Social media marketing is more than just setting up a Facebook account with contact information and a few press releases, then waiting for the masses to “like” you. It is also more than just tweeting and getting people to sign up and follow you.
A recent survey by UK marketer Dave Chaffey asked managers to rank the current key challenges of social media marketing. The top results were:
- Managing reputation
- Delivering customer service
- Acquiring new customers
- Increasing sales from existing customers
- Increasing engagement with brand
- Acquiring insights (analytics, ROI, brand preferences)
Small business owners are constantly facing these challenges. And one of the keys of developing a successful social media strategy is to Focus on Visuals. Why?
Visuals Equal Value
Visuals are a critical part of any successful marketing program. In the past, the visual part of your identity was a mere static logo. A little color, a little swoosh, and you’re done. But in today’s social media age where videos and interaction have become an important part of the online presence, visuals take on a whole new territory.
In Universal McCann’s renowned “Wave 5″ report, watching online videos is the top social media activity. Videos are great because there is a huge demand from users to develop a more social and interactive relationship with brands. In other words, we must move beyond the simple product or service demonstration. Interactive visuals are very powerful tools to tell a BRAND STORY.
Take the video of Corning: A Day Made of Glass. This video was intended for a small group of the company’s investors. And it carries an incredibly compelling look at the near future based on Corning’s innovative products. And it’s gone very viral. Since it launched on February 7, 2011, it has 19,523,661 views to date.
The phenomenal rise of social media sites like Pinterest and applications like Instagram has demonstrated that people are far more receptive to visual content than they are to written text. Short, sweet and to-the-point copy/text along with an enticing graphic or video generates so much more interaction than a long, written-out paragraph or slew of tweets featuring “How To” articles. And today’s online technology tools make it so much easier for you to share photos and videos from essentially anywhere.
Many small business owners are still gun-shy about getting too personal on social media sites. However, the truth of the matter is that the personal element is what is going to make your Facebook business page, Twitter account, Pinterest boards and blog STAND-OUT —- simply because they engage and connect with your customers.
For the most part, the first interaction a person has with your brand is through a social media site. If you do not have a branded presence on these sites, you’re instantly making it harder for new people to do business with you! Why? Because you’re making them work to recognize, remember, or figure out who you are!
With a customized, branded social media design strategy using videos and photos, you create a consistent look and feel for your brand that matches your website, email marketing, and print marketing materials. Creating a consistent brand which includes the look-and-feel for your business through social media will reinforce your credibility, your dependability, and your expert status. It will also make your prospects take notice, and your brand stand out from the crowd.
Some Tips for Creating Successful Visual Content for Your Brand
People are curious of what their peers and online connections are up to. The reality shows prove that. The same thing holds true for the success of social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, etc. This is an important mindset to keep when creating your social media presence. Here are a few ideas on posting interesting, visual content that will still keep things professional without getting too personal:
• Post Short Videos. Posting 1-2 minute informative videos once or twice a week is always a great way to get people stay interested, engaged and feel connected. Videos are powerful ways of evoking human reactions and emotions.
• “Share” photos/videos from other businesses you are connected with. Give recognition to businesses you connect with by sharing their photos and videos. This shows you like their content. And this breeds good karma. Down the line, they’ll reciprocate the nice gesture and give YOUR profile some exposure or testimonial, as well. Now, that’s free advertising.
• Take snapshots of your everyday life and community. On your way to work or doing an errand, snap a photo of a funny sign and upload it to Facebook. Did you recently win an award or celebrate a happy occasion? Instead of just announcing it, take a photo of it and tweet it. People want to know what you’re up to each day in your business. There’s nothing wrong with taking a few photos each week and sharing them with your online community. There’s nothing with sharing some warm, fuzzy feelings.
• Infographics. These are interesting images that people create that showcase facts about a particular topic in a visual, intriguing way. It is a great tool to use for highlighting valuable, up-to-date information to your network. People like that. It keeps them in the loop, so to speak.