Eye-Popping Visuals/Visual Editing Tools that Boost Engagement on Social Media
Social media marketing provides brands with many advantages: it enables brands to elicit greater loyalty from customers, gives brands more opportunities to convert leads into customers, and increases inbound traffic to websites, among other benefits.
On the other hand, if your company is newly launched and does not have a strongly defined audience (yet), how do you get noticed by potential followers and customers on social media sites? If you want to gain a new audience on social media, as well as stimulate engagement among existing fans and followers, consider using visual content.
Social media audiences love visual content. Visual-centric sites, like Pinterest and Instagram, have millions of followers worldwide. Additionally, some of the most engaging posts on Facebook and Twitter are visual posts. Research has shown that visual posts on social media sites drive strong engagement. What’s more, brands don’t need to set aside a huge budget or possess incredible design skills to create compelling visual posts.
According to an article that appeared in NewsCred (@newscred), “When it comes to content creation, many people make this simple mistake: they add more visuals just for the sake of it. This is a basic approach. Smart content marketers create a visual content strategy that reaches people’s emotions – content with real psychological impact.”
This article will focus on the types of visuals and visual tools that could dramatically increase your social media engagement—and without further ado, here they are:
Use High-Quality Stock Photography
Yes, we know that Mario Testino and Annie Leibovitz are expensive. Fortunately, you don’t have to hire rock star photographers to obtain compelling and relevant images for your social media marketing.
You can use high-quality stock photography that resonates with your audience to make your brand appear more credible. Figure 1 shows a post from Elite Daily’s Facebook page. The accompanying image is eye-catching, suits the aesthetic values of the target audience, and encourages readers to click the post to read the article on the Elite Daily website.
On the other hand, stock photos are expensive, and you can’t just select an option from Google Images (because of copyright and licensing restrictions).
A helpful article—written by Jacqueline Thomas (@kyothomas) and published on Canva (@canva)—advises designers and marketers to use a stock repository that clearly states licensing restrictions to avoid legal trouble. The article also lists resources that contain images that are either public domain or listed under Creative Commons Attribution. Public domain images are not owned by anyone and have no copyright restrictions (helpful fact: all images published in the United States before 1923 are public domain).
While images under Creative Commons Attribution are copyrighted, the public is allowed to use them under certain restrictions. “Some photos require a link back to the photographer (also known as attribution), others don’t. Some photos allow you to remix and change it up, others don’t. Some photographers allow you to use their work commercially, others restrict use of their work for personal projects only,” states Thomas.
Use Screenshots (Because Seeing is Believing)
When people see physical proof with their eyes, they’re more likely to trust the source and respond positively. As Figure 2 demonstrates, adding a screenshot to tweets can help readers understand data more quickly. Screenshots also boost the credibility of both the tweet and its source (in this case, Buffer @buffer), and encourages the reader to click the link on the tweet and access the original article.
Inform and Inspire by Posting Infographics and Quote Graphics
Why is visual content so effective on social media? Ninety percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. With social media users scrolling through countless images, tweets, and posts, images register more quickly and are easier to digest.
Infographics use text and visuals to present complex information quickly and clearly. Brands can post links to infographics on Facebook and Twitter, and entire boards can be dedicated to infographics on Pinterest—as demonstrated in the following Pinterest board from World Vision (@WorldVision). [See Figure 3]
Brands can also post quote graphics on their social media platforms. Quote graphics can be humorous, thought-provoking, or inspiring. They not only present your brand in a good light, but are also more likely to be shared (which in turn increases your brand’s reach on social media).
Matt Hardy (@mattchardy), a graphic designer at Canva, has written an article on how to design creative quote graphics for social media with Canva. The resulting quote graphic looks both professional and eye-catching. [See Figure 4]
Use Simple Photo Editing Tools to Create Eye-Catching Visuals
Fortunately, if you’re a marketer working within a limited budget, you don’t need to hire a professional designer or mess around with complicated software, like Photoshop, just to edit great pictures for social media. Canva’s graphic design tools are not only easy to use, but are also free.
Canva has a library of over 1 million stock images and illustrations which members can use in their designs. Other photo editing/image creation websites include PicMonkey (@PicMonkeyApp) and LiveLuvCreate (@LiveLuvCreate).
What other types of visuals and visual tools have worked for your social media marketing campaigns?
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