You have probably noticed that social sites are becoming more and more visual with every passing day.
Sites like Tumblr exploded with its visual micro-blogging format, and Pinterest has been so successful it has become a new visual standard for many popular sites like Facebook and StumbleUpon. In fact, even Ebay have started to implement visual content into their websites and systems.
But why exactly is everything going so visual?
Users Engaging More on Visual Materials
There are a number of reports that show how visual content is outperforming any other type of content when it comes to engagement on the top social communities. You have probably already noticed how much better your visual updates on Facebook perform, as well as how popular many image only Reddit categories have become.
Below are some graphs from an Infographic that Dan Zarralla shared around increasing your success on Facebook.
We also checked the insight reports for one of our pages, Weird Asia News, and it showed that users engaged more with our photo updates than any other update type.
Moreover, based on an Mbooth study, it is reported that a brand’s story is best framed with photos and videos, as photos are liked twice as much as normal text updates.
Data Visualization Conveys Ideas Effectively
Presenting data has becoming more visual than ever. According to a study conducted by IDG, Infographics usage has increased 15% percent from last year, and it is notably the fastest growing format in business-to-business content marketing.
How to be Prepared For Social Success With Visuals?
1) Utilize Visual Materials
Smart brands are now maximizing the use of visual materials in both their content and communications. As part of their strategies, they tailor visual materials to the interest of their target audience.
Below are some visual materials that are universally utilized by brands:
- Infographics: Simply put, they are a visual representation of a collection of data. Infographics are easy to consume, interesting, visually appealing and informative, all of which have long been key components to success in social media marketing.
- Internet Memes (Images): While internet memes can take any form, meme images usually perform well in Social sites.
- How-to and DIY Photos (Instructographics): How-to, DIY photos/ instructographics are like infographics, but focus on delivering Do-it-Yourself tricks and tutorials.
- Product Images: Of course, not all product images are post-worthy, but if you have interesting and quality product images that would perform well in your targeted social channels, then you should definitely use them.
- Cartoons / Animation : Animation appeals more to your audience’s imagination. This can drive your fans to engage since cartoons and animations are typically fun.
- Videos: Last, but not the least, videos are always in demand since they can deliver messages immediately and with little effort on the viewer.
Determine Your Goals
Like any marketing plan, you should start by determining your goals. Visual marketing strategies should be backed up with SMART marketing objectives (i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timed). Your goals may include increasing traffic, subscriptions, or sales, or even gathering customer feedback.
Determine Your Target Audience
After determining your goals, you now have to establish your target audience. You have to identify their demographics : Male or Female? What age group? Local or international? Once you have these answers, you can determine your actions plans.
Plot Your Action Plan
When you have determined your goals and target audience, you can now come up with the right actions to execute your plan.
- What: Identify the visual materials that you are going to use as a medium.
- Where: Decide where to share your content – which social channels and pages.
- When: Identify the best posting hours/frequency to communicate with your audience.
- How: Decide which engagement strategy to use in distributing your content.
Measure and Evaluate
At the end of the day, you will need to evaluate your efforts. Were your goals met? Which strategies were effective and which were not.
Then you can re-apply effective strategies on your next campaign, measure, and evaluate again.
Many people have also found success creating social communities based mostly around visuals. This is the case with Pinterest, as well as some Facebook and Google+ pages.
Here are some quick tips to visually enhance your social profiles:
- Understand social site redesigns and updated social pages’ dimensions
- Enhance your social pages (Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest) with customized images
- Post updates such as invitations, questions, and other important events with photos.
- Create infographics and outreach to Infographic sites and pages.
- Encourage users to share relevant photos on your pages, so you’ll have an idea of their interests and engage them as well.
There are also opportunities to become more active without necessarily making your own visual social community, like Pinterest collaborative boards and Reddit image based subreddits. You can contribute your own visual content to these groups and engage the existing communities.
Brands that study social trends and test regularly are those that can deliver. In this regard, “visual” social media is indeed an important trend that brands should embrace not only for marketing success, but also for better online communication.
Have you personally adapted to this new marketing trend? How does this work for you? Share us your thoughts on the comments section below.