Welcome back to the bi-weekly Social Strategy blog post series. Last time, we talked about post time strategies and how you should tailor when you post to when your audience will see your content.
Creating engaging content is the order of the day and, even if you have written something as masterful as a Chaucer story, odds are it will get very little traffic on social media if the actual post content isn't engaging. Very often, people make a post that consists of a brief description of what they are trying to promote with an attached hyperlink - social media is a platform that is already overflowing with text and just offering more text to your audience will not create engagement with your content. How can you make people want to view your content?
Despite the vast amount of data stored on it, the internet is a largely visual medium. Why do you think we have things like meme culture and viral videos? Luckily, the same concept can be applied to the world of social media. Tweets with images receive 18 percent more clicks and 150 percent more retweets than those without. What's even more engaging than a static image? A moving image, of course, and Twitter realizes this - they have recently introduced a GIF button, which searches a database for a relevant GIF. GIFs are, in some ways, considered the currency of Twitter because of the way that they can cram more complexity than text can convey into a five-second looping clip.
The use of images and GIFs serve as more than mere tools to attract people to your content - they are a valuable opportunity to show off your company's personality. One needs only to look at the Twitter account for specialty mattress brand Casper to understand how the use of images - especially when it comes to customer interactions - can help create a unique social media presence.
Even if you're sold on the utilization of images and GIFs across social channels, realize that there is both a time and place for their use. Creating a fun brand identity is one thing, but it should not come to the detriment of your actual business. Think of ways that you can incorporate images across your channels organically. If you're a fishing rod manufacturer, for example, it's not that much of a stretch for you to include pictures of lakes, rivers, or other waterways – you are creating a relationship between the natural world and your product.
The most important thing with social media, more than anything thus far presented in this series or anything that will be in the future, is that you have fun with it – it is a chance to show the people and the humanity behind the brand. If your company is celebrating an important milestone, there's nothing wrong with posting a GIF of Chris Pratt throwing confetti in the air. Given that the internet is a visual medium, why not embrace the culture and change that defines it?
We here at SimplyCast love us some social media, and as a matter of fact, we offer both Facebook and Twitter tools that allow you to automate posts with built-in image support. You can use our tools in combination with what you have learned over the course of this series to seriously bolster your social media presence and engagement. These tools are just a part of our marketing automation platform, SimplyCast 360 – click here to sign up for a free 14-day trial and make sure you check back in two weeks for the next installment of this series!