In case you didn’t already know it, a “visual revolution” is taking place online.
That’s right; today’s social media phenomenon is emerging as a predominantly visual medium. Internet marketers are even debating that there may come a time when content creators won’t need to write at all. (No doubt that will come as a relief to some of us!)
But seriously, the exciting new players on the social media block: Pinterest, Instagram et al, have prompted visual changes to established social media platforms such as Twitter, Foursquare. Google+ and of course, Facebook’s “Timeline”, which now encourages the optimisation of bold graphics and larger images in posts.
It’s still early days as yet, so if you’re ready to jump on board, now would be the perfect begin time to grab a pad and pen and t mapping out a “visual vocabulary” for your brand.
Here are six tips to help you get started with your visual social media campaign:
Your Corporate Identity
It’s more than a logo; your corporate identity needs to transcend perfectly across all types of media – both on and offline. Your iconography and typography need to be suitable for use on your business stationery, website, company blog, social media accounts and apps too. So pull your creative team together and check whether your current corporate ID is fit for purpose.
Devise a Plan
Create a plan of how your organisation will embrace the new visual social media. It used to be that “content” was all about the writing – the accompanying images being sourced in around five minutes flat as something of an afterthought!
Well now that’s all been turned on its head; the visual connection is now more important than the written word, so creating and sourcing suitable imagery should be your number one priority when considering your company’s social media contributions. Might you need to bring in a professional photographer for a few hours a month, say?
Bring Your Brand Story to Life
Everyone knows the story of how the “Innocent” brand became a reality: Three university pals wanted to quit their jobs in advertising and bring their organic smoothies to the mass market. So they trawled the UK in their beaten up old van, selling their home-made produce to festival goers and pitching their business concept to potential backers – literally refusing to take “no” for an answer – until they found an investor willing to back their idea. And the rest, as they say, is history.
How can you bring your brand’s story to life in a visually-compelling way that draws people in and makes them want to learn more about you?
Find Someone Who is Tech-Savvy
You may have a wonderful in-house team of creatives, but getting to grips with the technical side of social media can be incredibly time-consuming (and frequently frustrating). For example, if you don’t know how to optimise images for Pinterest so that they are “seen” by Pinterest’s bookmarklets, it is worth considering outsourcing your “techie” functions to a company or freelancer, depending on the size of your business.
Steal Ideas from Your Favourite Top Brands
You may not have a huge social media budget like Starbucks or Coke, but there’s nothing to stop you checking out their Facebook pages and utilising their best ideas in your online marketing. After all, there is no copyright in ideas!
Keep the Momentum Going!
All too often businesses start out with big ideas and grand plans to transform their social media marketing, but it’s very easy to let other demands on your time get in the way of advancement.
Check that your plan is on course on a weekly basis and revise as often as necessary. And be sure to report your progress back to your team at regular intervals and let them know how well they are doing.