Over the last few years, it has become increasingly apparent that using visuals in your social media marketing is far more effective than using text alone. If you want your message to be seen, if you want to encourage interaction and you want to make the most out of your content, using an effective visual is essential.
In my work , I’ve found that using a visual, be it a photograph, a graphic, illustration or video, is much more attention grabbing in people’s newsfeeds.
It’s a form of content that is more likely to be shared; they evoke emotional reactions that text alone cannot, and visuals portray a lot of information quickly and conveniently.
There has been more emphasis on visual marketing in digital than ever before, and if you’re interested in boosting your social media efforts, then considering the types of visuals you use will be key to that.
So how can we use visuals in our social media and what types of visuals should we be creating?
The Product or Lifestyle Shot
People like to shop in real life so they can see items up close and personal, touch them, feel them, weigh them up in our hands. Of course, we can’t replicate that tactile experience on digital (yet), but we can offer tangible visuals of the items we sell. People want to see what they are buying, so show it to them, don’t talk about it.
Lifestyle shots help people to understand how your product or service might fit into their live; it helps them to visualise how what you offer can be of benefit to their lives. When someone can understand better what your item does for them, it tends to increase conversion sooner.
The Team Picture
People like to do business with people, and if we can see who is behind the business we are much more likely to trust them, particularly online. Showing off who you are and what your team is like helps to humanise your business in a way that no other form of marketing can achieve.
Behind-the-Scenes Spontaneous Shot
Most of us are interested in how you do what you do. Have you ever watched the show ‘How Stuff Works?’ or wondered why ‘Handmade’ has become more popular recently? They’re successful because people are genuinely interested in how the things they buy and use are actually made, who makes them and what materials are used to make them.
The behind-the-scenes visual also provides exclusivity by enabling you to give your social media audience an experience that they won’t get anywhere else, this builds rapport and community.
The Action Shot
Have you ever thought about showing people how you do what you do when you’re doing it? Because we gravitate more to human faces in visuals, capturing your team in the moment of doing their job provides realism and trust at the same time.
We should try to connect with our social media followers in real time, with real life, as often as we can. An impromptu, candid shot of you or your team while they are working, is far more credible than a posed or staged image.
A bold, clean and crisp graphic is so much more effective at communicating a message. Graphics are fantastic for your Calls-to-Action and adds variety to your feed. Using colourful graphics increases people’s interest in your content, it draws the eye in, and makes us more likely to share that piece of content.
The How to Image
The rise of the ‘How To’ video, infographic and visuals across platforms like Instagram and Pinterest has been prolific over the last few years. As Jay Baer of Youtility explains, people who think they can do things themselves, usually tend to be a business’s best customer. Don’t think of the ‘How To’ as giving away what you do for free, but giving away inspiration to cultivate customers who will spend money on your professionalism and expertise.
The way we upload visuals to our posts has changed across Facebook and Twitter recently to include collages of multiple pictures and videos. These have proven to have a good impact across social media, as they offer variety and tell a more rounded story than a single picture alone can do.
While the ‘selfie’ is looked upon with disdain from some sections of society, it might be a surprise to learn that the concept of the ‘selfie’ has been around since the late 1800s. As soon as self-portraiture became accessible, affordable and a sign of your social standing in society, people have been recording images of themselves. In the digital age, this is made all the more convenient through smartphones and social media.
But what is important to remember is that people notice human faces first – our eyes are drawn to other people before anything else. A face looking out from a visual makes a direct connection with the person viewing it. It also helps us to guide our gaze, ‘human beings have a natural tendency to follow the gaze of others, and we have been coached since birth to follow arrows directing us to where we should be looking or going’. (Kiss Metrics)