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Business owners who use social media to interact with their customers online see success distributing links leading back to their website content via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more. Social networks reach wider audiences, and new insights can help professionals see the benefits of social media marketing more clearly than ever before. An experiment conducted by Search Engine Watch contributor Jennifer Wong discovered that Tweets with images generate more interactions than posts without graphics.

Twitter Test OptifyWong ran the experiment by tweeting one message with a photo and URL link and another with just a URL. Each Tweet received the same number of website visits, but the message with the image referred traffic twice as likely to convert. More, the Tweet with the photo and URL link saw a 120 percent increase in engagement and 350 percent more clicks from followers. Business owners who have set goals for their campaigns, like improving fan engagement, should include images in their Tweets. However, pictures can influence interaction rates elsewhere on the web, too.

HubSpot ran an experiment in November 2012 to determine how photos affected Facebook Page engagement. Data found that images received 53 percent more Likes than the average text-based post. In addition to Likes, average comments-per-photo increased by 104 percent when compared to text-only updates. Business owners who use both Twitter and Facebook to interact with their customers online must include images in their posts when it feels natural and organic. These elements increase Page activity and, in some instances, drive traffic back to branded websites.

Of course, in order to maintain a level of consistency, business owners should also pair their websites and blog content with images. Whether professionals publish content with stock photos or their own graphics, engagement could increase, as evidenced by the experiments conducted on Twitter and Facebook. In an October 2011 study from Skyword, landing page views increased by 94 percent when articles contained relevant photographs or infographic content.

Small businesses need graphics across their online presences, whether operating on Twitter, Facebook or their websites. As a business owner, you can increase your web traffic by publishing and sharing blog content with images, a process that requires upfront investment, but offers a hefty return.