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Facebook Customer Engagement with Business: 89 Percent Driven by Photos

Photos Posted on Facebook Represent 89% of the Most Engaging Business Posts, Including Car Dealers...

Last week I was using new social media engagement tracking software from Infinigraph which allowed me to isolate automotive related content from other industries and products... I was flabbergasted when I saw that OVER 90% of social media engagement interactions with consumers related to the auto industry were initiated by Photos and images posted by car companies and dealerships.

In addition to the chart shown above (which is licensed for reposting), I ran the reports for December 2012 and for the entire year of 2012... Similar results showing that photographs elicit the most frequent interactions with consumers.  This struck me as significant enough that we are planning to include workshops at AutoCon 2013 specifically designed around improving the quality and efficiency of car dealers taking vehicle photographs and posting them online.

This Recent research from HubSpot has also indicated that Facebook photos generate higher engagement than the average post. Additionally, new data provided to MarketingCharts by Socialbakers supports this finding. Socialbakers took a sample of approximately 90,000 posts from 24,000 brand pages around the world during the week of November 26-December 2, and analyzed the top 10% most engaging posts. Of those, 89% were photos, with the remainder being links (4%), videos (4%), and status updates (3%).

Some of that dominance in engagement on the part of Facebook photos is due to their volume. Among that initial sample of 90,000 posts, for example, 77% were photos, with the remainder split among links (9%), status updates (7%), video (6%), and others (1%).

Even when taking that into account, though, photos appear to generate higher-than-average engagement. The HubSpot study, which examined 1,545 B2B and B2C companies in October 2012, found photos generating 53% more likes than the average post (including link, text, and photo posts) and 104% more comments than the average post.

Content Types See Varying Reach

Earlier research from Socialbakers indicates that post types not only see varying engagement rates, but also different levels of organic reach. For that analysis, Socialbakers examined 47,783 from 274 Facebook pages from August through October, finding a general decline in average reach during each month, from 19% in August to 16% in September and 12% in October. (Studies from Group M Next and the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, as reported by Ad Age, also have found a general decline in post reach, although those studies also found engagement to be rising.)

The decline in reach found by Socialbakers was more pronounced for some post types than others. Links, which boasted the highest level of organic reach in August, at 22%, saw that figure drop to 19% in September and 15% in October. That equates to a 35% drop during that time period.

Photos, which counted as the content type with the second-highest reach in August (19%), saw a drop to 16% in September and 12% in October. In all, a 36% fall over the 3-month period.

Status updates, by contrast, held fairly steady throughout the period, at 16% organic reach in August, 14% in September, and 15% in October. Organic reach for videos, meanwhile, fell from 16% in August to 12% in October.

Overall then, while photos generate above-average engagement on Facebook, they have seen a steady decline in reach, to the point where they trail links and status updates on this measure.

Other Findings:

  • 60% of the photo/image posts analyzed by HubSpot did not include a link, a huge missed opportunity for brands.

  • According to the Socialbakers analysis of post reach, by the last week of October, average post reach was down to just 8-9%. By the following week, images and links were reaching an average of only 8% of fan bases, with videos trailing at 5-6% reach.

Data Source:

by Ralph Paglia 

Views: 725

Tags: 89 Percent, Business, Content Marketing, Customer Engagement, Driven, Facebook, Photos, Social Media


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Comment by Ralph Paglia on February 3, 2013 at 2:54pm

Great comments everyone... I suppose I am not surprised that long time Facebook users are not surprised! But, I want to point out that the Infinigraph "Real Time" consumer engagement analysis did blow me away... Sure, I knew that photos are effective, but when you see the raw data and see that in December 2012 over 90% of the posts that drew any sort of consumer engagement or shares were photos, well... It makes me wonder if we are not doing a good enough job with video or what the heck is going on... Yes, I agree that the human eye is attracted to imagery, but the numbers almost seem TOO skewed towards image effectiveness to be human psychology alone. In the meantime, we sure do know that photos, images, charts and Infographs work well!

Comment by Nora Nesbitt on January 30, 2013 at 9:42am

Thank you for the information!

Comment by Jason K. Boothe on January 30, 2013 at 6:47am

I am trying to use photographs and/or video in each Facebook and Twitter posting. The more multimedia I can employ in dealership posts, the better chance of catching the eye (and attention) of the audience. Great and timely post!

Comment by Erin Miller on January 28, 2013 at 12:58pm

I totally agree! I know from my personal profile newsfeed, that my eye goes straight for the pictures and captions. I hardly notice posts without pictures. I try to never post anything on our page without a visual to go along with it. I also make sure any links are correct. There is nothing worse than clicking on a link to something you are interested in and getting an error message instead of the expected information. Not to mention the lost opportunity for the page. I'm stil experimenting with what types of posts and what times to post to get the most engagement and reach.

Comment by jim leonard on January 27, 2013 at 5:30pm

Ralph, Invited you to my facebook page,  I knew this from the beginning because Im a facebook "ho".  I use it constantly, long before the dealership started.   I simply transposed my own personality and experience over to our company page.  Like I told you in my letter, our one year old dealership only sells about 20 @ month at this time, with front end gross only of about 3620 a round, ,,,,,  but have the #1 facebook page on any franchise or dealer period in oklahoma and the surrounding states.  All "photo' oriented.  We encourage customer engagement with our humorous photos

Comment by Tom Gorham on January 27, 2013 at 1:15pm

Why doesn't this surprise me?  Most people are visual oriented.  The only surprise to me is video.  I would have thought that it would be higher.  But if others are like me, I turn off my sound while I am cruising the web.  I absolutely hate videos that start on their own without the consumer giving permission.

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