Why Building Photos Go Viral: A Random Social Media Study

As social media data junkies, our team at Random loves to explore the reasons why some of our social media posts perform better than others. The topic at hand? Why photos of buildings (that's right, buildings) tend to perform higher than other photos on social media.

The Building Blocks

In the ever-evolving landscape of content marketing, it's crucial to understand what resonates with your audience. Recent research and analysis of client data have revealed an intriguing trend: content featuring images of buildings significantly outperforms other types of content in both engagement and impressions. Let's delve into the numbers and the potential reasons behind this phenomenon.

For the purpose of this study, we stuck to one social media platform: Instagram. Our Social Media Analyst did some deep diving into our clients' social media profiles and collected any photos that displayed the exterior of their buildings. Once the sample of posts was collected, he proceeded to examine the posts based on various KPIs, keeping a focus on engagement and impressions. 

What Stands Out

  1. Engagement: Content with images of buildings averaged an impressive 89.5% better in engagement compared to the monthly content averages.
  2. Impressions: Such content also saw a 44% increase in impressions over their monthly content averages.

These statistics are compelling, suggesting that there's more to building imagery than meets the eye.

Breaking it Down

Hypothesis #1: Breaking the Monotony with Visual Appeal

Most content calendars feature a myriad of images, from people and products to landscapes and abstract graphics. However, our data indicates that there are usually no more than 1 or 2 photos of buildings per month in the case of our clients, Comerica Bank. As you can see, in Comerica Bank's Instagram feed, the scarcity could be a reason that these images stand out, breaking the content monotony. Their unique visual appeal might be the breath of fresh air that users need, prompting them to engage more with the content.

Hypothesis #2: Landmarks for Branding

Buildings, especially iconic ones, can serve as recognizable landmarks. When consistently featured in content, they can become synonymous with a brand's identity. Think of how the Eiffel Tower is instantly associated with Paris or how the Golden Gate Bridge is emblematic of San Francisco. By leveraging such powerful symbols, brands can create a strong visual identity that resonates with their audience.

Here are two examples of buildings that Comerica Bank holds near and dear to their heart. Their newest construction, known as Business HQ, and the Comerica Tower, both located in Dallas, TX, are pinnacle examples of how companies can use buildings as part of their brand image.

Hypothesis #3: A Sense of Geography and Relatability

Buildings inherently convey a sense of place. Whether it's a skyscraper in New York or a historic building in Texas, they ground content in a specific geography. This can foster a sense of relatability, especially among local audiences. For instance, this photo of the Comerica Tower amongst the Dallas, TX, skyline, may have resonated with our local audience and given them a sense of pride, ultimately making them more likely to engage with it.

While the exact reasons behind the success of building imagery in content marketing might remain a subject of debate, the numbers are clear: they work. Whether it's their rarity, their branding potential, or their geographical significance, buildings have carved a niche for themselves in the content landscape.

Brands looking to boost their engagement and impressions might consider incorporating more architectural imagery into their content strategy. After all, in the world of content marketing, it's all about building connections “ and what better way to do that than with buildings?

Break the monotony; let Random get your audience engaged! Contact us to learn more about how we can transform your social media. 

What Social Media Analytics Tool Should I Use?

So you've created your social media strategy, posted your content, and engaged with followers. What's left? Perhaps the most important part: analytics. Without looking at the concrete numbers, you'll never fully know how well your campaigns are performing. Join us as we break down some of the most popular analytics tools and whether or not they're worth your time. Plus, get additional insights from our very own Social Media Analyst, Brandon!


One of our favorite tools at Random is Agorapulse. It's a full-service program, with capabilities for publishing, social listening, response management, and reporting. 

Its analytics tools are extensive, with interactive graphs on audience growth, engagements, impressions, brand awareness, hashtag interactions, and more. It also has a built-in comparison feature that tells you the percent change in metrics compared to the previous month.

For Instagram and Facebook, Agorapulse also shows the demographics of your average follower, as well as the top cities, countries, and languages of your audience. 

Last (and maybe the best) is the feature that shows when your users are most actively engaging with your content. This is super helpful if you're wondering about the best times to post your content to optimize reach and engagements.


Agorapulse has a free version that supports a maximum of 3 social profiles and a single user. This is perfect for anyone looking to track the most basic metrics for their personal brand or small business. 

We think the best deal for agencies and teams is the Premium account for $200 a month, which allows up to 20 social profiles and four users. Have more than four people on your team? No worries! You can add more users and social profiles for small additional monthly charges.

Brandon's Insights

One of the biggest benefits in practice with Agorapulse, has to be its user-friendly layout to read analytics. Between audience visualizations, listed content, and even data on competitors, you can access everything seamlessly within a single interface. Although a lot of the basic social media metrics are available for your posts, you may need to utilize the platform in conjunction with native analytics to retrieve more involved variables such as engagement rates and click-through rates. Otherwise, Agorapulse is a great starting point for parsing your social media platforms.

Sprout Social

Sprout is another full-service site for scheduling posts, social listening, and tracking performance. Unlike Agorapulse, Sprout allows you to create highly customized reports and dashboards.

One of the best features is the ability to add multiple profiles to a graph to compare performance across platforms. Sprout also reports on both engagements and engagement rate. You can even connect ad accounts to track performance of paid campaigns.

Finally, a unique feature on Sprout is the ability to look at the posts and performance of competitors of your choosing.


The cost of Sprout is quite pricier than Agorapulse, with the Professional plan for 10 social profiles costing $149 per month per user. The Standard plan is only $89 per month per user, but it only allows five profiles and doesn't include paid campaign or competitor reporting.

Brandon's Insights

In the way of reading analytics, compared to its competitor Agorapulse, Sprout Social offers a more extensive way to analyze the performance of your content. One of its stronger features includes the sorting tools under 'Post Performance' which allows you to filter content through hundreds of different metrics (easily thousands of possible combinations to sort your content). These can include more advanced metrics such as post engagement rates, CTR, and many more. As a result, many first-time users may find the platform much more difficult to navigate and newer users in social media analytics tools will require a more involved learning experience.


While other analytics programs can seem a little overwhelming with the amount of data to sort through, Later is more limited but simplified. With the free plan, a profile summary of total posts and followers is pretty much the extent of what you can access. 

The paid plans, however, allow you to see engagements, impressions, audience growth, and more. For Instagram profiles, there are even dedicated tabs for tracking Reel and Story performance.

A unique feature of Later is the Linkin.bio extension. You can create your link and connect it to your Instagram profile right in Later, as well as track its metrics like views and click-through rate.


Later is a great option for individuals or agencies on a budget. The Advanced plan is $80 a month for six social profiles and six users, and you can add extra users for only $5 more a month. If you're a bigger agency handling many brands at once, they also offer higher price-point Scale plans that are still more affordable than Sprout's intermediate plans.


Gain is one of the best publishing platforms, especially for content that needs a chain of approvals. They've recently added analytics capabilities to the site as a beta feature, and we're hoping they'll continue to expand it.

For now, you can see metrics such as impressions, engagement rate, and clicks for each post across all your platforms. Similarly to Agorapulse, there is also a comparison feature that displays the percent change in metrics from the previous month.


While Gain doesn't yet have extensive analytical tools, it has one of the best pricing systems across the sites we've covered. They only have one plan, and it allows for unlimited social profiles. For $99 a month, the first 10 users are free and additional users after that are an extra $10 a month. Are you a non-profit? Gain offers a 50% discount on its subscription for verified non-profit organizations!

Native Analytics

Finally, using social platforms' native analytics tools is always free. Meta Business Suite is known for being difficult to use at times, but it does have in-depth results for Facebook and Instagram content. Twitter has downgraded its audience analytics tools in the past few years, but you can still see metrics such as clicks, engagement rate, and impressions. 

At the end of the day, any analytics tool you use is helpful for understanding what works well with your audience, what doesn't, and what you can change for the next content calendar. Social media marketing is all about analyzing results in order to adapt and evolve, after all. 

What analytics tool do you use? Let us know in the comments. Need someone else to handle all the analyzing and reporting for your socials? Reach out to us below to learn how we can work together!