Photos and video are the currency of social media, and the rise of the smartphone has only reinforced our culture’s addition to visual content. No social media manager in their right mind would choose to conduct a campaign without strong visual assets, and here’s why.
Social is visual
A countless number of studies have continued to show that social engagement is higher with photos and video. A study by Twitter showed that tweets with photo URLs had a 35% increase in retweets. And not to rain on Twitter’s parade, but social analytics firm Socialbakers found that the biggest brands on Instagram were getting up to 50 times more engagement than their tweets.
Video is no slouch either. With Facebook’s emphasis on video content, Facebook videos are much more likely to be seen in the newsfeed than photo content (although both still generate tremendous engagement numbers).
Social is real-time
We often think of “real-time” in the context of breaking news. But Oreo showed that a well-oiled social media machine can pay dividends in responding to contemporary events in real-time. During the Super Bowl XLVII blackout, Oreo quickly responded with the following tweet and graphic:
Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
15k retweets and massive press coverage later, Oreo perfectly illustrated the power of a real-time visual response. Had the tweet arrived 24 hours later, the engagement would have fallen flat.
Social is conversations
In the film era, photos were precious. Now, photos are a language. In the same way that emoticons have entered the common lexicon, photos are now taken, shared and forgotten as fluidly as written or spoken language.
Apps like Snapchat, once feared as sexting platform, are now widely used by Millenials and Generation Zers as a visual status mechanism and further reinforce how diverse your communication streams must be to reach your target audiences. But these conversations aren’t limited to peer-to-peer. Major brands like CNN, ESPN, Comedy Central and more are doubling down on producing vertically oriented content for Snapchat to reach their customers.
You need strong and regular visual content to win at social media. Study after study has shown that visual content is they key to higher engagement. Creating an editorial calendar and having a solid image/video library like Libris will simplify your campaign deployment.