Cheat Sheet

Visual Social Marketing For Dummies

A strong visual marketing strategy can attract more traffic to your website, encourage more social media shares of your website, and invite more interactions with your online content. This Cheat Sheet gives you an overview of how to harness visual social marketing to grow your business.

Get Results from Visual Social Marketing

Social media sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook are essential tools to get your message out there. Visual social marketing can create big-time results, such as the following

  • More website traffic

    When a website is shared on social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn, an image from the site is displayed along with the link to the site. Great-looking images attracts more shares and more clicks.

  • Stronger storytelling

    You've likely heard the expression "A picture is worth a thousand words," and it is true. Images can communicate more information more quickly than text can. Sharing products or experiences visually can help them make more of an impact and help you share your story in a more compelling way.

  • Higher rates of social media engagement

    Studies show that images drive more engagement (clicks, likes, and comments) than any other type of content on Facebook. Using visual elements can inspire your fans to become more engaged in your content.

  • Harnessing the newest social networks to grow your social media presence

    Visual social networks such as Pinterest and Instagram are the quickest-growing new social networks. To stay relevant and help your product stay in front of your customers and your target audience, these new social networks provide a unique opportunity.

How to Create a Visual Social Marketing Plan

Always start with a plan. To get the most from your visual social marketing, decide what you want to achieve, and build a plan to achieve it.

  1. Start with research.

    Start by researching your category or industry to see the kinds of images that are generating interest. Explore sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook, and pay attention to the visual elements that people are liking, sharing, and commenting on that are related to your business — it’s a source of inspiration.

  2. Determine your marketing objectives.

    Determine what it is that you ultimately what to achieve. Specifying your marketing goals and objectives can help you approach visual social marketing more strategically and help you get better results.

  3. Know your customers.

    Clearly define your target audience, or whom you’re trying to reach, via your visual social marketing efforts. Pay attention to what they like and share online.

  4. Develop a visual content plan.

    Determine the content you will create and when and where you will post and share it. The content plan should link to your marketing objectives and the topics that interest your customers.

  5. Create the visuals.

    Create the visual assets you need as outlined in your content plan. Build a library of assets that you can use and reuse as a part of your strategy.

  6. Implement.

    Use best practices to post and share your visual content online. Consider using visual elements on a variety of social networks — you don’t necessarily need a different element for Facebook versus Twitter versus Pinterest.

  7. Track, measure, and adjust.

    Analyze the results of posting your visual content, strive to learn from your successes and failures, and then adapt your strategy.

Harness the Hottest Visual Social Tools and Networks for Your Business

If you want to make the most of your existing social media and online marketing efforts, add some of these visual social marketing tools to your strategy:

  • Infographics: This type of graphical element uses visual elements to explain a concept or tell a story. Infographics can consist of extremely powerful social content and can generate traffic, links, and social interactions for your business.

  • Instagram: This mobile application lets you take, edit, and share photos from your mobile device. Instagram, acquired by Facebook not long ago, continues to grow and thrive. Instagram has quite an active community, and many businesses are generating awareness and connecting with new audiences via Instagram.

  • Pinterest: Now the third-largest social network, Pinterest allows users to create visual pinboards, which are composed of images uploaded from a computer or from a link from the web. Pinterest is the top source of traffic to many leading websites, and traffic from Pinterest is generally more likely to lead to sales compared to traffic from other social networks.

  • SlideShare: This social network lets users upload and share presentations (such as PowerPoint) online. Presentations on SlideShare can generate massive amounts of views and expose your business to new audiences.

  • Vine: A short-format video sharing service launched by Twitter, Vine lets users create and share short videos with people who follow them. Vine videos can also be shared on other social networks, such as Twitter or Facebook, or be embedded into blogs.

  • YouTube: YouTube remains one of the most effective visual marketing sites. The number-two online search engine, it’s the leading way to share videos. Over the past few years, YouTube has also added features to make it easy to create and edit videos directly on YouTube.

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