In the early stages of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms text was the centre piece of conversation- discussing topics, ideas, and issues using only text- in Twitter’s case only 140 characters. There are now new kids on the block like Instagram and Snapchat that have pushed their way into the social media giants club and the appetite of consuming information has changed. No longer do people want to scroll down a feed of pure text… they don’t have the attention spans to read every feed, they want to be visually stimulated to complement the content they are taking in via text. So the bottom line is you need more than 140 characters to stand out in your followers Twitter feed or Facebook and others, you need to incorporate visual storytelling.

Text still plays a crucial part in informing the audience on a more contextual level but text is no longer the gatekeeper between the audience and their attention. There needs to be a driving force to motivate a person scrolling through there feed to stop and pay attention. Today’s online media must utilize the visual senses through videos, images, infographics and other visual mediums- anything that will draw someone in.

Here is a quick test. It’s one thing to post about national fry day but when it comes to creating a sensorial experience for your audience members which post does it better?

McDs copy

If you chose C you are correct! But why?

Not only does text not cut it in the visually sophisticated world we live in today but people have built in visual filters that determine whether or not they will stop for your message. This filter scans past visual content that does not provide the highest quality. High quality visuals make a difference. In relation to the images above, B and C are the same but B lacks the crisp high definition as the other image. In McDonald’s case their entire Twitter feed is full of not only visually stimulating material to complement the text but the quality of the visuals is impeccable. See for yourself on their Twitter feed.

We see 10,000+ images a day, all competing for our attention so the importance of integrating quality visuals into your communications is key to attracting an audience. It is about an investment of time and attention when it comes to become unfilterable. So go back to your own visual communication tools- the pictures and videos on websites and social media and ask yourself, would I stop or scan on this content?