Abstract| Volume 45, ISSUE 4, SUPPLEMENT , S1-S2, July 2013

Picture This! Increasing Online Engagement by Using Photos and Videos


      Our objective was to increase visits to a website by using highly visual social media. The content on most social networking sites is fairly short. The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found the median length of the most popular YouTube videos was 2 minutes and 1 second. Tweets are 140 characters. For more information, it is frequently necessary to direct people back to a website.

      Target audience

      The target audience was online users of internet social networking sites.

      Theory, Prior Research, Rationale

      PEW Internet & American Life Project statistics show 71% of adults use video sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. Additionally, 46% of Internet users post their own photos and videos. When Hubspot, a company devoted to inbound marketing, evaluated 8,800 Facebook posts, they found photos on Facebook generated 53% more likes than other posts. Clearly, people are attracted to visual images.


      We researched and implemented ways to add more visuals to our online marketing. This included easy, inexpensive methods of making videos for YouTube and Vimeo; Pinterest Boards; SlideShare; Flickr; visuals on Facebook; images in tweets; and using visuals on LinkedIn posts.


      After using several types of visual social media, we examined the Google Analytics for our food-related website for views related to social media. Our results indicated there were 12,659 website views from social media referrals.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Think “visual” when implementing a social media strategy to engage clientele to seek more information from a website. Other educators can benefit from our examples in creating their own engaging social media.