Do Pictures of People Increase Facebook Engagement?
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Marketers can spend hours deciding and producing content they can publish on the Facebook page pages of brands. Strategists, creatives, and managers are constantly debating about the best images to use and which ones don’t work for the sake of a brand. There are times when they argue about whether or not a brand should feature people in its brand’s images, and everyone is a bit different.

At Tags, we’ve decided to use the information to resolve the issue of whether the people who are featured in brand photos aid or hinder Facebook engagement click here.

Our Hypothesis

Images of brands without people could be more likely to generate engagement than images that include people. This stems from personal observations that when a Facebook user is presented with pictures of an item, lifestyle, or landscape that does not have a person in the picture, the user is more likely to visualize themselves within the image and thus is more likely to share, like or even leave a comment on the photo.

How Does the Presence of People in Brand Images Relate to Engagement?

We utilized Tags Visual Content Marketing software to search for 365 brand images published on Facebook from the beginning of the calendar year. We pulled these images from 14 popular Facebook consumer brands from the food and retail sectors.

We classified every image as having a person in it, not having a person, or showing just a tiny portion of an individual, for example, the hand holding a product, but not showing a person’s face. We discovered that more than 50% of images (54 percent) released by brands did not feature people and only 41% contained people.

We calculated the engagement for each image as a percentage of fans to gather data across brands. We evaluated concentration across groups and came up with the following:

It was a surprise for us! We thought that images of no subject would get the most engagement. We were shocked to discover that images that only showed parts or body parts, for example, an individual with a product, had the highest level of engagement among the three categories. We dug a bit more into the data and analyzed it through shares, likes on posts, or comments to give insight into these findings.

Breakdown of People Frequency of all Brands in the Study

Here’s the analysis of the brand’s profile in our study, which reveals the frequency they share images of as well as without. Have a look. Are there any implications from the brand’s strategy being thrown out?

The significant restaurants, Pizza Hut, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, and Subway, all make me smile. They all depend heavily on pictures of people (typically promotional images of their food or drink products).

Dunkin’ Donuts images mainly only display people around 77% of the time. That is the lowest among any other brands on this list. Additionally, 11 percent of DD images depict just a body part, usually the hand holding a snack or drink product. Most DD images, 4 out of five in actuality, do not contain people.

Exciting findings about Engagement with People

Most of the brands we studied matched our initial expectations that pictures with no people would be more successful than images with people, in terms of engagement on Facebook, especially in the retail industry. Here are some noteworthy results.

However, three brands showcased images featuring people as more engaging than those that did not have individuals: Subway, Victoria’s Secret, and Abercrombie & Fitch.

We looked up 130 Subway Facebook images and found that 28% of them featured the person. We also discovered that Subway Facebook images with people have a higher engagement rate of 16% more than Subway images that do not have people.

Subway’s photos of people frequently feature at least one of the numerous customers or spokespeople. They are effective for comments and likes but don’t do as well regarding getting shares.

In Victoria’s Secret, We found that photos that feature people (most of them are sexily dressed Angels models) are engaging for the viewers at a high percentage and more than a 2:1 increase than images in which models do not appear.

Although it’s not as big as the increase seen with Victoria’s Secret, it’s noteworthy that Abercrombie & Fitch also had the highest level of engagement when it came to images featuring people of all ages, around 9 percent more. Also, Abercrombie & Fitch gets engagement support from a team of stunning models, particularly male models.