Your Brand in Pictures (and Video and Snaps and Pins)
Understanding the Power of Pictures on Social Media
Just a quick swipe on your phone these days and voila you will see more pictures in 30 seconds than were taken in all of last century. OK, well that might be a slight exaggeration, but you will encounter countless photos and videos on just about any social media platform. The sites have morphed from sharing a few status updates to sharing a play by play in visuals.
If your small business is still just posting blogs and business hours, you are being left far behind. The future is visual and it’s now.
There are a few social media platforms to consider when you think pictures.
The first three on that list consist mainly of pictures. Facebook makes the cut because it’s sort of a hodge-podge of all communication mediums. The fact that there are social sites dedicated to just pictures really drives the point home. Visuals can capture your audiences’ attentions in the way words cannot.
- Instagram: If your business has any visual component at all, it will thrive on Instagram. On this site pictures and video are the preferred form of communication. Brands like Food Network and HGTV thrive here because of their visual nature.
That means restaurants, retail shops, gift shops, clothing stores, jewelry makers and more will make a splash with pictures and some video mixed in. Now, as with most sites, Instagram is constantly adding new features so be sure to stay on top of their “stories” feature and sponsored content.
- Pinterest: As social media goes so goes your marketing strategy, and a lot of potential clients, customers and money spenders are on Pinterest. It can seem like it’s just fun and games, but it could be a precision marketing tool for the right business and audience.
Not long ago the site rolled out search ads with features like Keyword and Shopping Campaigns and a new targeting tool. Pinterest seems to be signaling a long-term plan to allow small businesses to promote their Pins and hopefully increase click-through traffic on their sites. Here’s a few things to know before diving in:
- Pinterest is largely used by women, mostly moms under the age of 40 or so.
- Highly visual content wins the day on Pinterest. Unlike Instagram, which also caters to highly visual mediums, Pinterest is more likely to result in click-through website engagement.
- Users want to click on that pretty picture and read the blog or post on the other side. That means the content you post on Pinterest must be stellar.
- Snapchat: This one remains a bit of a mystery to some folks over a certain age. But if you are in your mid-20’s or younger OR trying to reach people in that demographic, you need to be on board.
It’s entirely visual. Nothing but pictures, video, emojis, drawings, filters and effects. This is where experimenting with the visual side of your brand can get really fun.
Snapchat lends itself to just about every type of small business. From retail to web, from non-profits to restaurants, you just need to get in on the game. Here’s a few of the more useful features for brands of all kind:
- Geofence: This displays a filter that shows your business is having a sale or offering a promotion. Anyone who is using Snapchat within walking distance of your store will see the sale.
- Geofilters: You can create and submit a branded graphic with your logo, set up a geofence and create quick brand ambassadors. Using the geofilters means any customers who happen to use Snapchat from inside or near your business can let their friends know where they are with a fun branded filter
Now all of the social media sites mentions above have the capability to showcase mobile video, and you should experiment with all of them. But there are two sites where mobile video and live streams have really taken off:
We’ve blogged about their usefulness in showcasing the visual side of your brand before (insert links) so let’s focus now on some quality techniques to get you making the most of mobile video.
- Announcements: When your brand comes out with new products, you can create videos that offer a preview of all the new features. This is especially handy if you are in the tech industry. If you are debuting a new app or service feature, you can show off all the new tech. Intel uses its various social media sites to share loads of mobile video announcing new products, ideas and futuristic tech that will soon become reality.
- Special Offers: The great thing about having a loyal following that enjoys your mobile videos that you can reward them. Consider announcing special offers via your videos, let your audience know you appreciate them not just scrolling past.
- Video Series: If you get really into mobile video (and you should) you might want to consider producing a series. It can be “behind the scenes” or a weekly “how to” just so it’s predictable and reoccurring so your audience comes to expect the engagement.
The point is to do SOMETHING regularly with visuals. The social media platform you’re using to promote your brand already offers a spot for you to showcase pictures and videos about your company. Take advantage of what’s already available to showcase your brand in an interesting and attention-grabbing way.