Let’s Get Visual…With Social Media

On social media, you can build a visual vocabulary that defines your brand for your audience in the same way that a traditional written-word style guide typically does. Marketo

We live in a visual world. Photos have become the social media world’s universal language. If content is king, then visual content is queen.

The fastest growing social media sites today are all visually based (Infographic by WebDAM)

In an age when people’s attention span averages 8 seconds (that’s shorter than a goldfish!) visuals are memorable and effective, because they help people process, understand, and retain more information more quickly. Research has shown that people follow visual instructions 323% better than written instructions.

Attention Spans Are Changing (Infographic by WebDAM)

Furthermore, people connect more emotionally with images than text, and in an increasingly crowded digital landscape images can break through the online content clutter.

The aesthetic quality of visual content increases message association, brand awareness, and encourages engagement and shares. Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content according to research by Buffer.

Take quotes you already have in your blog post and turn them into images using an image creation tool like Canva, Quotes Cover or Adobe Spark.

Infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge. Many people need to visualize a concept before they can fully understand it. In fact, research shows that people follow visual instructions 3x easier than strictly written. Infographics are a great way to present your data in a creative and visually attractive way. QuickSprout research reveals that articles with data-driven visuals rank fourth in shareable formats. There are several free tools available to help you do so. Piktochart, Canva, Infogr.am,and Venngage are all good tools to try. Check out CoSchedule’s step-by-step guide to creating an infographic.

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format, an image file format commonly used for images on the web. You can use GIFs on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Look to GIPHY, PopKey, and reddit’s top GIFs sub-reddit for animated GIFs. GIPHY also has a GIF maker to help you make your own GIFs. For a useful guide to how and when to use GIFS read Hootsuite’s guide to GIFs.

A meme, according to Lifewire, is “a virally-transmitted cultural symbol or social idea”. They are captioned photos shared with the intention of being funny. Looking for some ideas? Reddit has an entire subreddit dedicated to memes. Try making your own with memes.com or Meme Generator.

Screenshots, or screen captures, are one of the easiest ways to create images to simply and clearly explain a concept. I use Screencastify, Snagit and Awesome Screenshot to create my screenshots.

I use SlideShare as a place to share slides from my talks, and to create quick and easy social media how to’s. It’s been a key part of my content marketing strategy for the past five years.

The best way to develop an authentic connection with your audience is to show them that your human side. Use Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to show the relatable side of who you are and what you do. Share behind-the-scenes shots and Facebook/Instgram Live videos to help your audience get to know you better.

What are some of your favorite ways to use visuals in your social media marketing?

How to Communicate Difficult Topics with Visual Content

Social Media Consultant. Keynote Speaker. Digital Storyteller. https://hcsmmonitor.com

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