Social Media is a visual medium

If a picture is truly worth a thousand words then why try to say it in 140 characters or less when you can show it in an image. People now carry around smartphones that capture higher quality images than digital cameras did a decade ago with the result that all those devices are busy taking pictures like never before. Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Flickr, Klip and even Facebook are providing a place for people to post, share and look at images in unprecedented numbers.

Framed-VisualStorytellingstudy this year by ROI Research uncovered that it was the pictures that users enjoyed the most when engaged on social media sites. As well, almost half of the respondents said they were more likely to engage with a brand if it had images to view and share. M-Booth, a global PR agency, found that on Facebook’s top 10 Brand pages, photos and video drive the majority of engagement along with the fact that photos are Liked twice as much as text updates.

So the challenge for many companies is how to generate all this visual content when many organizations are being asked to do more with less. In some cases brands many want to harness the power and size of a user-generated community. The paper journal brand Moleskine now has one of the most active and visually beautiful collections of images connected with their product. At myMoleskine people can post both pictures and video of not just the product but also the creativity that using the product unleashes.

mymoleskineThis all leads to a couple of key questions for brands when managing their visual presence in the social media space.

  • Am I still using words when an image will do a better job?
  • Have I seeded enough (or the right kind of) images on the web so people can pin, post or share?
  • If I am looking to for others to create user generated content will they understand how to bring the brand to life in a way that is consistent with the organizations values?

Businesses are realizing that they need to show their story and that visually based social media sites have an ever growing need for great images.

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