Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? An Empirical Study of Image Content and Social Media Engagement

Published on 2019-11-19T13:07:13Z (GMT) by
<div><p>Are social media posts with pictures more popular than those without? Why do pictures with certain characteristics induce higher engagement than some other pictures? Using data sets of social media posts about major airlines and sport utility vehicle brands collected from Twitter and Instagram, the authors empirically examine the influence of image content on social media engagement. After accounting for selection bias on the inclusion of image content, the authors find a significant and robust positive mere presence effect of image content on user engagement in both product categories on Twitter. They also find that high-quality and professionally shot pictures consistently lead to higher engagement on both platforms for both product categories. However, the effect of colorfulness varies by product category, while the presence of human face and image–text fit can induce higher user engagement on Twitter but not on Instagram. These findings shed light on how to improve social media engagement using image content.</p></div>

Cite this collection

Li, Yiyi; Xie, Ying (2019): Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? An Empirical Study of Image Content and Social Media Engagement. SAGE Journals. Collection. https://doi.org/10.25384/SAGE.c.4744844.v1