Many organizations and brands are finding enormous success by incorporating visual social media platforms into their communications programs. While some brands are hesitant to jump on the bandwagon for fear of joining an application that will quickly lose popularity, companies that are joining their customers (and potential customers) on Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are engaging followers and gaining influence.
But before an organization considers using these platforms, it is important to consider why and how they work for brands:
- People are drawn to images. Image-based platforms have gained popularity (at an astounding rate) largely because people want to see what you are talking about. Announcing a new product? Include a photo of the product with your post. Not only will your followers see what you are talking about, but the photo will also build familiarity and make the product easier to identify when a potential customer sees it on a shelf at the store.
- Easily integrated into daily life. Photos are a key part of American culture. From flipping through family albums to posting group shots on Facebook, photos have been a mainstay of our society. With a platform such as Instragram, a user can see a friend’s vacation photo or a sister’s engagement ring right next to a drink from Starbucks or a new nail polish from OPI. Because people are more drawn to images, photos shared by brands can seem less forced on users than other types of marketing.
- Simple to use, upload. Simplicity is key to online engagement, and the clean, user-friendly designs of image platforms have increased popularity with users. For example, users on Instagram can quickly snap a photo, add a filter to change the look of the photo and upload it for friends to see. Photo applications are quick, easy and instantaneous. Not only does this benefit the brands sharing photos, but it also increases the likelihood of fans sharing their own photos, leading to…
- Customers reach out to brands. Although brands have gained popularity on Facebook since the first Fan Pages, some users complain about the pressure to like brands with heavy advertising on newsfeeds. However, users seem to flock to brands on image-based platforms, particularly Pinterest and Instagram. Users that seek out brands to follow are much more likely to share content and act as brand ambassadors.
- Let your personality shine. Customers want to see a brand’s personality, so let it show through photos. As Tracy mentioned in a recent blog post, image-based platforms offer countless opportunities to share your brand’s story visually. Whether you are celebrating a groundbreaking or 50 years in business, your company has a story that can be told with photos.
Image-based platforms are a fun way to reach customers where they are already spending a lot of time. Whether you are already using the platforms mentioned above or you are still learning the ropes, image-based platforms can be a simple and effective tool to tell your company’s story and reach current and potential customers on their terms.
There are many brands already using Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. Which brands do you think are using images most effectively?
Photo Credit: jayofboy