Images Rule in Social Media

By John R. Aberle | Small Business Management

Nov 13

Frank is an internet marketer wanting to build engagement with his community by providing interesting and useful information. Previously, he learned in MDG Advertising’s May 2012 infographic, “It’s All about the Images that “Articles containing relevant images gets 94 percent more views than articles without images, on average.” That established the importance of images for social media. But Frank discovered this is only part of the challenge.

Here’s a Juicy Statistic for Image Lovers


An orange slice background with an overlay of a red and green graph to depict 94% more views


Reader Engagement Hampered by Volume of Daily Information

While you want to get more views, which means images are really important, the next step is that you want to get engagement. Views alone are not enough. Building a relationship only happens when people actively engage with you.

Screen capture of article in The Telegraph about 174 newspapers a day

It becomes challenging in a world where you are bombarded with information that is the equivalent of 174 newspapers daily. Frank found that Richard Alleyne shared this figure from Dr. Martin Hilbert and his team at the University of Southern California. This figure is already dated, though, because it was already true in 2007. In 1986, the amount of information daily was only equal to about 40 newspapers of 85 pages each.

It’s no wonder that people feel overwhelmed: articles; blog posts; podcasts; videos on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook Live, Periscope, and Snapchat; banner ads; sidebar ads; searches on Google, Bing or Yahoo!; emails; text messages; and the list rolls on.

Doubtless, you, like Frank and other small businesses and entrepreneurs who believe in relationship marketing, are trying to develop relationships with your potential customers and prospects. To do that, you are using social media. Moreover, you want to engage with readers. To do so means that they must read and relate to what you post.

To Be Remembered, Vision Rules

Dr. John J. Medina, a developmental molecular biologist, is author of Brain Rules. In it he reveals “Rule #10: Vision trumps all other senses.” Specifically, he states that “We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.”[1]

The Danger of Using Public Domain Images

Assuming you are convinced that you want to use images, be careful about the images that you use. If you didn’t create them and you just grabbed an image using Google Image Search, you could be violating someone’s copyright. For that, the penalties can be steep. An Internet marketing friend pointed out one of the major image distributors became wealthy suing people who used their images without paying.

If you decide to do a search for “public domain,” you need to be aware that not all “public domain” pictures are free to use for commercial purposes. If you make an affiliate commission or royalty for anything related to the site on which you post your article with an image, that use is considered commercial, even though the article in which it appears isn’t selling anything. To be perfectly clear about this, check with an intellectual property rights attorney.

Choices Other Than Public Domain Image Searches

Or to avoid that expense and hassle, here are some choices for you:

  • Shoot your own pictures
  • Do your own designs
  • Buy a license to use a commercially available picture – these licenses have limitations on use and size so read the fine print – and comply
  • Buy a package of images that include a royalty free, unlimited use license

Sheila Finkelstein offers this affiliate product, “Fruits and Vegetables – Royalty Free Stock Photos” on the DUvisio affiliate network. There are 100 images, some of which she shows in a video on her sales page, that are royalty free, unlimited use – including commercial use. You can send out to your community about these images or get them for your own use.

To surface above the flood of information that drowns your ideal customers daily, especially in social media, use appropriate images.  They will make your material more memorable. But remember to be careful of your sources.  If you can use images of fruits and vegetables in your marketing, take advantage of Sheila’s low-priced package. Remember, content with relevant images gets 94% more views. And the license saves you a potentially huge fine for copyright infringement.

Writing to empower relationships,

 John's digital signature written with mouse




John R. Aberle,



As of this writing, this bundle of 100 photos of fruits and vegetables is only $17, a small price to pay for “All – Royalty Free • Extended License • Unlimited Use” images when the penalty for copyright infringement is astronomical. Even if copyright isn’t an issue to you, if you need produce pictures, the value of the time save searching for public domain commercial use photos is far less than this small payment.

[1] Wednesday, June 22, 2016 – Medina, John J.  “Brain Rules”


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About the Author

I have a strong love for small businesses, especially brick and mortar companies. After an 18-year career in sales and marketing, I started my own service company, which I grew in both sales and profits for the first five years. In my sixth year, the bottom dropped out of the printer market such that it made more sense to sell my assets and return to Southern California. There I went to work for an international small business consulting company. I spent over three years on the road with them helping small businesses to become more profitable and better managed. I then started my own company specializing in sales and marketing consulting, coaching and training. My emphasis is on heart-centered, relationship selling that empowers prospects to make their own choices.