As we promised, we’re back with the following 7 checkpoints! These following points represent some key concepts and strategies that will help you leverage the power of visuals on social media. If you didn’t get a chance to take a look at the first three points, you can find them here. If you just want to dive into this article, here’s a short recap.
- Every social media platform has a different anatomy, with a different interface and a different audience.
- Every piece of content we put out there as marketers should have a clear purpose, otherwise we have no way to measure its success.
- Follow the right colors, fonts, and design principles of your brand, so that people know with whom to associate visuals when they see them.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to business!
4. Use high quality content.
You know that idiom “a picture is worth a thousand words?” Well a low quality one sure says a lot about you, and it’s not anything positive! And you don’t want that, right? When we’re talking about high quality visuals, we’re not only talking about the quality of the photos or designs, but also about being considerate with your users when it comes to dimensions. Keep in mind that each social networking platform has different sizes and types of visuals to which you need to adapt to. For example, an infographic on Facebook is always a visual-non-grata. Why, you might be asking! Well, Facebook’s UI wasn’t built for vertical visuals. It’s that easy! The only platform which allows vertical content is Pinterest.
Did you know that people form a first impression in a mere 50 milliseconds? Don’t miss that tiny chance of impressing an user by having low quality visuals. Make them so good, that if they mistakenly scroll past your visual, they go back and say “Whoa!”
5. Use professional tools.
Nobody has ever said that you absolutely need a designer to make awesome visuals. We’re living in the age of “I can do anything!”, so why not try creating your own? Luckily for you, there are so many tools out there, from free to paid or from no learning curve to a steep one!
The first one we’re telling you about is Bannersnack. Don’t let yourself be influenced by the word ‘banner’ in the name. Bannersnack is a product that helps you easily create any kind of visual for any social network from Facebook posts to Instagram Stories, no matter if they’re meant for ads or not. What’s great with this tool is that you have seasonal templates that help you save time when you’re in a hurry. We’ve all been there, a deadline is no one’s friend.
Pro-tip: Bannersnack has recently launched a Banner Generator, which lets you make the same design in multiple sizes all in one shot. How awesome is that?
The second tool might be a little more difficult to use, but it’s equally as useful as the first one. It’s called Adobe Spark and as you might have figured out, it’s part of Adobe suite of tools. This tool has some powerful features such as templates, professional-looking themes, fonts, and images and, like Bannersnack, it also has a mobile app.
6. Don’t dive into every social platform.
I bet, that at some point in your life, you’ve heard the phrase, “there’s a time and place for everything!” When it comes to posting on social media, this should be one of your mantras. Every social platform has its personality and purpose and most important – audience! (As you already know if you read part 1 of this article). Knowing your audience helps you decide where you should be active with your brand or product. Don’t be active on every single social network there is on the market.
For example, Facebook is the number 1 most used social network with 1.28 billion users. But if your audience is mainly formed by stay at home moms which enjoy Pinterest more and use it more than Facebook, maybe you should focus on Pinterest first. Do you see where I’m going with this?
7. Be patient.
This might be the most difficult of all steps. Why? Because when it comes to results, we all want them yesterday. But if you’re just beginning to work in this domain, you must know that popularity doesn’t appear overnight, communities don’t get formed out of nothing and lessons are learnt in time.
Social media marketing is not a sprint, it’s a marathon and you need to train everyday. You’re at the beginning of your road, which means you still have much to learn and automatically you need lots of patience before getting where you want to. Don’t hurry, cause you might jump over some important steps and lessons that you’ll need a bit later. Here’s what Gary Vaynerchuk said about this topic.
“I’m patient. I’m real patient. I’m not looking for the ROI of just this minute or the next six months.”
If you know who Gary is and what he’s been doing for a few years now, you might be getting why we’re saying that being patient can only be in your favor.
8. Take a break.
This is one step most marketers often forget. Even I sometimes forget to log off for a long period of time. Living in the age of Internet has made us feel the need for a continuous connection with the virtual world and marketers and social media specialists feel this burden of needing to be online the worst. We often feel overwhelmed with the amount of information coming our way and instead of taking a break and restructuring our plan, we dive right in. Hear me out: there’s nothing so important happening online that you can’t take a break to clear your head from time to time.
A study by Workfront found that almost 48% of marketers log into work emails before and after work every day and the same number even check their work emails at weekends. How does that influence you? Your brain doesn’t get time to adjust from relax mode to work mode. You’re basically forcing your brain to switch abruptly, and that at some point might lead up to burnouts.
Take Away Tip – Getting to know your audience doesn’t have to be done by ‘stalking’ them online; sometimes going out into the real world is what you need to understand them a bit better.
9. Test different strategies.
The first lesson I learnt as a marketer was this one: you can never know what will work if you’re not investing some time into testing one strategy or another. If you want to know what is truly making a difference in your results, it’s often best to test one thing at a time. When it comes to social media, you can test anything from copy and visuals to different kinds of campaigns and timing. Time testing, we may say, is one of the most important actions you should do when getting your hands on a community.
When should you create your posts for optimal responses? There’s no universal response for this, but there are some guidelines you will find useful and from which you can start from. For example, according for Dan Zarrella’s research, Twitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends. Does that mean this is going to work for you? Maybe. The only way to truly find out, is if you go ahead and test it.
10. Measure, measure, measure.
Testing is what helps you decide what works and what doesn’t but if you don’t actually measure the results of your test, what’s the point. Take a moment to evaluate each strategy you implement. Most of the times, strategies probably don’t pan out quite the way you thought they would. But that’s okay! Sometimes it’s easier to learn from strategies that don’t work because you can usually figure out why and make sure you don’t make that same mistake again. There’s no shame in admitting a strategy doesn’t work, but it’s a sign of strength and determination to get back on track and find something that works.
As you might have seen, visuals can play a huge factor in determining your audience’s behavior and overall sentiment towards your brand. Hopefully, our guide will help you find your way in the world of visual marketing and social media but if you have more questions that I didn’t answer, you know where to find me.