One Clear Way to Maximize Social Media
Face it. Many of us are visual creatures. Women have always gravitated to catalogs, magazines and cookbooks that include a lot pictures. One look tells them if they’re interested in knowing more. Same holds for many men when it comes to photos and/or videos of cars, women, sports, etc.
Plus, people are getting tired of reading. There is just too much information for our minds to consume these days. Visual eye candy is quicker.
Which is why it should come as no surprise that social media and the engagement within social media is driven more and more by all things visual. As the infographic below illustrates, Facebook users liked photos twice as often as text updates and shared videos 12 times more than photos and text posts combined.
This visual eye candy sharing has been true for Facebook for some time, but you could also include Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest into the mix as well. Dependent upon your audience, these channels may also be very effective.
Companies are beginning to figure out how to use visuals to effectively communicate their business stories and to get others to share those stories.
How can you tell your business story through visuals?
7 Steps to identify the right visuals for your business
1. Audience comes first
As with all marketing, your audience comes first. You want photos, videos, cartoons, illustrations, infographics that connect with your audience. If your audience are business professionals, posting lots of photos of kittens isn’t going to get a lot of sharing.
2. Study the Stars
There are any number of large companies who are using visuals to connect with their audiences effectively. This includes,
You can also study the top boards on Pinterest or the top Twitter Users in your business category or the Top 10 Twitter Pics. You can also check out the best companies on Instagram to see what is working there.
Study the types of visuals these companies, or other popular companies within your industry are sharing.
Evaluate which visuals receive the most shares, the most comments, the most likes, retweets, etc.
3. Vary the content
Play around with the type of visual content. You may want to include cartoons, postcards, illustrations, quotes in graphical form, abstract photos with messages, cool product photos, YouTube videos to see which works best.
You may want to get your customers to send you their photos or YouTube videos and use this material in a creative way to share on your social media accounts.
The point is to be creative and feel free to experiment with different types of visuals.
4. Use visuals to tell a benefits story
Yes, the visuals can be eye-catching, but to really be effective for your business, you want your visuals to communicate the benefits of what you deliver to your customers. Not features, but bottom line results.
Whatever you do, don’t use the visuals to come off as “selling” or you you’ll be turning your social media audience off and not on. Rather, you want your visuals to imply, suggest, infer all of the upside potential associated with your products and/or services without having to verbalize it.
5. Exercise some patience
It takes time to craft effective messages and to translate those messages into visuals or YouTube videos. Don’t push the process. Realize creating these visuals can be an investment or a long-term asset in your business. Which is one reason why you may want to consider hiring a graphics person to help you in this process.
6. Set-Up a Schedule
You may already know when you get the most viewership of your social media accounts through your previous postings or your tracking tools. If not, monitor to find out or use some of the social media standards to get started.
Armed with this information, set-up a schedule for your visual postings. This may be once a day or you may want to experiment with several times a day and see what differences, if any, occur.
7. Monitor the numbers
Check your Facebook Page Insights, HootSuite, Pinerly for Pinterest, YouTube stats or any number of Twitter tools or whatever tracking tool(s) you use to determine which type of visuals generate the most reaction from your audience. Only by measuring the results will you know which visual eye candy plays best.
How your are currently using visuals in your social media. Which tactics or types of visuals are working best in generating response from your audience? Which social media seems to work best? Don’t be shy. Go ahead and share your thoughts in the comments section so others can learn from your experiences.
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