In less time it takes for you to read this sentence, nearly 100 videos have been uploaded to YouTube. What is more, 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube. Indeed, the statistics regarding online video are staggering.
The numbers for social platforms are equally mind-bending. Facebook, the mother lode of social media, has 1.3 billion active users and counting while Twitter—despite a recent management shake-up and other bumps in the road—has 500 million users.
Then there are the Young Turks, such as Snapchat, whose 100 million users send at least 700 million photos and videos every day.
The rub for PR pros is how to meld their visual storytelling with their social media channels. It’s a wedding that’s shaping up to be one of the biggest challenges this year for business communicators.
Here are several tips on how to harness visual storytelling on your social media platforms, compliments of AJ Gerritson, founding partner of 451 Marketing.
> Don’t be shy. Put it all out there. Enough with telling your audience why you are the best. Show them. Visual content is exciting for fans and for your internal team as well. It’s a chance to showcase not just what your brand has to offer but also what it stands for. Take the opportunity to peel back the layers shielding the essence of your brand from those who are looking for a deeper connection.
> Spice it up. When it comes to social media, the same thing gets old really fast. Incorporating a variety of content will keep fans on their toes and consistently checking in for more. Make your followers feel special by providing behind-the-scenes pictures, videos and news bits. You can also use image-based platforms to share breaking news about your company. Opening a new location? Hiring a new CEO? Share an image or video to spread the word.
> Showcase corporate culture. Sharing your company’s personalities and how they shape your corporate culture is a great way to build goodwill with your audience. Showcase the people behind the scenes at your company. Your audience is more likely to connect with your brand if they feel a connection to the people who are behind the brand.
> Share the love. Fans just want to be heard and appreciated. Show them you care by engaging with them and responding to their interactions with your brand through various social media platforms. By encouraging and sharing the content they created around your brand, users will be more likely to view your brand as human.
Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1
Follow AJ Gerritson on Twitter: @AJGerritson