Let’s Get Visual: Social Media’s Visual Nature
by Liz Plachecki
Most people are familiar with the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This notion is more important than ever when it comes to putting together a successful social media strategy. Visuals are inspiring and engaging for users and create a richer, more meaningful online experience. The ever-expanding importance of visual use in social media is applicable to both emerging and established networks and trends.
Many of the newest trends and developments in social media are largely related to visual engagement for users. The recent explosive growth of both the Pinterest and Instagram networks is a strong indication that this trend isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
There are a number of established social media platforms that have embraced the visual social media strategy as well. During 2012, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all added cover photos to personal profile pages, and Facebook added them for fan pages as well. Cover photos serve as a pivotal tool for strengthening brand awareness.
Twitter also recently released a mobile app called Vine, allowing users to produce videos up to six seconds long. The videos feature both motion and sound. While Vine is not strictly an image-based app, it’s closely related to the highly engaging visual experience that many people crave on social media networks.
Companies planning to post their own images must place a high priority on taking high-quality original photos. Users are not interested in checking out, much less interacting with, low-quality photos or screen shots. Businesses should use fresh, interesting and powerful images to highlight the ongoing story of their success.
In order to establish a solid social media strategy that meets the needs of their target audiences, businesses should analyze their social media posts on a regular basis. Facebook and Twitter analytics consistently illustrate that posts with photos get more interactions and reach than any other type. Posts with videos follow as a close second.
The visual nature of branding today requires strategy, planning and dedication to illustrate the heart of a brand. Users may follow a brand because they are interested in what the brand has to say. But analytics indicate they are even more interested in what a brand has to show.