You may have noticed, social media is currently the biggest marketing platform in the world, possibly to ever exist. More and more, the Internet is becoming extremely visually driven and the process of marketing a business, whether for a product or service, is following suit. Even traditional social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are coming under threat from more visual sites such as Pinterest and, especially, Instagram.
This means that even Facebook and Twitter are becoming more and more visual that means that when it comes to your marketing strategy, you need to keep up with the latest trends and requirements before your competitors do.
To help give you a solid foundation, here are a list of techniques, tips and methods that will allow your social media visuals to stand out from the crowd, making a real impact with your target audience, consequently generating those potential sales leads, helping you drive your business towards success.
Infographic source: Easil.
1. Pinpoint What Works for YouBefore you even begin creating your social media visuals, you need to sit down and identify what works for your business. The Internet is overflowing with memes, imagery, edited imagery, emotionally connecting imagery, logos and banners. When posting content to your page, you need to be aware of what works for your business.
For example, if you represent a very professional business that likes to keep a good impression and appearance, you want to focus on a sharp look for your image whereas if your business is light-hearted, it might be worth investing in the creation of memes and comical imagery. Overall, you want to focus on imagery that shouts your brand and portrays the voice of your image.
As a side note, behind-the-scenes imagery is extremely popular at the moment as it enables your readers and followers to connect with your business and feel more involved with your company.
2. Specialize Your ChannelsWhatever size business you are, it’s worth investing in different kinds of content for your various social media accounts. This means that what works well for Facebook, might not work well on Twitter or Pinterest. The same can be said for Instagram which has an extremely heavy focus on visuals, whereas Twitter is restricted to the 140 characters.
It’s worth keeping up to date with the trends on each social media platform and the statistics of each. For example, on Facebook, visual content is estimated to be 40x more likely to be shared that non-visual content. Twitter is heavily reliant on short snippets of text that are more likely to be re-tweeted if it’s highlighted with attention-grabbing imagery. Instagram really speaks for itself. The more high-quality and engaging your imagery is, the more popular liked and commented on it will become. It’s also well worth investing time into Instagram Stories and seeing if this is a visual option for your business.
Pinterest is currently an increasingly popular platform that is currently seamlessly integrated into platforms such as Shopify, making it perfect for product imagery but also relies heavily on exceptional, outstanding photography that can be pinned to boards, making it a long-lasting entity. You can customise boards to suit different areas of your business and, by streamlining your strategy further, you can customise your visuals to suit each board and its different set of followers, creating a really customised and personalised experience that will really help your business to stand out.
On a final note, it’s worth considering the social networking platform known as LinkedIn. This is renowned for being the unsung hero of social media platforms but visual imagery is just as important. The greatest piece of advice we can give you for LinkedIn is to remember that it’s a very professional community, usually B2B, making ideal for connecting with other businesses or finding out what your competitors are up to.
All in all, you want to treat every social media platform with its own respect, rules and guidelines that, when followed properly, can return incredible results through a well-optimized marketing strategy.
3. Connect with Your AudienceAs briefly mentioned above, connecting with your audience is the key to social media success. By using techniques such as behind the scenes photos and by using Calls to Action, you can create a more ‘human’ impression of your business. This allows readers and followers to really connect with your business, especially if you react and reply to their shares, comments and likes.
You can also create your own hashtags that can massively increase the engagement levels of your posts. Make sure you create something short and sweet that can be easily remembered and your readers will love. This way, whenever your followers use your products or services in any way, they can upload an image, tag your business and you can respond. Sharing the right hashtags with the right imagery will unlock so much potential in your social media marketing strategy. It’s all about trial and error.
4. Respond to Your Audience InteractionsThere’s no better way of creating engaging posts that are full of impact than giving your followers what they want. Use analytics tools and insights to see which of your previous posts your readers love and then cater your future posts to match these, even if you’re just taking similar aspects.
Look at the people that are engaging with your content. Invest some quality time into researching these people and what other posts these people like. You can then use this information to tailor create similar posts, in regard to topic, style and format, that they will then find irresistible to engage with.
5. Be VisualIt’s important to note that visuals on social media don't just refer to imagery and photos. Videos are also a huge part of marketing and, when implemented effectively, can dramatically change your market strategy, sometimes single-handed. According to Cisco, almost half of mobile data traffic is used on online videos. This is an understandable figure when you consider platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat are huge foundations for video media.
Now consider the implementation of live video, a form of real-time imagery which can be used on almost all social media platforms. By creating unique and well-organized visual videos, you can be sure that you will be taking your business to the next level.
6. Follow the TrendsTrends exist for a reason. In the marketing game, you’ll be quick to notice the fact that one big, upmarket brand will bring out a new type of post and suddenly every company under the sun is following this style or design. This is happening for one reason alone, it works. If a huge multi-million-pound company in your industry with millions of followers is writing about a certain topic, the question should, why aren’t you doing the same?
By creating an even balance of unique content and trend-set content, you can be sure your followers will be in the know of current trends and are increasingly more likely to engage with your posts. You are also much more likely to attract new followers as the topics are you talking about are currently trending. If your competitors are uploading a certain style of image and it’s attracting thousands of followers, then it’s highly recommended that you do something similar because whatever it is that they’re doing, it’s creating those potential leads.
7. Be AwareIt’s easy to get caught up in the visual marketing industry. If you’ve found a solution that works for you, it’s so easy to storm ahead and get carried away. It’s highly advised that you stay aware of what you’re doing. Specifically, if you’re a smaller business looking to expand, there’s a number of things you should take into consideration.
First and foremost is copyright. This is applicable to all aspects of content, written or otherwise but especially important when it comes to imagery. If you’re using stock photos, in particular, free stock photos, to market your content. Make sure you’re aware that the photo is actually copyright free and you won’t get charged or fined for using the imagery on your content. The last thing you want is creating that golden post that turns your business into a viral, globally operating company, only to find out that your perfect post is using a copyright-violating image.
To play it safe at all times, if you’re using stock imagery, always buy it with a license. This way there is no confusion or problems. Better yet, use a camera yourself or invest in a photograph to ensure the imagery you use is unique, original and of an especially high-quality.