The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Let Them Really “See” You: Getting Brainy About Social Media Campaigns

social media campaignsWhat do you see when you look at a picture? I am sure for everyone it is different. Perception altering from one person to another much like a mirror image, manipulating different ways depending on which audience member is looking. How do you reach every audience? Or do you? What is the secret to making sure that what people are looking at is really your intent? Think about how this could affect small business social media campaigns via a social media driven world. This blog will introduce Small Business Owners to the way the mind sees content and how to make sure that your campaign can stand against the ever wandering brain.

“For media businesses, it’s all about understanding who your core reader is and what they really want” (Leary, 2014).

That’s the point right? To understand what our audiences want. But before you go and say to yourself, ok, well that is easy I know exactly what my audiences wants. I am going to tell you that you don’t. I can say this with confidence because although there might be a small minimal glimpse of what you might believe to be your audiences true desire; there are multiple “Brain Games” that you need to think about (see what I did there). The brain is a tool and truly an untamable force. You need to have all the facts before you can make an action. Let’s take a look.


Here is some food for thought:

  • In 2000, a person’s average attention span was 12 seconds.
  • In 2013, that dwindled down to 8 seconds.
  • The attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds! Take that in for a moment, the human mind in comparison to a gold fish can’t focus as long. (Long 2014)


So you might be thinking well text is initially little pictures that the brain sees, correct…


“90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed in the brain at 60,000 times the speed of text”

So when we see a picture we are able to decipher what exactly is being said quicker than what is being written. Is this a disaster waiting to happen? ABSOLUTLETY. Imagery is tricky due to the old saying, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’ As a marketer you need to take special caution when posting imagery anywhere within your campaign; and videos; forget about it. People are initially lazy and rightfully so. The average American spends around 81 hours a years on Facebook, office workers check their email 30-40 times an hour, we switch between devices 21 times an hour and the use of multiple devices at once has gone up 500% in the past few years (Long, 2014). We and by we I mean the American population spend so much time on computers and smartphones; we don’t have the energy, time, nor the desire to sit down for 30 minutes reading an article. This is why when we are given the opportunity to give our brains a few minutes to relax and absorb material via imagery we are more apt to not only remember the material but actually take the time needed for the full content to be presented. More with less time. “By combining auditory and visual stimuli, you can connect with the brain and really make a message stick. Utilizing simplistic, recognizable imagery and a well-structured story can lead to the solid grasping of an otherwise confusing topic (2015, Imagery Vs Text).”


The brain is far more engaged in storytelling than with a list of facts. This is due to the fact that we can relate to other people’s stories. When we think about how much is read compared to looked at, only 20% of what is written on a webpage is regularly read. Make a message with pictures and make it bold! People remember about 80% of what they see; tell them via imagery. (Gillett, 2014). How?


Let’s say that you are a small business owning sporting goods. You want to show your audience that your gear can be used in real life because let’s be honest sometimes the adventures that sporting goods stores models are portraying are unrealistic for the average athlete. Find someone that is the average person that will take your audience on their adventure, show them the gear that is used; let them relate to this girls story. Above is a story board of a girl on her adventures and the gear that she uses to get there.

What Else?

What is also really important are infographics. The combination of visuals with text engaged 40% more viewers and 60% of people are visual learners as well. Initially the brain doesn’t want to spend too much time trying to figure out what you are trying to say it wants to be told. (Gillett, 2014).


If you want to get brainy about your social media campaign there are a few rules you need to remember

  1. Know your audience and make content that is specific to them
  2. Tell a story, make it relatable, make it bold and leave little to the imagination
  3. We don’t remember words as much as images; limit the text that is used and if possible incorporate text within your imagery.
  4. Show do not tell; give the brain something that will imprint against anything else. Make a video that will stay with them for years down the line.

Show us Your Social Media Campaigns

Please share your experiences with social media campaigns and using great images and content in your comment below. We welcome your links in the comments that show off sites with great technique.


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Category: Social Media Marketing 201

4 Responses

  1. Nancy says:

    Hi Ashley,
    This is a fantastic article on how our brains react to social media, and the goldfish memory fact really blew my mind!! I love the way you mixed hard facts with clearly understandable talk about how small businesses need social media, as well as giving precise steps on howto go about it. Excellent article=)

  2. Tiffany L says:

    This is such a great blog post and so useful. It is so important to think of our audience when we are trying to use social media for adverting and marketing reasons. You provide a lot of useful tips for social media, I am someone that definitely enjoys a story of both words and pictures. I am more likely to keep reading if there is atlas a picture to break things up and keep me interested. I concur with Ashley, it was shocking to see that a gold fish actually can focus longer than a human being!

    great article!

    • Kristi says:

      Great point about photos breaking the text up and keeping the interest. It also plays a role in grabbing our interest in the first place since there so much available for us to read – so much text – images are going to help in our choosing.

  3. Jennifer T says:

    What a great post and so very true. The internet has made us very distracted and want things immediately. Especially when it comes to what we want to see. I am one for reading a lot, prefer to see more than read. I know personally on my business page, the post with a lot of interaction have photos of some sort.

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