The Value of Visuals on Social Media

 In Content Marketing, Facebook, General, Instagram, Marketing, Pinterest, Social Media, Twitter

We already know how important it is to be clear and concise in your marketing efforts, but how can you cut your message to even fewer words? That saying, “A picture’s worth a thousand words,” may, in fact, have been an extreme understatement. 3M Corporation did some research that determined that we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text! With more than 250 million pictures being uploaded to Facebook every day, there are an extraordinary number of stories being told without any words needed at all! For those of us who struggle with limiting our words, that 140 character count on Twitter may sometimes feel suffocating. Using visuals on social media to your advantage is clutch in these situations, because you can reinforce your message in a different way. Sharing photos gives us the opportunity to use our text allowance for the necessary details, and the visual just serves to entice the audience. Just browsing my Twitter stream, I was able to find a perfect example: @AinsworthNYC (interestingly, their image was shared by a friend from London, so check out that reach!). https://twitter.com/Ainsworthnyc/status/467684793522864129 If I wanted to catch the Rangers game last weekend, The Ainsworth gave me all the details I needed—who’s playing, when, and where I should go to watch it. If there was any question about whether or not I’d be able to indulge in some beer and wings during the game, their picture nipped that right in the bud. The wings don’t even have to be in focus to immediately make me wish I was there eating them right now. While there’s an inherent connection between sports games and bars, and a clear motivation to push those events to get bodies in the door, following what’s current on social media doesn’t always have to be a direct means to an end. Staying on top of what’s trending with your audience gives you a killer opportunity to engage with your customers on a very personal level. A few weeks ago, the 10th anniversary of Mean Girls took the internet by storm, completely flooding every social media stream. The team at ModCloth is super hands-on when it comes to social, and they were quick to jump on the Mean Girls bandwagon on April 30th. While there was certainly an opportunity for ModCloth to sell some of those cute pink dresses, there was no urgency, no hard sell. It was just an opportunity for their brand to hop into the conversation about the anniversary—one that had plenty of people talking. And as you engage with your audience, there might not be anything more important than listening to what they have to say. Using visuals on social media to spark engagement opens the conversation, but it’s up to you to keep reinventing those visuals on social media so you don’t lose momentum. Listening to your audience allows you to be inspired by them, which can sometimes lead to incredible marketing campaigns. After advertisers for Oreo at Mondelez International Inc. got wind of people using forks to dunk their Oreos, they knew they struck gold. Kristin Hajinlian, brand manager for Oreo at the firm, told Adweek, “Isn’t that a creative way to enjoy the cookie in a new way? It got us thinking about what other kitchen utensils and things that you can bring into the Oreo experience.” Oreo subsequently started an Oreo Snack Hacks web series, starring several famous chefs, such as Michael Voltaggio, Nguyen Tran, and Roy Choi. Scrolling through Oreo’s Facebook page, it’s easy to see the spikes in shares every time a Snack Hacks video is posted. Creating shareable content is one of the heaviest goals for marketers, because when consumers share your content, you’re suddenly opened up to a rush of word of mouth endorsement. Visual content is shared more often across every social network, so when you find something that works it’s important to keep that campaign alive—devoting your efforts to whatever’s having the most significant impact on your audience. What brands are sharing visuals on social media that you love? Let us know your favorites on Facebook or Twitter!

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