Your ideal social media images? Print covers!

February 1st, 2015

The CMA’s own infographic reinforces the fact that 44% of people are more likely to engage with content on social media that contains pictures. But which pictures? Ironically, some of the best possible images to circulate on social media are… print covers.

A magazine or catalogue cover is a summation of a brand’s positioning at a particular moment, with its design, its imagery and its coverlines all working together to communicate for a brand. How many other images get that kind of intense creativity and commitment? How many get the same level of client buy-in? How many images are so carefully judged for impact?

Simply posting a print cover on to a brand’s website may, by sitting there for some time, make a brand look static. But posting it instead on social media, and circulating it for a relatively limited period, is much more dynamic. It stresses immediacy, particularly of publications with infrequent schedules and long shelf life – and it boosts anticipation of the publication itself.

And when there is a story behind a cover, like a cover personality, guest illustrator or hot photographer, there is something which can take the image beyond a brand’s immediate following and out to other audiences.

A recent interview with Gail Bichler, Design Director of the New York Times magazine, addressed this in a different context. “Over the last decade or so, as magazine publishing has moved more and more into the digital space, covers didn’t seem to have a home outside of print,” she admitted.

“But more recently, with the increased popularity of social media and particularly with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, it feels as if magazine covers have found a new home. There seems to be a much bigger appetite for all things visual. People are consuming content in small bites on their phones throughout the day in between whatever else they’re doing and the covers are a quick visual hit that people can react to and share.”

This news magazine approach is something which can be exploited with client publications. Whether it’s a new launch, a redesign, a special photographer or illustrator, or simply the latest issue of a magazine or catalogue, a new print cover is an impactful visual event, with enormous potential for circulation on social media.

Have you got it covered?

Paul Keers is London Bureau Chief of White Light Media

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