Just recently I hosted a webinar about creating your 2015 social media plan. It was based off of this article. My number 5 trend, "Shorter Attention Spans Require More Visuals" has had a lot of you emailing and commenting with questions. I love that, it means I have your attention and that you are ready to up your game. WIN!
It's nothing new that visuals are taking over your social feeds. Take a look down your Facebook page. Don't worry, I'll be here when you get back. I'm sure your feed looks just like mine. Filled with images and videos. Now take a look at your Instagram feed. Your Pinterest feed. All images right? Now take yourself to your Twitter feed. You'll probably even see some photos and images over there. It's not a coincidence. Visual content is taking over the social web. And you and your business need to be with the times too.
Visuals work online for a few different reasons. The first and most important reason is that they grab the reader's attention and quickly. The brain processes images a lot faster than text. You know the old-age saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words" is right. When you have a reader's attention you increase your reach. We like to increase our reach. In fact, it's our goal to get our content and messages as far as possible. Images can help with this. Next, images and pictures are highly shareable online. They create buzz and they create conversation. Two things that also help you increase your reach. So, in other words, using images and pictures effectively will help you increase your social media reach.
All right, now for your questions.
What kind of visual content should I post?
Each audience will respond to different types of content and it's your job to figure that out. Products should be shared if you have a product. Other than that, the best content is always that which speaks directly to your customer. But as a general rule of thumb, you'll want to evoke emotion and funny and happy works better than desperately sad. Quote cards, infographics and memes are also great ways to increase your visual content.
Where can I find content to share?
It's best if you can create your own content to share. But if you can't the next best thing is to curate. Well, a mixture is also quite good. Take a look at what others are sharing and find ways to repurpose it for your audience. For example, if your company is food related, sharing food hacks might be something to consider. The best place to find the content is through your own feeds on your social networks. Other places to look might be sites like Reddit or Scoop.It. The one thing I highly recommend is not to download and upload images that don't belong to you. This is stealing and it could get you in BIG BIG trouble.
What tools do you use to create content?
If you don't have a graphic designer there are a ton of free and/or affordable tools that you can use to create content. My two favorites are PicMonkey & Canva.
Where should I post images?
Social media of course! But beyond that you want to always include an image on your blog posts. Because people share these and when they do the image populates, (see below), you'll want to make sure your image shows up. Remember, it's all about grabbing attention so make that first image as strong as possible.
Is visual content only images?
Absolutely not. Visual content can be video, infographics, slideshares and many other things. Get creative and mix it up.
Do you have any other questions about visual content? Let me know!