Browse your news feed on any social media network and you’ll notice an unmistakable trend: visuals are taking over. Plain-jane text posts and link shares are now a rarity on Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn, and visuals are required for any post on Instagram and Snapchat.
Marketing-savvy businesses are jumping on the trend and making visuals a key part of their social media strategy, as a 2017 survey by Social Media Examiner confirms:
- This year visuals surpassed blogging for the first time as marketers’ choice of the most important type of social content for their business.
- 85 percent of respondents said they use visual assets in their social media marketing.
- 75 percent of respondents said they plan to increase their use of videos, and 73 percent plan to use more images.
How to Enhance Your Social Feeds with Images and Videos
For many businesses, the question of how to incorporate visuals into your social shares is a easy. If you’re a retailer, a baker, or a florist, for example, sharing photos and videos of your products should be a standard practice. But what about businesses without physical products, like banks, auto repair shops, and insurance companies? Actually, with a little creative thinking, any business can tap into the trend and capture attention with appealing images.
If you’re ready to start making a strong visual statement, give these ideas a try:
- Show off your swag: If you’re exhibiting at an upcoming trade show, share some “sneak peek” photos of your promotional giveaways, then share a video showing your booth staff unboxing the goodies. When choosing your promos, think about unique items that photograph well, such as illuminated pens and items that incorporate movement or sound, such as fiddle cubes.
- Share video or photo testimonials: If a customer is willing to give you a testimonial, ask if they’d be willing to give their recommendation in a short video. If the customer isn’t comfortable speaking on camera, snap a photo and post it with their statement as a caption.
- Get creative with text: Use one of the many tools available (see below) to turn text updates into eye-catching images.
- Share quick-tip videos: Create short videos where you offer timely tips to current and prospective customers. Don’t worry about fancy editing; viewers are actually more likely to trust video content when it looks spontaneous.
- Go behind the scenes: Share photos and videos to give followers a “behind-the-scenes” look at a day in the life of your team.
Image Creation and Editing Tools
Thanks to today’s wide selection of user-friendly apps, you no longer have to be an expert in Photoshop or Final Cut to create engaging images and videos. Here are some of the most popular options, all of which are low-cost or free, and many others are available:
- Canva: Select a template for posts, banners, infographics, and more to create custom graphics
- Adobe Spark Post: Create photos and videos using Adobe’s vast library of images
- Lumen5: Transform blog posts and articles into slideshows
- Animaker: Create studio-like animated videos
- TurboCollage: Turn your best photos into beautiful collages
The future of social media is all about the visuals. As businesses looking to make an impression, we need to adapt and start making images and video a standard part of our social marketing practices. Fortunately, we have the tools we need to get the job done, so even if you don’t know a pixel from a vector, you can create appealing images and videos that attract attention and help you build a loyal following.