Is your organization on Instagram? Pinterest? Snapchat? Last year, mobile browsing traffic blew past desktop’s share for the first (and likely last) time. The shift is almost certainly permanent, and it’s accelerating a long-brewing trend: the move from text-heavy social media marketing to visual-first social marketing.
Even platforms once given over to text-based updates and bland in-line ads are embracing the power of the visual. Embedded Facebook videos dominate that platform’s marketing share even as Twitter artistes snap their best sunset pics — giving a medium once renowned for brevity a chance to regain the thread. If your social media monitoring and outreach team isn’t yet working the visual angle, these six arguments should light a fire under your outreach team.
Visuals Grab And Hold Attention
Visuals — photos and video — are attention-getters. Twitter took a closer look at retweet stats in this in-depth blog post and came away with some impressive findings:
- Tweets that include photos earn 35% more retweets on average
- Video tweets earn 28% more retweets
- Quote tweets, which involve structural imagery if not actual photos or videos, earn 19% more retweets
In other words, photos and videos are crucial to your social engagement plan. Text-only updates simply won’t cut it, no matter how compelling the message.
Pictures Are Worth A Thousand Words (Or More)
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Maybe that’s true, maybe that’s not. But it’s undeniable that you can say with one picture what you can’t in one word. Your prospects face tremendous demands on their time and attention. Brevity does them a favor.
Some brands seem to have it figured out. The Instagram handle for Filippo Loreti, an Italian-inspired watchmaker, is a masterclass in minimalism. Its photos are simple, elegant, direct: human models sporting its latest watch models, close-ups of watch mechanisms or casings, seemingly random photos that evoke and support its brand (like a stunning shot of Rome). Follow this lead and tell a story with every visual you post. Your prospects will reward you with their attention — and dollars.
Visuals Are Easier To Post On The Fly
Visual-first social platforms are a breeze to use on the fly: simply snap a pic, crop or filter it as needed, text out a short caption if warranted, and hit “post.”
That’s way more convenient than text-heavy social updates, which require either a full-size keyboard or great patience (and thumb strength). And it’s a recipe for inspired, on-the-go posting — something you can’t achieve, by definition, in your office.
Pics Help Your Brand Relate
You no doubt have some idea about who your customers are, but you don’t really know them. Well-done, visual-first social posts can bridge the gap. Everyone with a smartphone relates on an intuitive level to candid visual posts from the invention of the camera — at least, everyone who’s sent a selfie or nature pic to their friends. Once you’ve earned your customers’ trust with relatable visual posts, much more is possible.
Professional-Grade Video Is Easy
Gone are the days when professional-grade videos required a bulky camcorder held by a trained videographer and backed by a team of seasoned editors and producers. Today, you can record, narrate, edit and distribute a powerful — if shaky — video in one take with the supercomputer in your pocket. That’s a lot of power to wield on a device that probably costs your business just a couple bucks per day.
If you haven’t yet embraced the power of the meme, what are you waiting for? Along with gifs, which can of course be memefied, memes are arguably the most effective means of market-messaging. If an unadorned picture says a thousand words, a meme communicates a book’s worth of information.
Plus, memes are funny. No matter what your company does, your customers are sure to appreciate a vendor with a sense of humor.
One Part of A Complete Marketing Plan
To be clear, you don’t want or need to go all-in on a visual social media plan. Like the ideal investment portfolios, the best branding and marketing operations are diversified. There’s almost certainly a place for traditional blogging in your marketing arsenal — perhaps on “texty” social platforms like LinkedIn, or maybe on a company blog supported and promoted by visual social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
Ultimately, it’s more important to ensure that the disparate pieces of your marketing plan work together than that any single aspect dominates your attention and resources. Your customers are out there, just waiting for you to make contact.
Image from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/540643130247097497/