How to Embrace the “Visual Year” of Social Media

Topics: Social, Web, Digital

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you work regularly in social media, you’ve heard it multiple times in recent weeks: 2014 will be the year of social visual content. While visual content has become a social trend over the last few years, it is expected to completely take over social marketing in 2014. Because visuals are easier to process by the brain and more commonly engaged with and shared than text alone, it is important to jump on this trend and make your social outlets visually strong. Here are 6 easy tips on how to embrace the Visual Year of Social Media:

Say it with a picture

It is a common practice for brands to post facts, quotes, or other textual information. To engage visually, simply transform text into an image! Use Photoshop or an alternate editing tool (I prefer picmonkey.com) to add text to a picture or simply incorporate color into the background.

Use infographics

I’ve found that social media users tend to engage with facts and statistics they find interesting. To visualize, use infographics that represent the data points you would like to convey. While infographics can sometimes be costly and time-consuming for creative teams to develop, there are also free online services to do the job (try piktochart.com). There are also a variety of pre-created and ready-to-use infographics; I search on Visual.ly to find one that fits my social needs.

Join Instagram

If your brand doesn’t already have an Instagram page, GET ONE! By the end of 2013, Instagram was growing faster than Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest combined. That growth has no end in sight. Instagram is perfect for posting fun and creative pictures that align with social content you post on other outlets. It also gives you the opportunity to engage with users who post pictures about your brand through hashtags and location-tagging. You can also use the outlet to run photo contests and collect user-generated content.

…and while you’re at it, Pinterest!

Pinterest is another visually-driven social media outlet, also one of the most powerful for driving social marketing. The site allows users to view images of brands and products, and when they click on these images they are driven directly to a website. This creates lead generation in e-commerce, all driven by visual content. Another Pinterest plus? The site recently released a new version, “Pinterest for Business.” This gives businesses access to analytics about their pins as well as the ability to pay for promoted pins. Both are powerful and useful tools.

Create Daily Photo-ops

Use social media as an excuse and motivator to take more pictures of your product, happenings around the office, clients and employees. Really, anything you’re able to. You have no idea what images fans will “like” and share until you try posting and measuring results. If you’re short on visual content, create photo-op! The Abbi Agency Social team recently spent an entire morning on a “social photoshoot,” capturing pictures of our clients’ products. The end result was new, fun and high-quality visuals, all in alignment with the client and brand message. We had a blast, too.

Use Pictures. In everything!

Do your absolute best to include a visual element in EVERY social post. On Facebook, posts with visual content receive about 53% more engagement than those without, and visual posts are likely to appear higher in the newsfeed. Similarly, Tweets receive (approximately) double the engagement when a photo is included, as they draw more attention in the twitter feed. As you continue to generate social content, keep these visual tips in mind to make 2014 not only the year of visual content, but also YOUR year on social media!

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