Social Media love badgeTo ensure social media works to your best advantage it’s important to get to grips with visual content. Facebook continues to lead the way, whilst Pinterest and Instagram are snapping at its blue heels! The improvement of high speed WIFI has made it easier and faster to view images and videos, and with the vast majority of users now accessing social media on their smartphones – visual content is far more immediate, easy to digest and engaging than a whole load of words.

Using visual content on social media is a free and easy to implement approach for smaller business. It’s more likely to be shared, which raises your awareness and generates potential inbound links back to your website which is great ‘Google juice’ and positive for your search engine rankings.

Strong and impactful visuals can help ensure that your messages stand out from the crowd and really helps to build brand awareness quicker – the more likes and shares you receive the wider your audience will become.

So what visual content should you be posting?

Naturally, it needs to be relevant and as interesting and inspiring as possible. Stock images are easy to come by, but they’ve probably be seen a million times already and they are often incredibly clichéd and a bit nasty in my opinion! You may not be able to stretch to a professional photography shoot to create a library of images, but digital cameras are reasonably cheap and cameras on the latest smartphones actually produce pretty good quality images – so do think about creating your own original images if you can.

1. Shareable content

You’ve probably seen plenty of quotes or funnies posted on your own Facebook newsfeed and then wondered where they keep coming from. Well, they’re actually incredibly easy to do yourself and a very effective way of communicating a text-based message visually. Tools such as PicMonkey,  Canva and the Word Swagg App are really useful for creating images quickly – for instance, a series of tips that can be posted over a period of several days. Quotes can be found a plenty on Pinterest and you can use sites like Brainy Quote to find some.

2. Video

Step-by-step videos, ‘how to’ guides and easy to follow tutorials that are useful to your followers and may potentially solve a problem or two are always good material for generating shares. You could also use video to showcase new products, introduce members of your team, give demonstrations or provide a behind-the-scenes look at how your products are made. Capture your audience with a video and they are statistically more likely to make a purchase. Try the Twitter app Vine to create looping 6 second videos or even dabble with new live video streaming tools Periscope and Meerkat.

3. Infographics

Infographics can take time to create but they are much more engaging. They are a great way of presenting information that might otherwise be very wordy and possibly a bit dull! Adding a visual element to statistics is far more visually appealing and, depending on the subject, can even inject a level of humour for an extra hook. And with online tools such as Piktochart and you can create your own infographics without the worry of what a professional graphic designer might charge.

So make visual content part of your social media strategy and you should start to improve your social reach and get better engagement with your followers. And then your business should benefit from increased sales!