With users of Pinterest and Instagram increasing at a startling rate, social media is more visual than ever. Shareaholic has identified Pinterest as the fourth largest traffic driver worldwide, and Instagram boasts 150 million active users per month. Other networks must follow suit.
In the autumn of 2013, Twitter unveiled their improved integration of images in posts, and Google+ is priding itself on its visual interface – particularly when it comes to seamless integration of YouTube. Over on Facebook, the ‘highlight’ feature, alongside larger timeline photos and cover photos, helps users to maximise the impact of their photos and the visual appearance of their page.
Go visual or go home, the social media message seems to be, and startups should be trying their hardest to keep up.
Why the emphasis on visual content?
- It’s engaging. A report by ROI Research found 44% of respondents were more likely to engage with brands who posted pictures on their social media channels rather than any other type of content.
- Visuals go viral. Images can get round the net fast. When accompanied by a great image, content is likely to travel faster too. Believe it or not, Skyword have found that articles containing relevant images have on average 94% more total views than articles without images.
- The rise of infographics. High-quality infographics are up to 30 times more likely to be read than text articles, so companies able to create professional infographics have much to gain.
Kickstart a visual social media strategy by asking yourself:
- Does my startup have existing visual content that is worth sharing?
- Are there obvious types of images that relate to my startup? (For travel startups, visual promotion by sharing photos of destinations and landmarks is easy, for other areas you may have to be more creative)
- What sort of images would my startup’s audience enjoy and share?
- Can I convey the promotional message of my startup visually? Can I use images to encourage users to check out my startup?
Your action plan for visual social media promotion:
Create easy-to-share visual content
- Create infographics, especially if you have talented designers in your team
- Use high-quality images in your blog posts
- Add watermarks or a website URL to original images
Share visual content on social media
- Post tweets with high-quality integrated images
- Use Facebook’s ‘highlight’ feature to make images larger and add variety to your page
- Use G+ communities (whether your own or others) to share great visuals with catchy content or links
- Add a ‘Pin-it’ button to your website
Get to know your followers
- Share photos of your team, workspace, projects and incentives on Pinterest and Instagram
- Create a YouTube channel to show followers what you’re working on
Use images to engage
- Thank followers for helping you reach social media milestones with a team photo
Visual content is now a fundamental part of social media marketing for startups. You simply can’t get away with just posting text-based content if you want success; posts need to be engaging, shareable and visual. Make it your mission to include high-quality photos, images, videos and infographics in your social media approach and you’ll be reaping the benefits.