How to Use Images for Engagement & Viral Sharing on Facebook

Images are Engaging. With the huge popularity of Pinterest & Instagram, (not forgetting Facebook and Google+), the viral sharing potential of images has become a Hot Topic! 

The Big Picture - Sharing Images on Facebook
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Have you got the Big Picture? Start using Visual Images to Skyrocket your Brand Awareness on Facebook

Anywhere that visual images can be showcased has the potential to attract engagement, traffic and exposure for your brand. So, how can you tap into this?

By using images in a creative way, you can enchant your fans, followers, clients (and the influencers in your niche) into sharing them….and therefore sharing your content.  Here are a few tips that have worked for memy clients and my influencers. I have plenty of visual strategies to roll out for you on all of the social media platforms, but today we will start with Facebook.

Use Images on Facebook to tell the story of your business, the personality of your brand, and the things that you love and believe in.

Facebook was where I first started playing around with images. It has only become more fun with the creativity allowed on Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest!   Facebook is more and more showing itself to be a platform that values images highly.  Posts containing images rank highly on Facebook Edgerank and are more likely to be shown in the Newsfeed. Facebook has continued its love of Images with the release of Timeline, including the following features:

  1. Milestone Images – to showcase particular events in the timeline or history of a business.
  2. Pinned Images – where you can “pin” a featured image to the top of the Timeline (for up to 7 days at a time). There is nothing to indicate (currently) that you can not include a call to action in a Pinned Post (unlike the Cover Photo Image)
  3. Highlighted Images – where you can “highlight” an image and increase its size across the width of the Timeline.
  4. Cover Photo Image – this is the big one  – the chance to promote your brand.  Remember to follow the guidelines (listed here) for content.

Facebook recently acquired Instagram for 1 Billion Dollars. Already Facebook is showcasing our Instagram and Pinterest Photos in feature albums. It is all about the images, so here are 3 Killer Tips (in image form!) for using this to your advantage when showcasing your business:

  1. Use a PINNED POST to highlight a Call to Action on the Facebook Timeline for Business Pages:
An example of a Pinned Post
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A Pinned Post provides an effective Call to Action - In this case to "like" the page in order to get Updates to the Newsfeed.

Pinned Post Example - Coastwide Driving
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Or in this case, we wanted fans to click on a promotion tab - Decide on your call to action and put it in a Pinned Post!

Webinar Pinned Post by Amy Portfield
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You can also use Pinned Posts to encourage fans to visit sites outside of Facebook as per this example from Amy Porterfield's Page.

Start to play with Pinned Posts and featured photographs on Timeline.  You might be surprised at the engagement it brings!

2.  Use a FEATURED SHAREABLE IMAGE to generate brand awareness, encourage engagement and (hopefully) start some viral sharing of your content:

CASE EXAMPLE: Our client Carren Smith is a motivational Speaker, Mentor and soon to be Author with her first book being released shortly.  In an idea inspired by the ever-creative Amy Porterfield we started to hold an “Empower Hour” on Carren's Facebook Wall.  These 1 hour “Facebook Experiences” (as Amy would call them) are a huge hit, with Carren announcing each event a few days before via social media.  She consistently gets upwards of 75-100 “comments” and 150-200 “likes” on the thread. With each Empower Hour becoming like a small party of inspiration on Carren's Page Wall, we thought “why not give the guests a gift to take home with them?” We started to post up a Visual Quote or Visual Image that was (a) related to the content of the 1 hour chat and (b) easily downloadable or shareable.  Carren asks her fans to share the quotes, and SHARE they do!  The pictures tell the story:

Carren Smith "be" quote
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Carren Smith's Inspirational Quotes are showcased in a Shareable Image. A great strategy for sharing original content.

Carren Smith "Everything"
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By showcasing great content with engaging graphics, images are instantly "shareable" on Facebook. This was taken from the first Empower Hour on With 26 likes and 19 shares (including 2nd tier sharing) this shareable image was loved by Carren's fans.

Carren Smith Empower Hour
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And here is a shot of the "thread" from the same Empower Hour, after which we posted the Visual Quote. This chat resulted in 94 comments and many likes on one thread.

Be inspring for Someone Who has Forgotten Their Beauty
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Another example of a Visual Image or Visual Quote posted on

The following shows the engagement stats after the image was shared virally on Carren's page.

Carren smith stats image - empower hour
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The engagement for the quote that was posted as an image was exponentially higher than other posts on the wall. Images are Engaging!

Myself and my clients have definitely benefited from using Amy Porterfield's idea of  “Facebook experiences” (or chats) on Facebook.  Amy herself also been posting some fabulous visual images recently which have been shared on her Facebook Page. These posts are getting some great viral reach, by showcasing fabulous quotes from Influencers in the area of Social Media and Marketing.  Here are some examples:

Visual Image about Darren Rowse
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This Visual Image went Viral immediately - Amy Porterfield has used eye-catching design with great content to create something very "shareable". 49 likes and 27 shares so far (it hadn't been posted for long so this number will go up!)

Another great quote from Marie Forleo
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This quote from Marie Forleo was a winner - 40 shares, 155 likes & 26 comments pretty much says so!

Visual Quote Amy Porterfield
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Right Back At Ya Amy! Here is one we prepared earlier!


Think about getting your community or tribe to do your marketing for you – especially if you have a new business, product or campaign to launch.  In the following example, we used images with our client Know Your Midwife (a private practice of midwives working in collaboration with an obstetrician and other health professionals on the Sunshine Coast in Australia).  A series of images  were rolled out over 2 weeks, featuring information about the team, the Circle of Care program and engaging posts about everything pregnancy, birth and babies.  Here are 2 examples.  Note the addition of the website on the photo:

Circle of Care Image 1
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An Image provides an eye-catching introduction to the new Midwifery Program "Circle of Care"

Beer, Blokes and Birth
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Another image provides an introduction to the Beer, Blokes and Birth Nights for Expectant Dads


I recently saw this idea posted on the Facebook page of the Nonprofit Facebook Guy.  It is a great way of using a shareable image to spread information about a business or cause. It suits “causes” in particular, or somewhat political messages, as well as Nonprofits. It would also work for any businesses wanting to create change or make a difference”¦.or to launch something special.  Use your imagination though – this idea could be used in a variety of ways!

Facebook Image example Nonprofit Facebook guy
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Any image that displays a cause, belief or something new will have a high probability of being virally shared.

The image needs to be designed so that when it is shared, it has some reference to the person sharing it. For example, for our current pre-launch campaign for Know Your Midwife, the idea is to encourage Mums to share the message.   Most fans of Know Your Midwife are also fans of natural birthing or home birthing in a calm supportive environment.  This photo targets a specific group of people that are likely to share the image on their own profile so that it can be seen by their friends (thus promoting our client's page):

This beautiful woman - Know Your Midwife
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This image takes advantage of the position of the profile picture in order to make it more personal and encourage sharing.

Chiropractic Shareable Image
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Last but not Least! Spreading the word about chiropractic care has gone viral with this easily shared photo!

Images are engaging.  They rock.  They encourage people to click. They entice them to want more.  Use them in your social media marketing wherever you can.  Be creative. Don't be afraid to “show” a little of your personality.You don't need a graphic designer – a simple photo can speak volumes.  Just try to remember to think “How can I make this more visual and engaging?” and you can't go wrong.

What about you? Have you used any of these ideas? Any that you now want to try?  Share!

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Inc. & Entrepreneur and she is a speaker and trainer on visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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