Producing regular content on social media is crucial for any brand aiming to remain memorable and engaging. But with so much content published across various social channels every second of every day, the pressure is high to remain visible in a visual and different way.
If you want to make your social media posts a bit more punchy and never allow them to be scrolled right past, you are in the right place. In this post I’m going to share some tips and tricks on how to make your content jump out.
Mastery of visual content
Gone are the days when visual content was achieved using stock imagery. In comparison to a year ago there are now much smarter solutions thanks to expansion of mobile apps, design and editing tools which allow users to create something they will love to share and talk about. With the growing importance of becoming a publisher and investment in content creation, understating how content should be promoted on social media has never been more important.
Paying attention to visual content and looking for ways to stand out is something any brand should think about when looking for ways of increasing longevity and making distribution process more worthwhile.
Let’s have a look at 10 different ways of how to start thinking visually when crafting and promoting your content on social media:
1. Make your branded hashtags memorable
Often branded hashtags are getting ignored as they look similar to every other tag out there. Visual content gives ability to customise your message while turning this hashtag into a more prominent part of the campaign.
Post Office makes their #HolidayFeeling hashtag stand out by adding it not just within the copy of each tweet, but also by making it part of each graphic. Use of vibrant colours helps the tag to be more visible while the consistency of adding it to all the graphics making it far more memorable.
The use of branded visuals is also a great way of being able to go beyond Twitter’s character limits in order to tell unique story and offer type of storytelling that otherwise would be impossible.
2. Turn feedback into animated GIFs
— Dove (@Dove) June 25, 2015
Brands often use open questions to boost conversations on social media. But asking questions is simply not enough, it is what you do afterwards with any sort of user-generated content that truly counts. Dove recognised the full potential of generating customers feedback and made it a prominent aspect of its latest #SpeakBeautiful campaign. Similarly to Dove, you can reward your most engaged followers who are contributing to your conversations, by turning their answers into sweet little animated GIFs.
3. Provide value and humour with quotes
You can’t go wrong with a good pearl of wisdom! From metaphors, to facts and helpful takeaways combined with a striking image – these assets can draw attention in someone who ignored your message in the past. You can easily create them using image creation tools such us Buffer’s Pablo or Recite. Creating your own quotes is well worth trying tactic especially if your are looking for ways to educate or inspire your community. Making them yourself will expand your content library with unique and branded content that nobody else has.
4. Turn your tweets into photo collages
One of the latest features on Twitter allows you to add not just one but up to 4 images into one tweet. In the past to achieve an effect of a photo collage, I had to use external apps or a tool to create such a format. Now you can easily and much faster do it yourself on both mobile and desktop versions of Twitter.
To my surprise not many brands are using this method which is another great way of attracting customers attention which also can make your messaging far more interesting.
5. Use eye-catching imagery
Stories told through eye-catching photography evoke passion for certain hobbies, activities and in some cases they even give the sense of certain adrenaline. Especially for eCommerce retailers it’s crucial to remember that consumers use not only information but emotions to evaluate brands out there.
The tactic of ‘in-your-face’ promotion with the use of imagery taken straight from the website, which doesn’t fit social channels sizing requirements, should be put aside in favour of showing and sharing stories the audience actually cares about and can relate to.
6. Inject humor with appropriate image dimensions
You should never be afraid to experiment with your content and adjust it to your brand’s personality. Sometimes playfulness might be the best way of attracting someone who is mindlessly scrolling and skimming through social media feed.
Here’s a great example from Chester Zoo showing how one image can be turned into a meme with a bit of planning and creative execution. This approach works extremely well on various devices, whether browsed on desktop or mobile. Without splitting this photo into 3 parts, the image posted as portrait won’t display correctly and won’t be able to reveal the greatness of this capture.
Try to keep in mind image sizing when sharing photos on Twitter, as the in stream photo displays as 440×220, what means that some of its aspects will be hidden and won’t show until being clicked on. It’s also worth pointing out that Twitter favours landscape, not portrait photos, as they display more effectively. If that is a problem for you try to use portrait photos as photo collages, which I mentioned in the paragraph above.
If you want your data or content get much higher recognition, try breaking down the numbers or copy with the use of visual content. Treat an image as your additional brand awareness tool and a way of presenting to your consumers these important facts which matter to your brand.
My favourite example and huge inspiration is Oxfam who so excellently mastered the way of extracting information while turning it into a strong visual signal. Their graphics are always easy to consume and are able to empower the reader to stop to think and contemplate the message. With a support of vibrant designs, easy to read typography and branded logo, the charity is able to increase its recognisiton while evoking familiarity with the discussed subject. Shares, comments and likes are in this instance a well deserved result of a well thought through but not easy to pursue strategy.
8. Add calls-to-action
If you are planning an event make sure to strengthen your messaging with easy to read visuals which contains all the needed information. This graphic used by Whole Foods Market promoting their cheese nights highlights all the crucial elements one needs to know:
– Name of the event
– Clarification if the event is paid or free
9. Brighten up your updates with emoticons
Feelings are playing a significant role in communication on social media. The interaction behind the screen and character count may not always allow you to fully express those emotions, but emoticons may be just the right solution you are looking for.
While they are pretty to look at, emoticons are also useful as they help increase interactions by making the copy feel more personal.
10. Create video photo collages
Don’t let lack of video content hold you back from tapping into an autoplay feature on Instagram, Facebook, Vine and Twitter. You can create beautiful video collages like Chester Zoo made entirely out of photos which stitched together come to life in a form of short video.
Use tools like Flipagram or PhotoGrid to create interactive content which is not only easy to consume thanks to autoplay which activates itself within people’s timelines and newsfeed. But which also is more engaging and effective for brands aiming to increase its content reach as they are 2.5x more likely to be preferred by people than other viewing methods.
I hope this post will inspire your activities on social media while making the process of updating your accounts a far more interesting task. To avoid routine and master visual storytelling, mix up various styles and formats and experiment with new solutions.
Have you used any of the mention in the post tactics of visual content? I would like to know which of them are the most effective for your brand!
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