Jocelyn Johnson, Director of Marketing, Real Magnet
One of the most exciting trends in social media is the increasing emphasis on visual content, and, in particular, the use of the social card, which pairs a powerful image with a quick snippet of impactful or intriguing text. Studies have shown that visual content is forty times more likely to be shared on social media and content with visuals get nearly twice as many views. So, if you’re looking to increase engagement from your online audience, a social card might be an ideal starting point.
Using Visual Content in Social Media
At its root, social media is collaborative – crowdsourced knowledge and information sharing. These days, that information is increasingly visual: powerful images, memes, and interactive infographics, all in easily shareable formats.
Once a text-only platform, Twitter has has evolved to become inherently visual. Sure, there is text, but that text is a part of a greater whole. The interplay between text and image conveys more contextual and relevant information, while encouraging clicks, likes, and shares.
Other major social media outlets are no different. LinkedIn and Facebook have long included images with posts, while Pinterest and Instagram were created for the express purpose of sharing visual content. Social influencers and thought leaders rarely – if ever – share content without a visual component. In short: pics equal clicks.
Recent innovations by social platforms (like Snapchat Spectacles, Facebook Live and Twitter Live Stream) are pushing the boundaries and doubling down on the theme of visual content, showing that visual content is not only the present, but also the future of social media.
As the proliferation of visual content in social media continues, many marketers are finding that a picture is no longer enough to catch their audience’s wandering eyes. So, short videos and animated GIFs are being used more frequently. By keeping the message short, catchy, and quick, you can wow your base with a clearly defined story that gets right to the point. Adding a brief video or an appealing animated GIF in your social posts can yield up to three times more clicks.
So, how can you capitalize on short, visual content in your social media strategy? Make sure your content strategy includes a variety of formats, like infographics, videos, and blog posts. Creating a well-rounded stockpile of content topics and formats can help you develop engaged audiences based on shared interests. But to take it to the next level, you need Social Cards.
In our next post, we’ll cover the anatomy of the Social Card.