Guest Post: Proper Planning Can Make Your Social Media Strategy More Successful
With the billions of users, businesses often see social media as a tempting panacea for getting more awareness, more customers and more revenue. Since social media spans a variety of platforms and touches a multitude of audiences, its reach is unquestionable. Savvy marketers, brands and business owners are wise to look to social channels as a strategic way to connect with their ideal buyers. And, if words can be powerful via social media, images are even more engaging.
Before you start pumping out a ton of visual content, take a moment to think about what will work best for your brand. Is text most appropriate? When will visual components be more appealing to your audience? When should you combine both? In order to maximize your social media strategy and reach, keep these questions in mind when adding visual elements to your social media content.
Understand Who Views Content
Similarly to how a marketer will email a certain group of people with a particular promotion because they are most likely to respond positively, there are certain demographics that dominate each social channel. For example, Nielsen reports that Pinterest's user base is 70 percent female, which then affects what type of images you use for this demographic. If you’re an athletic apparel brand, for instance, you might use images of strong, capable and appealing women that other ladies aspire to look and perform like.
Conversely, if you look at a platform like Twitter, images hold less sway. With a very diverse audience, you can’t be entirely sure of the age, race or gender of your viewers. Therefore, this channel works well for B2B brands. When incorporating images here, use something like an infographic that presents information concisely and can be easily scanned for key points.
Think About How Content Is Consumed
Sticking with the example of Twitter, the pace of the social media site is very important. With a limited character count of 140, Twitter is naturally much faster paced than the others. People who turn to Twitter as their main source of social interaction are seeking bite-sized pieces of information they can quickly skim. On Facebook, however, your content can be denser, but your images should still be clear and easy to view. Because over one billion users look at Facebook on their mobile devices, take into account that pictures will appear smaller and will likely be scrolled through more quickly than they would on a desktop computer.
For Facebook, consider using straightforward graphics that won’t be distorted when seen on a petite screen. A good place for finding these types of images are on a website like Shutterstock, where pictures tend to convey a lot quickly and look very clean.
When approaching a platform like Instagram, however, pictures of people often resonate well. You can be artsier with your images and should try to make them something your audience can relate to. Ben & Jerry’s campaign does a great job of posting idyllic pictures of pleasant settings with a pint of their ice cream front and center. Since they’re on Instagram, their audience is looking for enjoyable images, and who can’t relate to ice cream on the beach? Instagrammers even began sharing their own blissful images with their favorite pints in the shot because they responded so favorably to the campaign.
With so many social media channels, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Begin by looking at who your ideal buyer is, and then choose the two or three platforms whose demographics match yours. Once you know which channels are best for your end goal, consider the types of images that perform best on each. With a little research and strategy, you can hook your favorite type of customer with a simple GIF. So get posting!
Guest Blogger: Rebecca Hasulak of SocialMonsters.org
Rebecca Hasulak is a prolific writer and dangerous dreamer. She sharpened her skill with the written word while she was an Associate Editor of a beauty and pop culture magazine, and further during her time as a Public Relations Executive. Rebecca now writes and delivers PR services under her business Quotable PR, and is happiest when with her daughter and loved ones. Follow her @BecksChristine.