Let’s look at social media graphics and how you can be using them with your social media. Aside from the general advice of use a graphic, photo, or video with every post, I’d like to explore why they can help you better market your small business, product, or service online. There’s more to creating great social media graphics than choosing the proper size.
I frequently hear that people can spot my posts on social media and they’re drawn to the images that I share. This is such a huge compliment because it means that I’ve developed a recognizable visual style. Learn a little about why it’s so important for you to do the same with your social media graphics.
Why do people share on social media?
We’re exposed to more information now than ever before. But people’s reasons for sharing haven’t changed much from a neighbor sharing a recipe over the fence. We tell stories when we share a Facebook update or post a tweet on Twitter. These little pieces are woven into our bigger story as people listen and absorb what we share.Sharing isn't new, it's human nature.Click To Tweet
From a New York Times study, “73% say they process information more deeply, thoroughly and thoughtfully when they share it.” One participant of the study said, “Sharing is actually part of who I am.”
Think about that for a moment and process. Sharing is part of our social DNA.
Key factors for getting things shared:
- Keep it simple.
- Make it easy to share.
- Provide helpful information.
Actionable tip: Make your posts shareable by adding a visual to your blog posts so when people share your content a fantastic image populates for them.
Process information faster
Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text, graphics quickly affect our emotions, and our emotions greatly affect our decision-making. If most of our decisions are based on relatively quick intuitional judgment and emotions, then how many decisions are influenced by visually appealing, easily digested graphics?
Recent studies are stating that up to 80% of social media users are on their mobile devices. You need to consider if your post will be visually interesting as people scroll through their social media streams on their mobile devices.Use bold graphics with easy to read text to get interaction with your social media graphics to reach mobile users.Click To Tweet
“Study after study, experiment after experiment has proven that graphics have immense influence over the audience’s perception of the subject matter and, by association, the presenter (the person, place, or thing most associated with the graphic) because of these neurological and evolutionary factors. Without a doubt, graphics greatly influence an audience’s decisions. Whoever properly wields this intelligence has a powerful advantage over their competition.”
In today’s world, your social media posts are competing in the Facebook Newsfeed, Instagram feed, Twitter stream, and on Pinterest with media from big brands, small businesses, bloggers, and social media professionals. It’s important that you take the time to make your social media graphics as compelling as possible so that your posts make the cut.
Actionable tip: Ensure that your content is seen and shared by creating the best graphics possible. My favorite photo site is Stocksy.
From visual marketing expert and blogger Rebekah Radice, “There are only three reasons consumers buy. In order to sell your product or service, you must speak to a primal need.
- How to satisfy a basic necessity – food, clothing, shelter
- To solve a problem – what’s their concern, challenge or problem
- Better themselves – better body, life, bank account
Once you understand your market, you can truly speak to their wants and desires. If you know what they want, you can translate that into a powerful message in a minute.”
Your social media graphics can help you reach your ideal community by visually conveying a message. The goal isn’t to randomly use images but to connect with people in the way that is easiest for them to digest.Social media graphics shouldn't be an afterthought, they're a key player in the success of your social media.Click To Tweet
Chalene Johnson is a matter visual marketer on Instagram and throughout her social media accounts. She inspires and motivates her community with tips to better themselves.
It blows me away how many well meaning, driven, goal oriented, hard working, smart, creative people set out to accomplish a goal, a vision, transformation, a difficult decision and skip the first and most CRITICAL STEP!!! Put your thoughts to paper. Pencil to paper. The pros. The cons. What it going to take, what you have to learn, who you’ll need to meet, where you’ll need to sacrifice – a thought dump, a brain storm ….. If I had a dollar for every day people waste moving in the wrong direction or making dangerous decisions all of which could’ve been avoided if they simply took out a number two pencil and a legal pad. #duh Do you feel me??? If you do … Instagram a pic of you with your thought dump/ brainstorm and use the hashtag #pencilToPaper
Actionable tip: Connect your images with your social media message. They are one and the same.
Use the power of storytelling
“Humans are inclined to see narratives where there are none because it can afford meaning to our lives, a form of existential problem-solving.” from The Psychological Comforts of Storytelling. Stories help us connect with the storyteller, learn from other people, and realize that we have similar fears or ideas. We process and remember stories at a more rapid rate. Stories are important for these three reasons outlined by Stanford professor Jennifer Aaker:
1. Stories shape how others see you. The stories people tell about you influence how they see you: whether they would hire you, buy from you, or like you. The stories people tell about you also influence how you feel.
2. Stories are tools of power. When you tell a story, your audience slows down to listen. Sharing a story lets people hear your insights more effectively.
3. Stories persuade. Story can move people to action. You can persuade others by taking them on an engaging journey.
Tell visual stories with Slide Share presentations, Pinterest pins, tweets on Twitter, or create an Instagram series that shares your story. Let people know who you are by sharing your story with photos or video. Some of the most powerful new media being created is done in short videos on Vine and SnapChat. Here’s an example of a Vine user that rocks out this fast-paced video genre. Click the video for sound.
Actionable tip: Use your smartphone to create short, compelling stories to entertain or educate and take your viewers on a journey.
I hope these reasons compel you into action and to contemplate how you can tell your story on social media with visuals. Creating a unique visual style for yourself can be a challenge but it’s something that will bring value to your brand.
If you really want to rock your visual brand, here are some book recommendations:
The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio
The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawasaki and I.