'A Picture Paints a Thousand Words' - Frederick R. Barnard, 1921.
If this testament was true in the 1920's, there's no doubt over its authenticity now!
This statement was brought into context for me, by a very readable article from Piqora, brought to my attention by my boss, Paul. Whilst managing to encapsulate the meaning behind imagery's emotional and social impact, it also touches upon how pictures are having a cascading effect on the way brands are interacting within Social Media.
Images are dominating Social Media so much so, that no information gets the recognition it deserves, without the addition of a visual aid. I'd even go as far as saying that text for social, without a visual accompaniment, is a Social no-no!
To put this into perspective: 90% of all information transmitted through to our brain - is visual, which equates to images being consumed at a rate 60,000 times faster than text! Could it be said that an info-graphic paints 60 thousand words? That's impressive and highlights exactly why they cannot be ignored by users.
But what is it about an image that holds so much significance?
It all comes down to our attention span!
Despite our best efforts, we humans do get bored quite easily! Or are we becoming increasingly more lazy? Everything is at our finger tips these days and when faced with something that doesn't speak to you, it's game over! Simple.
According to Piqora, in order to succeed within online visual marketing, people's attention must be captured and engaged within a matter of milli-seconds! Sounds straightforward, but how? Mode Digital can offer an insight:
'One way to make your message stand out is to make it entertaining, and thus memorable. Rich media content is helping to blur the lines between advertising and entertainment, and social media companies are beginning to recognise and capitalise on this trend. It doesn’t hurt, too, that video is demonstrably one of the most memorable forms of human communication. The figures for increased viewer retention of information speak for themselves: after 72 hours, viewers retain 10% of text that they read, 65% of images seen, and a gob-smacking 95% of videos watched.' (2014)
If you were hoping to include an image for social with no real relevance, in the hope that this will succeed- think again! Go that extra mile, Piqora suggest you may want to hire a photographer to handle your company's visual content strategy? It's all about being focused and prepared in order to create a strategy that invites engagement and it's up to you to make this happen. The image must hold relevance and be part of a wider aspect of your visual campaign in order to create a feeling of exclusivity and inclusion to your community.
It's when tapping into these emotive perspectives, that interaction rates are enabled to propel:
Piqora also alludes to ONE golden rule when it comes to handling community management:
Treat all social platforms differently.
Look at each site individually in order to create maximum impact.
Just like it would be bad practice to use same content for Twitter as Facebook, using the same visuals for Facebook as Instagram, would also be yet another social no-no! The best way of perceiving social platforms, is to view them as personalities, each to be handled according to their own persona! Each has their strengths and weakness - it's up to you to use them to their full potential.
Piqora looks into both Instagram and Pinterest and the influence both sites have on impacting visual social marketing content to its followers. What do they offer? Pinterest is for discovering new brands and products whilst Instagram is for seeing, creating and getting inspired.
Social media sites are always evolving. What would have been acceptable five years ago wouldn't even come into the equation now! Myspace fizzled and re-launched, LinkedIn has adapted to a more social, B2B acceptance and we have seen platforms, such as Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and Snap-Chat ditch the text entirely to allow for pictures and videos to speak for themselves.
This essential allows for brands to communicate more with less - how ironic!
These Social Media sites off a platform for brand advertising with popularity rates that cannot be ignored. A great way to push recognition is to tap into the world of both Twitter and Facebook ads, this will allow for more accurate ad targeting with the integration of image and video optimisation. I wonder what 2015 will have in store for social users and what this means for brand advertising?