A Guide to the Psychology of Visual Marketing for Social Media Managers

visual marketing for social media

Social media is all about visual content.  If you’re looking for content to market your brand, you should capitalise on the power of visual content to draw your audience’s attention.

Facts suggest that humans have a tendency to process images 60,000 times faster than they process text. In fact, images tend to hold the power to elicit emotions from your audience and emotions play an important role in building a memory. Visual content can, in this sense, help in brand recall and enhance brand awareness.

Whether you are a consumer brand or a business-to-business brand, if you really want to engage your audience, you need to have a strong visual marketing strategy. Using photos, graphics, infographics, videos etc. helps you grab your audience’s attention and compels them to respond in one way or the other.

You can use images or videos to compliment your text, website or blog content. You can use visual content in creative and innovative ways to compel interactions from your audience. Inculcating visual content will help you take your social media marketing strategy to the next level. As such, it is important to understand the psychology of visual marketing.

The Psychology Of Visual Marketing Explained

Applying The Golden Ratio To Your Visual Content

Taking away from the field of architecture, design and engineering, you can use the golden ratio to get the right dimensions for your images. The golden ratio is known to emit positive psychological responses from your audience. It helps the human brain recognise a piece of art or architecture as perfect. By applying this golden ratio, you can create visual content that appeals to the audience and elicits a positive reaction from them.

Golden ratio images

To know if your image fits the golden ratio or not, you need to measure the dimensions of your images. In order to check for the golden ratio of your images, you need to divide the width of your image by its height. If you arrive at 0.618 or 1.618 as an answer, your image fits the golden ratio.

Positioning Of Photo Elements According To The Rule Of Thirds

An important rule to follow for adding images is to follow the rule of thirds. Especially when you are capturing important elements such as your products, you should follow the rule of thirds. Avoid placing the main subject (s) of your image in the centre of the frame.

Instead, divide your photos into grids. Then place the main elements at the points where the grids intersect with one another. Most photographers follow this rule to the T. You too should inculcate this rule into your visual marketing strategy.

Rule of thirds

Using Human Faces In Imagery

Use images with human faces to attract your audience. Research has shown that using human faces in images helps in building a connection with your audience and enhancing brand engagement.

Take the example of this picture posted by Marc Jacobs Intl. The power of using faces in images is clearly evident in engaging the audience. As such, you can use images that feature human faces and draw your audience’s attention.

Using faces in Instagram photos

Employing The Psychology Of Colour

An important part of your social media marketing strategy while creating visual content is to employ the psychology of colour. It is important to use a set colour palette for the purpose of brand and at the same time, to elicit certain particular emotions.

Different colour patterns and palettes emit different kinds of emotions. Blue for instance, is connected with the emotions of peacefulness, calmness, honesty and trust.

Depending upon your brand identity and the nature of your business, you can identify what colour palette you should focus on. Sticking to this colour palette for all your visual content will help you establish your brand identity and also elicit the desired emotion in your audience. It would be a good idea to use the colour yellow for your call to action buttons. If your target audience is composed of women, for instance, you can focus on different hues and shades of pink for your visual content.

Color psychology in social media

Colour tends to play an important role in driving an action on part of your audience. Use a colour scheme that compels your audience to engage with your brand.

Understanding The Psychology Of Typography To Drive Brand Engagement

Typography plays an important role in building an impression on your audience. It is a vital component of your visual strategy. Typically, there are 5 different categories of fonts that are used in your visual content. Each of these font categories evoke different types of emotions and come to be associated with different aspects of a brand.

The first category of fonts, Serif, includes Garamond, Times New Roman, Baskerville, Georgia and Bodini. This category comes to be associated with respect, grandeur, tradition and authority. Ideally, Serif fonts should be used in editorial content or research papers.

The next category of fonts is that of Sans Serif and are associated with the aspects of modern, objective, stable, clean and universal brands. Under this category are included Arial, Helvetica, Calibri, Century Gothic and Verdana. You can use these fonts if you want to draw emphasis on a single word and as your corporate header text.

The third category of fonts is Slab Serif and includes Courier, Museo, Bevan, Rockwell and Clarendon. It is a font that can be associated with the aspects of strong, bold, modern, funky and solid. Brands such as Volvo and Sony. This category of fonts can be used to generally draw the attention of your target audience.

Salb Serif Fonts


Modern Font

Modern font used by Fashion entertainment brand

Another category of fonts is that of Script and includes Brush Script, Zapfino, Lobster, Lucida and Pacifico. This font is associated with the aspects of feminism, friendliness, creativity, intrigue and elegance. Corporate focused brands should avoid using this font in their typography, while creative brands can play around with this font.

Modern is the last category of fonts that is used in typography and it includes Eurostyle, Marjoram, Politica, Matchbook, and Infinity. This font is associated with fashionability, intelligence, sharpness, stylishness, and exclusivity. This font is found to be effective in social media messaging targeted at millennials.

Using this guide, you can decide what category of fonts will work well with your brand and emply it in your visual content.

Even if you are starting out as a brand in general, you can use this guide to employing typography to design your logo as well.

Branding Your Visual Content

For every business on social media, it is important to brand visual content to ensure consistency. Consistent branding of content can be done in the following ways:

  • Stick to a color palette to ensure consistency in all your content.
  • Add brand logos where possible
  • Follow consistency in the use of fonts in your visual content

Following these steps is essential according to the psychology of visual marketing because it helps in brand recall. A good social media marketing strategy calls for buidling brand awareness to enhance engagement for your brand.

Let your visual content speak for your brand and boost brand awareness. Showing consistency in your visual content will allow you to leave a set impression on the mind of your target audience.

At the same time, make sure to constantly monitor how your content is faring for your audience. You can do this by using a social media analytics tool. Track your reach, engagement and other important metrics. Based on the insights and intelligence you draw from the analytics tool, you can frame your content strategy.

Employing The Power Of Infographics

Infographics are one of the most powerful visual content. Readers have a tendency to take in information faster when it involves the use of visuals. Facts suggest that humans tend to process images faster than textual content. In this sense, Infographics use visual aid to convey complex or important information. After all, information presented with colors and icons is more interesting than a black and white piece.

Infographics is visually stimulating content that includes images, graphics, numbers, charts, graphs etc. By using these elements, Infographics can help capture information in an interesting, appealing manner. It depicts relationships amongst hierarchies, data, geography, etc.


Beauty brand history infographics

Take the example of these infographics by L’oreal and Sephora. These infographics make for the perfect combination of eye-catching visual content and information packed together in an interesting and interactive manner.

Use such infographics as inspiration and create interesting ones that will draw the attention of your audience.

Take the examples of these infographics created by these beauty and skin-care brands. These are interactive, interesting and intriguing. The visuals make sure to draw the attention of your audience and compel them to read through the content.

Using Videos To Drive Audience Interactions

Videos are one of the most engaging forms of visual content. Videos tend to invoke emotional reactions such as passion, excitement, connection etc. In fact, you can use videos to do just this and facilitate the connection of your brand with your audience.

 Video content

Live videos are a form of visual content that generate high levels of engagement. You can conduct live interviews, cover live events, or carry out live demonstrations or how-to videos. There are so many ways in which you can inculcate videos into your social media marketing strategy. These videos will help you invoke an emotional response from your audience and boost engagement with your brand.

Given above is a screenshot from a live stream conducted by Gucci with Jared Leto. Featuring a celebrity or Influencer online during the live stream can be a good idea to enhance engagement.


Visual content can do wonders for your brand. It has infinite power to generate engagement amongst your audience. Social media managers need to understand the psychology of visual marketing and leverage it to boost brand engagement. Here is a snapshot of the different ways by which you can boost engagement for your brand:

  • Apply the golden ratio to find the ideal dimensions for your images- a proven strategy employed by architects
  • Use the rule of thirds to place objects in your photos for optimum results
  • Use human faces in all your images to facilitate connection with your audience and enhance brand engagement
  • Let the psychology of colour dictate the colour scheme of your content
  • Use the right type of font for typography in your visual content according to your target audience and brand identity
  • Brand your visual content by following a pattern of consistency
  • Use Infographics to convey information in an interactive manner
  • Inculcate videos as a part of your visual marketing strategy to boost brand engagement

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