will need both to have effective social media marketing. Why? It is because you need to show experience and personal touch to your business by using photos and you need to create relationships with your audience and send clear messages to them by using graphics.

If you want to show a more personal side, then use more photos. If you want to connect to more people, and know their interests, you can use graphics.


Diving into social media marketing can be overwhelming and confusing. Using attractive visuals is one thing to consider to be successful in social media marketing. There might be a hanging question of what to use more, graphics or photos.

Photos are needed to show real, relatable, understandable, and personal content.  Graphics are needed to send clear messages to your audience. Photos and graphics are needed to get the attention or attract followers that may be your potential customers.

Photos and graphics are needed for your business to grow on social media platforms. You can use more photos than graphics or you can use more graphics than photos. Otherwise, you need these visuals to get the attention of your audience. Before launching your business, you have to know and be intentional about what you will put online. What is the vision of your business? What is your product? How do other people look at your brand? When you know the answers, then you will know what kind of visuals you will need to post on social media.

Knowing how you will use photos and graphics in social media is a plus to your business. You are sending a message to people using these visuals to create a strong brand online.

Author’s Bio:

 Shelly Solis

Shelly Solis is the former Labor Communications Officer of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, taking care of coordinating with the local print, television, and radio media in the Philippines. She is now a digital marketer handling clients in health, technology, SaaS, and finance. She is the co-founder of SaaSLaunchr: SaaS Marketing Agency.

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