With each passing day, the dynamic and dramatic nature of social media becomes more evident and pronounced. Dynamic due to the limitless additions of social platforms to its list (recent ones being Pinterest, Instagram, etc.); and dramatic, because almost anyone can get up close and personal with people who have inspired them or offended them (Twitter, Grapevine, etc).
Hence, it was obvious that the explosion of visual content on various social media platforms was bound to happen. Customers search for products not brands, and a brand’s story is best manifested online with pictures and videos. Incorporating visual content could thus become a powerful marketing tool for small and medium enterprises.
The top four visually-driven social networks are: • Facebook • Twitter • Pinterest • Instagram Dr. William J. Ward, a social media professor at Syracuse University, in a recent interview has revealed some surprising statistics: • Weekly visits to Pinterest from North American users hit nearly 29 million in July 2012, up from 1.27 million in 2011, representing an increase of 2,183 percent, according to Experian Marketing Services.
• 44 percent of respondents to a 2012 study by ROI Research said they are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures.
• Research by Simply Measured for M Booth found that photos on Facebook are “liked” twice as often as text updates and that videos on Facebook are twelve times more likely to be shared than links and text post combined. So what do the above studies convey? If your business isn’t prepared for the visual content revolution, then you might be left in the dust. It would be worthwhile to note that in order to successfully incorporate visual content onto social media, consistency plays a very important role.
Hence, while small businesses try to include visual content onto the different social media platforms, a point worth considering would be the maintenance of consistency throughout. Sharing and providing relevant and valuable visual content on a consistent basis is essential to an effective social campaign.
It’s an obvious fact that when it comes to social sharing, customers are more inclined to share attractive images and videos, rather than plain emails and snail mails. Hence, consider this, are you mixing in any video and visual content on your respective social media, or is it all text and blog articles?
So step up your visual content game! A few helpful tips are:
1. Build your business’ image archive. Consider if you need to hire a professional to help start the image inventory. Else, does your business have a digital camera (and a competent amateur photographer) to create your own archive?
2. Review other videos and if useful, share them with your customers.
3. Create infographics! They are a definite means of attracting consumers and will be shared amongst them if they are well-designed.
4. Hear out your customers in order to find out the type of content that interests, suits and entertains them. This will help you discover how best to grab their attention through the visual content you intend to share. 5. Find ways to encourage customers to share original photo content related to your business. You could do this by asking followers to use your business’ hashtag, or by holding contests on Facebook, etc. This will also provide you with new visual content to use.
The above infographic features a timeline about the recent growth of visual content on various social mediums. And isn’t it an absolutely convincing example of how its addition can appeal to customers! To conclude, it will be wise to remember these words by Ekaterina Walter, Intel’s social media strategist, “Brands that can rock visual media will find themselves, market leaders”. So why wait? Get visual, and get shared!