Why Image Posts Perform Better Than Text Posts

“Attaching an image to your text posts will increase your reach and engagement.”

Have seen this by a bunch of people now.

Although it’s kinda true, I think it’s based on a misunderstanding.

It’s not that attaching a PNG or JPEG file to your text post will somehow magically increase its reach.

It’s not like the LinkedIn algorithm looks at your post and says “Oh, here’s a JPEG file attached, so I will distribute it to more people.”

This is what actually happens:

When you post something on LinkedIn, talking about whatever you wanna talk about, some people will be interested in that, and some people will not.

If it’s a plain text post, the likes and comments you’ll get will be more or less exactly from those people who took the time to actually read your post. Few people just like a text post they didn’t read.

But when you attach an image to it, especially if it’s an image of yourself, a selfie, you now not only get likes from people who actually read your post, but also from all the people who just know and like you.

They see your face, they press like. I do that with a lot of friends.

Now that’s great because you get extra engagement, which always feels nice, and it might even help to show it to new people (though I think people way overestimate that part).

But those extra likes don’t mean that more people actually read what you had to say. It might actually fool you into thinking that your topic was more interesting than it actually was.

So we need to know what we’re optimizing for. Are we optimizing for as many likes as possible, or are we optimizing for writing posts that are interesting enough that more people want to read top to bottom?

This doesn't mean that attaching an image to your post isn’t sometimes a great idea.

Niels Klement is a great example. He creates these graphics for his posts that actually make the content easier to understand or illustrate a point further. In this case, the image elevates the *content* of the post.

But it’s a misunderstanding that attaching a JPEG or PNG file to your text post will somehow magically increase its reach.