Practically everyone uses social media today, which has created some major opportunities for news organizations — as well as one huge problem. Social media, like every great trend, isn’t just a niche interest anymore for the young and hip. It’s now an everyday phenomenon that everyone and their grandma knows about. For the most part, these platforms’ growing popularity has been a wonderful thing; with global followings, social networks have carried users’ voices across an endless number of cultural and political boundaries. It’s easier than ever to post social media images.
But counterintuitively, while platforms like Facebook and Twitter have made it easier to raise your voice, it has also made it harder to actually make that voice heard. With countless social posts echoing throughout the web, it’s become difficult to separate individual tweets from the expanding flock. Like every popular public forum, the once new and exclusive social sphere has become crowded and confusing. For news publications and content creators, this makes it harder than ever to get a message seen and heard.
It’s no secret that social media images have taken over.
Since January of 2015, the number of active social media users around the world has grown by 219 million. That’s 15 million more than the entire population of Brazil, but it’s still a meager 9.5% of the more than 2.3 billion people who use social media today. If you’re imagining billions of faces staring at smartphones around the world, you’re not far off. In fact, 85% of users access their social accounts through mobile devices.
In this case, “active” users may be an understatement; we upload anywhere from two to four billion social media images onto platforms every day. And on Snapchat, for instance, users share 8,796 photos each second. Even Facebook — whose users post a comparatively meager 4,501 pictures per second — still cranks over 350 million photos a day.
This all quickly adds up to some almost unfathomable totals. By 2017, experts predict that we will share 4.7 trillion photos annually — that’s over 335,000 times larger than the photo collection of the Library of Congress, for reference.
How to Stand Above the Crowd with Social Media Images
In such an oversaturated social sphere, it’s never been more difficult to get your story seen (and shared). However, it’s easier than many people realize. Despite the overwhelming number of images on social media, visual content is still the most effective way to boost audience engagement. On Twitter, just adding an image to a tweet can generate nine times as many retweets, for example.
More importantly, most visual content that exists on social media isn’t interesting or original.
Pinterest users repin 80% of their images from someone else; only 20% of users create their own content. It’s much easier to draw attention to yourself when your content is strikingly new, and therefore valuable. Entrepreneur notes that the most effective photos must be original, current, relevant, and “snackable.” In other words, they’re high-quality images that tap into breaking news stories and social trends, or are so inherently appealing that they can’t be ignored.
Those kinds of photos are hard to come by, of course. While most social media users aren’t professionals trying to drive traffic, businesses themselves struggle to post great photos. In fact, only 27% of marketing companies feel that they can effectively find, organize, and distribute visual content.
It’s tough to pick out the best content creators from the crowd, which is why you should find someone with a bird’s-eye perspective. Scopio finds the most buzzworthy photos and videos on the social media so you don’t have to. With premier, licensed photos from the day’s top stories, you can influence the multitude without losing yourself in it.
Scopio is the industry’s premier search and licensing platform for images and videos on social media. We help companies find and use the photos and videos that matter to their audience, from capturing content to evaluating the analytics on campaigns. Wondering how you can leverage UGC to help you tout your brand? Request a demo with the button below or email email@example.com.