The first impression of any visitor, regardless of how they arrive at your site, will be heavily influenced by the appearance of the site. Generally, opinions are formed in a matter of seconds, not minutes, so creating a positive impression is critical. While most of your website’s visitors will have a short attention span, social media users are notoriously quick to leave a site that doesn’t impress them right away.
Obviously, when it comes to social media, first impressions can help you or hurt you. Try to evaluate your site from the perspective of a first-time visitor that is arriving from social media. Would the page increase the chances of getting your vote, or would it make you want to leave and visit another site? Pictures and images can often help with creating first impressions. A great example of this is Blog Well’s post 100+ Resources for Web Developers. This post was popular on Digg, StumbleUpon and del.icio.us. While there are plenty of other similar lists for designers and developers, this one got a boost from a picture at the top of the post (screenshot below). Interestingly, the majority of the comments on the Digg submission (which received over 2,000 diggs) had nothing to do with the article or the developer resources, but rather the girl. This is an example of a blog using a picture to capture the attention of visitors (at least male visitors) and using that to attract social media votes