Visuals in Social Media

Thursday 18th, August 2016

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It’s no secret that we’re all, by nature, instantly drawn towards visuals than verbal representations.

In fact, according to psychologist James Bruner from the New York University, only 10% of what you hear is retained compared to 20% of what is read, and a mammoth 80% of what is seen.

Researchers from the Wharton School of Business add that visual presentations are much more persuasive than those of a solely verbal nature. However, combinations of visual and textual elements are considered most compelling.

Capitalizing on this knowledge, social media developers have gone all out this year to capture audience fancy by providing emphasis to the visual element in social networking.

Take a look at the below trends –

Social networking giant Facebook has a Timeline layout which features a cover photo, and displays images in prominent dimensions.

Instagram has amassed 500 million monthly users.

Digital scrapbooking site, Pinterest provides a greater exposure for e-commerce brands compared to Facebook or Twitter.

What’s common in all three cases?

The increasing dominance of visual content.

Wondering how visual social media caught on like wild fire?

For one, it was a natural progression. Social media went from blogging to micro-blogging, to using no words at all.

The change also came about because of the radical shift in content consumption patterns by consumers.

Gone are the days when people would sit at their personal computers and tap away at the keyboard. Thanks to the explosion of smartphones around the globe, it’s all about snap-share-socialize!

A study by ROI Research indicated that people experience much better engagement with brands that have visual elements incorporated in their posts -rather than just text. This is brought about by the fact that as far as the human brain is concerned, visual representation of a concept is much easier to process than sifting through a wall of text.

Once you’ve decided that it’s worth investing effort in the visual social media marketing arena, start with getting the basic stuff right. Like all other processes, visual social media marketing requires a solid strategy with inputs from your artists and designers. This, however, cannot be standalone -and must be capable of integration with your traditional marketing strategy.

Elements like logos, typography and iconography are quintessential to any visual representation, so ensure you’ve got those – spot on.

Ultimately what’s important is that your visuals should tell a story. Visual storytelling anchored to a central strategy is much more likely to be effective than seemingly random updates.

Visual content creation needn’t always require a high budget. Smartphones are a blessing in this respect since they take reasonably good pictures and can facilitate quick uploads and sharing.

Whether you choose Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, going visual in social media marketing is easy, fun and a great way to connect with your target audience!

So what you do think about visual storytelling? Have something to add? Share with us in the comments section below.

Image by maricargacutan

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