What is “Visual Social Media”?
Visual social media is exactly what it sounds like: it is social media with an emphasis on visual elements. Typically this means static images, i.e. pictures and other graphics, though videos are often thrown into the mix as well. The goal of this kind of social media sharing is to show your audience what you mean with pictures rather than explain it to them with words. Content is skill king; visual social media is simply changing the definition of “content”.
Video: Visual Content Marketing: Capture and Engage Your Audience
This is a recording of a webinar, so it is about an hour long. There is some really amazing information here, but you may want to bookmark it and come back to it later on. We really believe that you can benefit from watching this one though!
Places to See Visual Social Media in Action
You already know them, though you might just be thinking of them as social media hotspots.
There are others of course, but these are some of the top players. You can probably recognize the elements in each one that tie them all together as members of the visual social media club! Pinterest has a very graphics-based layout, and the focus is on the images, with the text playing a small supporting role. Instagram is much the same, only there is even more focus on the images and the caption limited in the number of characters it can contain. Facebook is also very visual, though text plays a much larger role there. Tumblr is also more of a half and half like Facebook, but it does lean more towards images as well.
Want to learn more? Here are some excellent posts on various visual social media topics:
- Pinterest: 5 Tactics for This Visual Social Media Mecca – by Heidi Cohen
- Trend Alert: The Next Big Thing in Social Media is Visual – by Krista Neher
- The Rise Of Visual Social Media – by Ekaterina Walter
When Visual Meets Social Media Marketing
Social media is social media right? Yes, to a point. The trouble is adapting a traditionally text-based strategy to a more visual medium. You can still engage in content marketing on a visual social media site, but you will need to make sure that the content you are promoting is either visual in its own right, or can be represented by a visual aid. Pinterest is a prime example of this; not everything that is pinned is the content behind the pin. Sometimes the image you see is merely a representative of the content, like the image chosen for a blog post.
People are very visual creatures as a rule. We connect more quickly with images because they are (in some ways) easier for our brains to process and work with than text alone. From an internet marketing perspective we have known this for quite some time; as we’ve already mentioned, pictures are often a part of blog posts. The reason being that people can connect with an image before. during, and after reading the post. It serves not only to enhance the content, but to stand in for it on occasion in our memories.
How Should Businesses Be Using Visual Social Media?
For some businesses, visual social media use is easy; they have brands that either have very visual products / services, or perhaps they have branded themselves to be associated with a concept such as adventure or luxury. These are all things that are easy enough to put into visual media. The challenge comes to businesses that are not necessarily a shoe-in for success in these areas. These businesses need to really consider how they can make the most of visual social media, or if they even need to to try to break into this area. It is definitely a case of learning to walk before you run, and should always be just a part of a large social media marketing strategy.
How can a business position itself as a leader and authority using visual social media?
Like anything else, showing the world you are a force to be reckoned with via visual social media takes time and effort. It also takes a certain visual flare, of course!
What do you think about the use of the term “visual social media”? Do you feel that it is just one more category / classification, or is it useful to separate sites we already know into groups like this?