Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Social Media Corner: Show, don’t tell. The rise of visual social media

By: Jessica Boles

A picture is worth a thousand words. When pictures are applied to social media, this have never been more on point. When users are engaging on social media sites, it’s the pictures that are getting the most “likes.” Videos are shared twelve times more than links and posts combined and photos are liked two times more than text updates.
We live in a visual-driven culture where images have long been used as a powerful communications tool for high impact branding. Social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been the trend in visual marketing, but studies show that now marketers are spreading the maxim that where “content is king”, now “a picture is a really worth a thousand words.” It is now more important that never for businesses to be creating strategies to translate their brand through images on social sites.

With this being said, social media channels are becoming increasingly more visual in nature.

Blogs were one of the earliest forms of social networking, where individuals were writing short blogs and then posting on various websites. Then Facebook moved to status updates and the posts became shorter. Then Twitter came along and the updates were shortened to 140 characters. Now the trend is to skip words all together and move towards visuals with social-sharing sites. This trend is influenced by the shifting habits of technology and as more people are engaging with social media with their smart phones it is now easier to take a picture than to write out and status update.

Images are also rising in prominence because the tools of the trade have made it easier and more available to edit and post pictures. The mobile photography niche has risen dramatically because of the stronger emotional response from users. The visual web is rising and it is not stopping any time in the future and as consumers favor the simplicity of taking pictures, 2012 has since been deemed the shifting point of social media that we will all remember.

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