You already know social media works.The question is, how to make it work best for your business? The key is finding best practices that complement your marketing strategy.
A recent social media trends guide by Vocus reveals top ways to use visual marketing across your social media channels. Want to drive engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest? Ready to use the power of graphics to grab the attention of your audience?
Below you will find top ways to incorporate visual media into nine of today's hottest social networks, including real business examples and a handy Infographic!
1. Facebook users love visuals
On a daily basis, 350 million photos are uploaded to this popular social network. As one of my favorite brands to follow, Starbucks is an example of how well visuals can work on Facebook. They include customers in the conversation by running regular contests and also frequently cross-promote other Starbucks pages.No matter what you're craving, you're sure to find it (and a host of fellow Starbucks lovers) on their active Facebook page.
2. Twitter cards are a stand-out
Twitter has gone visual with the release of Twitter cards. Brands eager to capture the attention of their audience and move beyond 140 characters or less are using Twitter Cards to stand out.
Media moguls like The Huffington Post customize their tweets using snippets from articles, "hashtags" to reach relevant audiences, and high quality images related to the articles.Not familiar with Twitter Cards? Start creating yours now!
3. Google Plus and YouTube iIntegration
Google Plus integration with YouTube can give your business the opportunity to reach a broader audience. Through the use of Hangouts, you can construct your own video channel. With this easy-to-use tool, creating your own unique TV show has never been easier.
What advice, tips or inspiration can you offer your audience? Record it, stream it live, and voila; it's instantly uploaded to YouTube!
BakeSpace uses Hangouts for their #KitchenParty to chat about everybody's favorite topic -- food!
4. Flickr is quality visuals
Flickr is a photo sharing website used by photographers, artists and businesses alike. While this site is primarily for sharing high quality photos, you can use this to your advantage. Share brand photos to engage your audience and spotlight your work.
A photographer I love to follow is Cynthia Lou. I could easily spend hours browsing through her gorgeous stream of photographs.
Copyright Cynthia Lou
5. Pinterest is shared images
Pinterest is a unique social network that allows users to "pin" images, stories, and much more to virtual boards. You can use Pinterest to share images, videos, your latest blog post and more.
By creating an official Pinterest business page and pinning your unique content, followers can immediately associate it with your brand.
Jeff Sieh, a talented marketer and visual storyteller, uses Pinterest to cross-promote his Google+ Hangout, the Manly Pinterest Show. What better way to reach your audience than create content specifically designed for them?
6. Instagram is a shared experience
Instagram allows users to share personal photos from daily experiences and fun activities. As a business, you can share what matters most to your customers. Whether that's a social media hack or an easy way to train your pet, engage your audience by sharing your knowledge and experience.
Many companies like GoPro use Instagram to effectively pull followers into the conversation. They share user photos, encouraging a more personal experience for customers while also promoting the brand.
7. Vine is videos
Vine is a video sharing website. Not familiar with Vine? It’s simple! Record your six-second video and share it on the social site. As a business, you can share your latest product or a simple tip. American Air draws followers in by making the dream of travel a reality. Want to get away this weekend? Just look to AA's Vine page for ideas!
8. LinkedIn for business
LinkedIn is a more than just a professional social network. It's a powerful way for job seekers, employers, entrepreneurs and other business oriented individuals to connect. This site is ideal for sharing your portfolio, unique qualities, skills and specific talents.
Businesses and individuals can break down barriers that previously hindered interaction. No longer do you need to bypass a gatekeeper or struggle to find the right recruit. LinkedIn gives you direct access to the people and businesses important to your growth.
9. The YouTube experience
YouTube is an excellent way to reach customers in a dynamic, visual way. Share stories, display products or show off your latest tool. Whatever the case, you can turn YouTube into a powerful visual aid for your business.
Coca-Cola is one of the best examples of YouTube's best practices. They share content that connects with their audience, no matter the country or language. Their videos are entertaining, engaging, and actively involve their followers.
In their latest campaign, "Share a Coke," Coca-Cola uses YouTube to encourage fans to get out and find a bottle with their name. The campaign in both its reach and ability to drive massive fan interaction, is brilliant. Can't find your name? No problem! Create your own.
No matter the social network, now is the time to integrate visuals into your social media marketing. Whether it's a video on Vine or a graphic on Instagram, find your audience and quit worrying about the how. Focus on the what and the who, and I guarantee the how will take care of itself. Where will you begin?
Grab the infographic
Courtesy of: Vocus
About Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.